Sermon Manager UX

Sermon Manager is a powerful audio hosting tool for churches and charities. This tool will play audio clips and will allow church teams to manage the media. I have been involved (8 months) in doing a redesign. I've also carried out UX research to understand the users better and cater for their needs.

Introduction - the registration

Business Plan

When developing Sermon Manager, myself and colleagues at Fraser/Coyle Ltd wanted to create a rich User Experience. Andrew Fraser, the director, built a business plan for creating Sermon Manager with some of the following criteria:

  • Consistent and simple User Journeys
  • Quick setup, customizable interfaces and flexible integration.
  • Automation of processing tasks and professional customer support.

For this report, the focus will be upon ‘Quick setup’ as the content examines the registration steps for Sermon Manager. When deciding requirements for the registration process, speed of delivery, simple User Journeys and automatic processing tasks have been identified as vital.

Critical Analysis

This report reflects upon the two stages of work, from the concept to the next iteration. To date, I have developed two prototypes for Sermon Manager’s registration page. The comparison of these two projects will demonstrate an effective response to the identified issues and problems. This iteration will also exhibit how Sermon Manager’s User Experience has enhanced. I will identify features that can be improved upon and will also demonstrate how I have met those requirements.

Sermon Manager Mockups

Legacy design for the register page for Sermon Manager

Professional and Personal Development

As a professional, the purpose of this report is also to express how I have upscaled and improved my skills in User Experience and user interface design. Utilising industry standard tools like Lucidchart (for lo-fi wireframes) and InVision (for hi-fi mockup demonstrations), I have increased my technical knowledge, which better prepares me for further career options.

In terms of communication, customer experience and team working, this project has been incredibly beneficial to my learning. In collaborating with my team, my development and designs were analyzed as I contributed to Sermon Manager.

Personally this learning curve has been significant. From a classroom environment, I have translated my existing skills to better suit the required industry standards. Because of the motivation from my colleagues, I have steered the direction of my progress towards further professionalism. Fraser/Coyle Ltd’s expectations and professional standards was a steep increase for me. This is clearly demonstrated in the quality of the re-design work I provide in this report.

Continuous learning is something that I’m committed to. Already in the designs I submit, I have identified further areas for improvement, which I intend to implement in further releases of this product. With regards to my honours project and the research skills I am acquiring, I have implemented the theory into my work. With a strong foundation in User Experience, I can apply these principles to other services we provide, not just Sermon Manager.

Legacy Design

Through User Experience testing, user feedback and through further interaction with this release, myself and colleagues identified major feedback and design flaws in the system:

  • Poor feedback descriptions when users made a mistake on the form.
  • Limited feedback for users who had successfully confirmed their email address. The purpose for this was to ensure that users “stay signed in immediately after registration, to make the overall user experience smoother.” (Ghazarian 2014)
  • Users were unable to navigate to previous form entries. There was no ‘back’ button for them to navigate.
  • Register was not mobile friendly or responsive. This was a major UX concern.
Sermon Manager Mockups

Basic Mobile Mockups for Sermon Manager Registration process

Sermon Manager Visual Feedback

In order to create a good UX, visual feedback was adopted. The live site intended to do real-time form validation, which provides a better UX.

See the Pen Form Errors by Jonah McLachlan (@moletek) on CodePen.

Gotta Be Unique

Do you like my photos? All the graphics, colour schemes and photos are my own. Please check out my Flickr account for some of my public pictures.

...No Themes Allowed

I don't cheat! I don't consider using templating systems like Bootstrap to be cheating. I heavily modify the standard bootstrap, and roll my own LESS. If you would like to see how this portfolio website was made, please read this article on it.

Gotta Be Minimal

Most people defend their design for a reason. I just defend beacuse I want it to be simple for the user! Why confuse them more? I make my designs simple, where the user can get from A --> B with no hassle or cognitive drain. View my portfolio page for my minimal design, from concept to code.