Establishing a UX center of excellence for an innovative research and development company in the defense and intelligence space
Meeting increasing demand
SRC is a not-for-profit research and development agency serving the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD has ramped up its demand for more usable solutions in the field, and SRC recognized a gap in their skill sets in process. After some research, their leadership identified Visual Logic to develop their UX center of excellence by integrating human-centered design into their existing product management and engineering approaches.
The Team, Timeline, & Scope
Our team has been working with SRC for a total of 5 years.
Lead UX Designer
Our strategic, dual-track approach
We simultaneously built from the ground up and top down, engaging with stakeholders to establish foundational UX needs for their organization, while working on key outputs to demonstrate the value of human-centered design. These approaches influenced each other to further adapt growth strategy.
Establishing a vision & building the infrastructure for HCD
Starting at the top, we worked with SRC leaders through collaborative workshops, synthesizing the content to understand their needs and establish a UX design maturity goal.
Implementing the vision: demonstrating user-centric product design
After establishing a vision, we began work from the ground-up by enhancing processes with human-centered design, all while validating that our progress met business goals.
Hiring is hard, but hiring UX talent is harder.
In building from the ground up, we needed to find and embed top UX talent into engineering teams as a form of research. We were able to feel the existing processes in real time, gain insight into team dynamics, and prove the value of the human-centered design approach, methods, and outputs to create products with better user experience.
[Visual Logic] took the time to understand both what we wanted and how our culture and processes would play into that process.
Maria Ucchino AVP of Corporate Strategy
UX design isn’t just extra work.
It optimized SRC’s workflow and output beyond just their digital products.
Create a basis for strategy
Facilitating collaborative workshops not only informed how our plans would unfold, but also created clarity for SRC leadership in understanding their challenges and approach to strategy.
Cut lifecycle costs
We involved UX early on, reducing long-term life cycle costs. SRC has felt tangible benefits through win-themes, sales, and customer feedback, and of course, improving internal processes.
Make data-informed decisions
Leading with research gave stakeholders confidence in decision-making and utilizing HCD practices, critically influencing project work and internal organizational growth.
We developed a design system to drive consistency and brand recognition, accelerating design times and improving the experience of customers who use more than one SRC product.
[Visual Logic] didn’t come in with a one-size-fits-all roadmap and try to shoehorn our company into some preconceived notion of what we should be.
Eric Valentine Senior Program Manager
Throughout our engagement, SRC has benefited from enhancing their engineering capabilities with human-centered methods and harnessing quality user feedback--building confidence in their design decision making. We've been optimizing UX & engineering collaboration, reducing wasteful churn, and ultimately building products that their users understand.
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