The challenge

Assent” is a Jisc service providing federated access to a wide range of web and non-web services and applications. Service subscribers use a web-based portal to configure and control the service for their respective organisations. The portal had been continuously extended and enhanced since its release and it eventually outgrew its design. Users wanted more features, but the developers were finding it increasingly difficult to inject new functionality into the already feature-rich service.

Meanwhile, plans were being hatched to develop a new sister portal and a prototype was already in production. “Liberate” would provide a gateway between an organisation’s active directory (or LDAP) and Jisc’s access management services. One of these being Assent.

It was essential for the two services to align and deliver a unified brand and user experience. The time was right for a redesign.

What we delivered

Applying iterative user-centred design methods over several months, we redesigned the two portal interfaces to provide an improved and consolidated user experience. The Jisc Assent and Liberate teams, US Boston-based developers Painless Security and system users all injected valuable insight and feedback into the process.

Consultation was managed entirely remotely with voip tools used for weekly management reviews and video conferencing, when more interactive sessions were called for. We progressed through a number of stages.

  • Heuristic analysis of the existing portals, to identity issues and make recommendations for alternative solutions
  • Redesign of the user interface framework and structure to combine the two portals, and allow for the addition of further services
  • Iterative development of wireframes for more than 20 screens
  • Design of the look and feel and interactive elements to conform to the Jisc user experience and design guidelines and pattern library

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