Exploring the linkages between User Expreience Design, AI and Automation through user flow automation.
Symantec is a world leader when it comes to protection of user devices and endpoints. Some of their leading products stand to be the Norton Endpoint Protection Suite for device protection and the Lifelock Consumer Identity Protection Software for Identity Theft Prevention. My internship was with the Automation team where I was attempting to analyze user flows which require heavy user effort in attempting to simplify the user experience through the user of Artificial Intelligence by using certain bots and web scraping algorithms.
Note: A non disclosure agreement prohibits me to share images and specific use cases thus to learn more about my work at Symantec and with Automation Deisgn, feel free to contact me through any of the mediums listed on this website!
How might we effectively map the user experience and flow of mundane tasks and incorporate that flow into an automated process that takes into account/ the complexity while making the activity more intuitive for the end user.
The mapped out User Flow of a data gathering process.
I interviewed the stakeholders to access the common processes that they currently use which require heavy user involvement due to the mundane nature of the tasks.
I utilized methods such as Card Sorting and Process Walkthrough's in order to test the priorities of the tasks that the users are undertaking.
I also made process diagrams of the user flow that the users tend to adopt while undertaking these tasks such that I can later analyze the user flow to catch for redundancies and make the process faster and more intuitive.
The raw data file of what the users use.
Lack of Interest
Since the tasks were simple and highly repetitive, the users were not motivated to undertake these tasks. An example of such tasks is fetching data to populate cells of an excel file.
The tasks that the users were undertaking had a form of repetitiveness wherein the user had to fetch the same kind of data at least a thousand times.
Lack of Automation
The user flows for all the tedious/repetitive tasks that the users were undertaking had a similar user flow wherein the user would look at the fields that it wants to get data for and then would go online to gather that data and input the data back into the file. These flows can be easily simplified by incorporating automation into the user experience and work flow.
How might we streamline and automate the current User Flow?
Through the user research I identified three common themes in the tasks that were being undertaken, thus I decided to group the user flow by these three common categories mentioned below thereby aiding in its simplification and automation:
- Request/Task Analysis - This stage incoporates analyzing what the required task is and what are the steps needed to accomplish it.
- Data Collection - This stage corresponds to working with internal and online databases to require the gathered information.
- Data Compilation - This last stage deals with compiling data to transform it into a desirable format for later use.
I narrowed my focus on improving the existing user flow and nad by taking into account the insights gathered while user testing post developmental iteration, I created a python script that automatically runs through the user flow which is already pre mapped into the program. This allows for the program to effectively encompass and run the repetitive tasks such as data gathering and free's up the employee's work hours for more challenging tasks thereby also keeping the employees engaged and enthusiased.
Insights and Learnings
The experience at Symantec was unparalleled due to the new avenues in design it enabled me to explore. In todays day and age of automation and artificial intelligence, complicated user flows can be easily translated into automated procedures thereby rather than spending precious man hours in making systems intuitive for the end user, we could eliminate the interaction of the end user with the complicated system by creating such AI and Automation bridges as seen in the aforementioned example.
A non disclosure agreement prohibits me to share images and specific use cases thus to learn more about my work at Symantec and with Automation Deisgn, feel free to contact me through any of the mediums listed on this website!
Thanks for reading! 😊