Refactor the UI of a bespoke enterprise automation software.
Mimica is an enterprise platform that aims to improve workforce productivity by identifying and mapping process automation opportunities. Our mission was to refactor the user experience and streamline the jobs of the Business Analysts using the product.
Our involvement in the Mimica project began when Raphael and Tuhin (respectively CTO and CEO at Mimica) contacted us and told us their story.
They described the Mimica team as a group of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs working at the frontier of Intelligent Automation.
Mimica’s mission is entrusting Artificial Intelligence with the world’s notorious digital work. Every year, billions of hours of human creativity are wasted on repetitive work such as data entry, form completion and claim processing. But humans do deserve better. Let’s leave the annoying tasks to machines and let people do what really matters.
To achieve this Mimica identifies process automation opportunities through observation of work and data mining. Eligible processes can be prioritised based on the time savings factor, thus making sure the best ROI is achieved.
At the time of the project Mimica comprised two offerings: Miner and Mapper. Mapper is a software tool used to map out established business processes in a manner that facilitates the identification of bottlenecks and the application of more efficient processes.
When a new workflow is charted, a blueprint is automatically generated, providing automation developers with instructions to quickly create solutions. Miner, on the other hand, utilises advanced machine learning and AI algorithms to identify automation opportunities while running passively in the background.
The Mapper and Miner projects are prioritised based on their potential for automation, enabling business analysts to easily identify which processes should be addressed first.
With this we set on a journey to better understand the people we are designing for and make informed decisions.
To establish the project's scope, we began by conducting a series of expert interviews with Mimica's staff. These interviews allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the technology and develop ideas on how to make the interface more user-friendly for business analysts.
On the other hand, we needed to empathise with the people we are designing for and who would not be familiar with the app. Therefore, we conducted user tests with individuals who had limited experience using automation platforms. During these tests, we identified pain points related to data hierarchy and visibility, which we added to our list of suggested changes for the UI overhaul.
Given the situation, the best approach was to make all the difficult decisions in a low-fidelity setting and focus on visuals later. We redesigned all user flows in a wireframe format, continuously iterating and consulting with the Mimica team.
Once we had a solid understanding of what we were going to design, we began developing style tiles. Style tiles involve recreating the same UI in multiple styles and are best utilised when no brand guidelines have been established.
The resulting designs are usually far from final, but they help designers understand what they should aim for when creating the high-fidelity designs. We presented three different styles and worked closely with the Mimica team to choose one to flesh out and apply to the designs.
During the high-fidelity design phase, we addressed various aspects of the software that had been developed to different degrees in previous iterations.
Distinction between the two products. We needed to make sure the people we are designing for can differentiate which stage their project is currently in: Miner or Mapper.
Processes would be grouped into projects, where they originate from. For example one data mining project, can result in 10 different processes eligible for automation.
Each projects would go through a lifecycle, and current state should always be clear to the business analyst.
As with every platform, there would be some organisation level setting to be managed from an admin.
There is something to take into consideration here. Mimica’s software is incredibly complex from a technological perspective. Business analysts are not predominantly technical people, nor should they be. They don’t need to be burdened with understanding of what happens in the background of a data mining project. What they need is concise and clear information to help them decide what is the best approach for saving people’s time by outsourcing high effort/low impact jobs to machines.
In the background of all the work, we were creating a design system that would make our lives easier in the long run.
By defining a single source of truth for styles and components we made sure that feature design and development would be as convenient as possible even after we hand over to project back to Raphael and Tuhin.
The design system we delivered provided the necessary tools to help Mimica successfully apply the overhaul using their internal development resources. They were able to launch the first iteration of the overhaul in less than 2 months from the end of our engagement!
We still needed to achieve one of our main objectives. Mapper’s interface needed to be updated to reflect the new look and feel of the platform.
However, there were a few challenges to overcome in this process. The codebase behind Mapper’s GUI was already established and we needed to adapt our ideas and solutions to the existing framework.
Fortunately, working within constrains we were still able to apply creative approaches to the Mapper UI, focusing on the platform’s strong points and tackling any small underlying pain points.
Mimica adopted an Agile approach to deploy the updated solution and collected feedback from users on a continuous basis. Following the successful launch of Miner, Mimica expanded its reach and partnerships with enterprises.
After our collaboration, Mimica also announced a strategic partnership with UiPath, a major player in the automation space.
While Mimica focuses on identifying automation opportunities and creating guides, UiPath specialises in developing automation solutions based on those guides. As a result of this partnership, the diagrams generated by Mimica's Miner and Mapper can now be directly imported into UiPath, significantly reducing the effort required to develop automations.
"We were very happy with the results: good communication, good brainstorming, great outcomes ability to work under a tight timeline."