Image Credit A good CRM should enhance the value of managing contacts, but our legacy CRM doesn’t provide any ability to filter or search contacts within the page. Some of you may say: If it’s that bad, why not just go ahead and redesign it? But hey, it’s not that simple. Here is why:
Our CRM has been live for over a year and users have been trained on this legacy system. It’s not easy to ask users to switch to a new system without strong, convincing data. From a designer’s point of view, we want to stand by the users and try what we can to improve the user experience in any possible way without asking users to adopt an entirely new system.
Lack of Data
The best way to propose redesign ideas is when you have convincing data in hand. I used to propose redesigns without data, all of which inevitably got rejected. Why? The usual feedback are:
1) Our development team doesn’t have bandwidth for this redesign; they’re overloaded with building new features.
2) Why do we need to redesign? I don’t see any problems here.
3) Are you sure your redesign is better? Is it worth making the investment in time and effort?
Lessons learned! I started to realize the importance of having compelling data to convince the naysayers. Believe me, it smoothed out my redesign journey all the way from the beginning until the end.
First, I learned to gather data. Users go to our online community to learn how to use our CRM and submit questions and suggestions for improvement. It was a treasure trove of data for my project. I categorized, filtered and sorted suggestions from users and attached a link for each post. I then sat down with product managers to go over the findings and my suggestions for a few redesign ideas.
2. Why does it need redesign?
Second, I learned to identify the problem. When users click on the Contacts tab, there was a fly out menu for different categories of contacts, such as Starred Contacts, Leads, and Prospects. But, users often are not sure about where a Contact might belong to, so they would default to All Contacts. Furthermore, users could not search within the list view and filter their contacts.