After joining my current company, I’ve had a small crisis. The UX I had to work with was different than anything I’ve read about on Medium. We work on BigPicture, an app dedicated to Project Portfolio Managers. To say “at first sight, it’s pretty complicated” is a gross understatement. The system has its jargon, popular only among managers, and I didn’t understand most of the vocabulary.

Moreover, I’ve heard subject research would be difficult because we have so many different users — each of them with different needs, a different position in a company, a wide variety of duties, working…

Five years ago, when SoftwarePlant was a small start-up, the company decided to create a Gantt chart as an extension for Jira. It would help to visualize issues on the timeline and, over time, turned into a complete solution for Project Portfolio Management. Two months ago, we launched a completely new version of Gantt.

Redesign reasons

When SoftwarePlant started, the most popular 3rd party Gantt chart library (and probably now) was DHTMLX, which offers a lot of possibilities and features. Still, it has some limitations, which didn’t allow us to implement the critical changes expected by customers. Over a year ago, during one of our internal hackathons, a group of developers wrote a component for Gantt using Angular technology, and the new development era started. Our Product Management almost immediately made corrections to the product roadmap and recommended continuing work on the Angular Gantt. …

Users’ voice is undeniably important. Whenever you create a coffee machine, car cockpit or mobile app, you do it for someone. To deliver a solution that fits user needs, designers have to listen to them, feel them, and observe their behavior. However, it’s not always possible. Let’s take SoftwarePlant, for example. Our company is located in Warsaw, but most of the clients using our BigPicture app are not from Poland.

We’ve created an online space, called BigPicture LAB, to let users talk about the app and give us feedback regardless of where they work and live. For us, it’s the…

Tuesday morning; 10 am. SoftwarePlant’s Warsaw office. The sky is cloudy; the smell of coffee is coming from the kitchen. The scenery may seem like a lazy morning, but nothing could be further from the truth. A heated discussion has just started in our team, and it is about the position of UX in the company — we are wondering what the work of UX designers looks like in long-lasting and complex products. Our own tool, BigPicture, is one of Jira Apps designed to meet the needs of Project Portfolio Managers.

The product has been running for four years now…

Marta Mazurkiewicz

UX designer & UX researcher @ SoftwarePlant

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