PolyTeQ is a wholly owned subsidiary of CCL, the leading supplier of plastic polymer banknote substrates used in place of paper banknotes in 24 countries worldwide. PolyTeQ provides technical services to users of polymer banknotes including central bankers, banknote printers and cash handling machinery manufacturers. PolyTeQ Secure is a cloud-based tool providing access to a vast document information library and technical specification databases.
Working with PolyTeQ’s consultants, I developed a user-focussed strategy for the system, designed the user-experience, prototyped the system and designed the final user interface. I then worked closely with the development team to bring this technically complex system to life.
Developing a strategy: workshops & wireframes
PolyTeQ Secure was born through a series of workshops held by myself with the PolyTeQ team to determine the most appropriate mechanism for providing CCL’s worldwide customers and their stakeholders with controlled access to PolyTeQ’s intellectual property.
Initially the information tool was to be housed in a protected area of the new PolyTeQ website, however, use case analysis showed that the objectives of website users was very different to tool users. Wireframing each option demonstrated to the team that developing a standalone system (accessible from the website) would create a better user experience for both groups.
Prototyping the system
Once the strategy was resolved, I created an interactive prototype of the system in Adobe XD. Prototyping allowed the team to view and test various possibilities for the tool’s information architecture and user experience. User testing found a number of areas for improvement, proving itself to be a successful process for refining and building confidence in the solution. The prototype also helped the development team understand, influence and eventually implement the user experience.
The polymer banknotes that were the subject of the system provided my inspiration for the visual design of the tool. Sparing use of bold accent colours contrasted against a neutral intaglio note-face enhanced the user experience by amplifying the hierarchy of the low fidelity prototype. The result was a clean, simple and highly functional user interface that complimented the goals of the system.
Working with the development team
From very early in the project I brought in the development team to help validate the effect of decisions on the system architecture. Collaboration ramped up as the design was being completed. Detailed face-toface briefings, written guidelines and a graphical toolbox were provided. Ongoing collaboration during the implementation included as-needed detailed design and adjustments to resolve technical issues.