This 3-year project is one of my proudest: a more accessible background check form for a reputable financial organization

Where I offer insights into how I helped a team envision, sell and build a better multi-part form

A collage of user interface designs

Problem worth solving

First impressions have a lasting effect.

The form representing the first digital experience a potential new-hire has with the organization does not reflect it’s values because the form is outdated, unwelcoming, inaccessible and unintuitive.

What the Scrum team accomplished

  • From ADA non-compliance to WCAG 2.0 Level-AA & -AAA compliance
  • From decades-old Java Server Portlets to a modern front-end framework, Angular 2.x
  • From a desktop-only experience to a fully responsive one
  • From screens riddled with zig-zag patterns causing cognitive and motion fatigue to single-column forms where the eye moves in a near-straight line
  • From a password creation process that could take several minutes to complete…to a convenient ‘Generate password’ button
An approximate re-creation of the new experience

A summary of my journey

This project wasn’t assigned to me, but it was no less important than my regularly assigned ones

Comparing what I initially volunteered for and what I later delivered

Two-thirds of the time was spent building a relationship with the application manager

Most of the journey was spent continually reminding the application manager that I wanted to help

During the accessibility evaluation, I noted each area — no matter how big or small — that was worth improving via small prototypes

Three months were spent evaluating the current application, assessing low-hanging-fruit improvements, and prototyping a potentially better experience

I wasn’t dismayed by initial hesitations or pushback. Instead, I listened, incorporated great ideas into the prototype, and persuaded the key decision-maker to green-light the project.

The easy part, designing, was done. Now, I had to persuade.

Before developers could build working software, they needed clear instructions and shared understanding for what to build.

I started attending weekly story writing and grooming sessions so that developers felt more comfortable with the work to be done

This hard work paid off in strides: increased awareness of my team’s value, additional funds raised for other projects, and the opportunity to fill a newly opened contract within our team

Two small changes that I feel will have the biggest positive impact

“Don’t make me think…about what my password should be.”

Before: the rules for a valid password were hidden and difficult to read; After: the rules are initially visible, but ultimately unimportant thanks to a new ‘Generate’ button

Enter data on the left. Review when finished on the right. None of this back-and-forth.

Before: form fields were laid out left-to-right, forcing a user to move their eye in a headache-inducing zig-zag pattern; After: a user to keep her eye glued to the left-hand side of the page, having only to glance periodically to the right if she needed to verify data entered earlier.

Thank you for reading!




Designer, Developer, DataViz, Dad •

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Robert Mion

Robert Mion

Designer, Developer, DataViz, Dad •

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