Josh Rubenoff See more case studies

2015 : Shortcuts in Screendoor


Screendoor, a product of The Department of Better Technology (DOBT), is a shared inbox for form responses. I designed Screendoor’s “shortcuts” feature, which helped customers automate their workflow. Our customers wanted a way to reduce the predictable, repetitive tasks in their review process, like changing a response’s status or routing it to one of their colleagues.

As DOBT’s first and only designer, I was responsible for everything from user research, prototyping, and visual design to project management, HTML / CSS development, and QA.

We originally decided to build shortcuts in response to customer demand, but after interviewing users of competing tools, we discovered a huge usability issue in the automation space that we wanted to avoid. People would often set up incorrect triggers and actions by mistake, causing catastrophic user error magnified by the scale of the automation’s effects. When they became aware that something was wrong, the UI of most competing tools made it difficult to diagnose the problem and fix it quickly. These findings led us to readjust our goals and change the project’s scope.

Screendoor exposes an audit trail of automated actions, and allows you to undo them or view the original trigger behind them.

Thankfully, one of my first accomplishments upon joining DOBT was bringing Intercom’s four layers of design into our process. Among other benefits, the framework allows teams to discuss design outcomes separately from the merits of a solution. When our discovery process uncovered the insights mentioned above, the four layers proved invaluable for getting stakeholders on board and adjusting their expectations alongside our new outcomes.

After creating some prototypes in Sketch and Principle to provide common ground for discussing project scope, I started iterating in code with our lead engineer. I refined copywriting, micro-interactions and animations with Sass and basic CoffeeScript. I also conducted multiple rounds of design QA until we had a suitable MVP to ship.

Editing shortcuts in Screendoor.