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Heatmaps case study

UX & Product design of a global resource management tool


The client wanted a way to report on resource usage across their drug development portfolio.  

This encompassed tens of thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.

The approach

It was clear that the scope of this project was somewhat ambiguous so we initially committed to a discovery phase only. 

Depending on the findings from discovery and the direction the project took we would evaluate the best use of time and the most effective deliverables.


Business analysis

The first task was understanding more about the business – what was the specific problem they had and how would we measure success. This involved multiple workshops and interviews with key business stakeholders and users.

Report analysis

There was already an existing offline process in place which made use of multiple excel sheets.  We needed to do a deep dive to understand more.

User identification

Our research uncovered four different user types. 

  • Administrators
  • Resource Council users
  • Function level users
  • Higher management.

We interviewed users in each group to get more complete understanding of their specific problems.

We additionally sat in on monthly resource meetings to observe how existing reports were used “in the wild”.

User Research


A change in direction

From our research it became clear there was more to this project. In order to succeed we needed to broaden the scope of our engagement to consider:

  1. Data collection
  2. Service design
  3. Change management
  4. Enterprise level IT solutions.

High-level prototype

Unconventionally, the decision was taken to develop and test a high-level wireframe prototype as part of the discovery process.

The objectives of this were as follows

  • Demonstrate a possible way of automating the current (labour-intensive) process
  • Sense-check that the work done to date is heading in the correct direction

Prototype user testing

Initial user testing was completed against the high level prototype. 

Affinity mapping was used to organise insights, and a summary deck produced and presented.


Future roadmap

The summary deck was well received, and based on this a strategic roadmap was drawn up to indicate how to progress the project. 

This includes;

  • Workshopping
  • Co-design sessions
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Continues wireframing and user testing