Lead Product Designer
Social Value Portal

Social Value Portal changes how organisations measure and report their contributions to society, making it easier and more efficient. 
We redesigned the social value calculator, a tool that simplifies the complex process of measuring contributions. We transformed it from being the product's most frustrating and unusable part to one of its most significant selling points. 

PROBLEMA rudimentary UX audit revealed severe usability issues in the existing calculator. To quantify the problem, we spoke to users and the customer support team. 

The data showed that the calculator was the most frustrating part of the product. Looking at the feedback through different lenses, we boiled it down to five problem areas to inform the future design vision.

Mapping the complete CX showed the calculator to be the most frustrating part of the product

Research synthesis with various lenses

Getting the team on board with UX
The project team was cross-functional and quite siloed, with domain-experts looking after a specific aspects of the product. To achieve the wide consensus necessary for such an ambitious redesign, we stripped the UX concepts down to basic common sense principles.

This approach helped stakeholders look beyond existing preconceptions and limitations, and agree on a high-level design plan. For example, Users found the calculator overwhelming, so we emphasised the importance of hierarchy and contextual information in interfaces. This approach helped us gain approval for the 'empty state' solution.

An example of using an abstract idea to communicate a design principle.

Cross-practice collaboration

Cross-team collaboration was key to the project success. Regular workshops and co-design sessions helped as keep the team involved and ensure we are solving business-wide problems.

For example, we discovered that the data team prefers simple text evidence over files, which led us to develop the concept of text-based evidence. This significantly reduced the need for files and improved data storage and loading time for the tech team, as well as shortened evidence review time for the evaluation team.

design thinking drives innovation
The most notable innovation in the new design is automated calculations, which we identified early on as having a potential for significant impact. We supported this feature from its conception to its delivery.

The framework used to measure social value is highly complex, as each type of contribution requires a different formula. For instance, we need to determine the social value of providing five apprenticeships per year. Previously, users either had to figure out the calculations on their own or navigate to a different page to access a toolkit, which kind of defeated the purpose of the calculator.

Our idea was to integrate the toolkit into the calculator to handle the complex tasks. Users could input raw data and get the social value they care about in return. The team was enthusiastic about this idea, but implementing it was challenging. It required creating visual, interactive versions of each formula. To achieve this, we worked closely with the data and evaluation teams in a series of workshops. Eventually, we were able to incorporate over fifty measurements as components into the design system.

Interface concept sketch by the evaluation team

All TOMs as design components

Auto-calculation in action in the beta environment

From concept to producte regularly tested the new designs, ensuring a mix of power users and beginners from various sectors and use cases. While power users have strong opinions, we did not let their views dominate and create bias.

The initial launch was a beta, and we worked in sprints with regular review sessions to guarantee proper implementation of the user experience. The main challenges were around component design, but our close collaboration with the tech team allowed us to balance technical effort without compromising usability.
OutcomeThe calculator was launched in Beta to a select group of users in 2022 and is continuously evolving. It's a crucial part of Social Value Portal’s offering, and the automated calculations are a significant unique selling point in all product-related communication

: Alex Rose
Product Managers: Joe Flagg, Katherine Sweet-Escott
Product Design Consultant: Yarden Gur
Junior UX Designer: Mónica Rodrigues
Developers: James Wills, Ângela Lázaro, Danny Marfil, Andrea Funari