Notifications - Appian Corporation

Duration:  10 weeks
Role: UX Design Intern
Tools: Sketch, Miro, User Research, SAIL
Collaborators: Ecosystem UXDs
Project Space
Solutions Innovations at Appian works with in a variety of different industries ranging from insurance to financial services. Many custom features are built without any prior guidance or structure, leading to inconsistency and cohesiveness between each product.

Recently, we established a design system to combat this issue, and I was in-charge of standardizing the notifications feature utilized across all 7 product solutions. My goal was to design a flexible and reusable pattern that could be adapted to a variety of different situations and customized by both UX designers and consultants to specific use cases while maintaining its cohesiveness to the rest of the product suite.

My solution was a scalable notifications pattern that could be easily adaptable based on the solution it would be implemented on. 

Discovery Work
My first step was looking at how notifications were being implemented across different solutions dashboards. I saw lots of variance in the designs and even the functionality/behavior between the dashboards. In order to create a cohesive design across the product suite, I needed to interview the designers who made the components. 

I conducted user interviews with 8 other UX Designers on the team to understand how they used notifications on their respective solutions. I wanted to learn more about what the key features of a notifications component would, if there were any technical constraints, and what pain points they had with the current design. 

I organized my findings by creating an affinity diagram. I was able to identify important elements of a notification component, the distinction between notifications and alerts, pain points, and expected behaviors. 

I also took a look at some designs outside of Appian to get a better sense of some notifications best practices.

Synethsis and Discussion
I brought my findings to a meeting with 14 UX Designers across Ecosystems, and facilitated a discussion on our next steps. I prepared some basic wireframes containing the important features I identified through my research as suggestions to guide the conversation. 

Based on the discussion, I formed an actionable list to start my designs. 

I created two designs in Appian’s proprietary language. Each version makes use of the core elements I identitied in earlier discussions. 

I sent my two designs to the rest of the Ecosystem UXDs to gather feedback and answer any questions about the design. 

After finalizing the design, I wrote up flexible guidance implementation to give other designers the ability to customize the design based on the needs on their solutions while also maintaining cohesiveness.

Final Solution

Next Steps
First, I would like to thank Angela Ru and Jagannath Chakravarty for their support throughout this design process. I couldn’t have been able to create a flexible yet cohesive design pattern without them. Because of some product limitations, I wasn’t able to utilize some modern interface conventions to further enhance the design; however, as the Appian software is continuously updated, I would like to have another chance to improve upon this design with the use of widgets. Currently, the design relies on a stand-alone interface component that takes up more than enough screen space. Using a widget to nest this information maybe free up dashboards to include more primary information. 
© Anthony Pan 2023