Johnson & Johnson is a global pharmaceutical company, with thousands of people passionate about what they do. This company's rich history is filled with stories of how staple products like Band-Aid and Duct Tape were invented by ordinary people looking to make a difference. Today, teams across J&J are still passionately finding ways to impact the world. Enter: TEDx. TEDx is an independently organized TED event, and to no one's surprise, J&J was the first company to embark on integrating TEDx into the organization.
Information Architect / UX Designer
Johnson & Johnson
Our team was approached with the design challenge of providing an avenue through with TEDx activities, events, aspirations, and ultimately ideas, can materialize. As TEDx events are growing in number across J&J campuses across the world, employees and organizers needed a way to get connected, contribute, and participate. Throughout our approach, we focused on helping the client develop a strong vision and strategy. Once that was established, we then spent 4 months designing a platform for over 700,000 J&J employees to share ideas, an accompanying custom CMS that allowed Admins to monitor, edit, and facilitate conversations, and lastly, a Toolkit that allowed new Organizers to learn how to get on-board, organize a local Chapter, and design their own TEDx J&J event.
The project lasted about 4 months, and we employed a number of user experience methodologies to define the vision and strategy, unearth the problem space, and define the opportunities:
There were very few meetings where we sat with the clients and talked "requirements". What happened most of the time, was a lot of sketching, 'what-ifs', and crafting scenarios to understand how to build a strategy that was firmly aligned to a strong vision. These conversations happened throughout the entire process, and it was important for us to ensure the client had all the help they needed to define their dream.
Starting with sketches, then increasing in fidelity through wireframes, and eventually visual design, we began to communicate with the stakeholders a more tangible expression of our recommended solutions.
As the best experiences are really in the details, our stakeholders gave us free reign to ensure that every interaction, and micro-interaction was thought through, and thoughtful. It was tremendously enjoyable thinking through new ways for users to comment, create content, and explore ideas.
A note about documentation: I believe it is critically important to maintain detailed documentation. Not only does this allow Developers and Stakeholders alike to understand the solution presented, but it also aids against UX Debt, and allows future designers to understand the history, and thinking behind the design.
Once we got through the toughest part of crafting the vision, strategy, and the design, the rest of the days culminated in a range of activities that included things like:
Participating in Sprint Planning and Estimations
Supporting questions from Developers and ensuring adherence to requirements
Creating UAT Test Scripts and organizing 'War Room' QA
Conducting Design and Tech Demos to stakeholders
and on and on...
It was really enjoyable working with the Developers on this project. Not only was I able to have fun while doing so, but I learned a lot about how they think, and the type of documentation they find helpful.
This project is a favorite of mine because of the enormity of the design challenge presented to our team at the time. Myself, and the UX Director at the Agency had worked endlessly to help develop the vision and strategy with the client, and then to create an experience that flowed seamlessly through each user type. Countless meetings and brainstorms lead to the final unearthing of the purpose of this project, without which we would design aimlessly. Now, we have the immense satisfaction that TEDx'ers all across J&J have a flexible platform to spread ideas, share experiences, and make a difference in the world we live in today.