Integrate in an Instant
D2L uses Valence API keys to authenticate users who develop extensible components of their Learning Management System. D2L processed 931 API keys in 2013. The process took 10 minutes of processing time, but 3 days of wait time for each key due to the communications that had to take place between the Community Manager, an Account Manager, and System Administrator, along with the original Developer that required the API key. On top of that, the developer needed the correct credentials for their instance of the Learning Management System. I was the designer in the group that tackled this problem during a week-long Hackathon called "The Mighty Hack" hosted by D2L.
During the week, I worked with a Subject Matter Expert to capture information about the people who are a part of the whole process, and create assumption personas that consists of user goals, behaviours, dos, and don'ts for each persona.
The system administrator assumption persona created based on conversations with the subject matter expert.
From there it was important to capture the workflow for each user goal, and how the assumption persona achieves it. I like to use task models: they are a wonderful way of capturing all the tasks associated with a user goal, the information that a person needs while completing each task, and the triggers that motivate a person to continue onto the next task. I generated a task model for each user goal affiliated with the problem such as "Manage existing App Records in the integrated learning platform" that also has an associated assumption persona. That way I could document the workflows for myself and anyone who might work on the project in the future.
The task model for the user goal associated with a system administrator.
Finally, I created low-fidelity workflows using Balsamiq, adhering to D2L standards using UI components within our UI pattern library. I iterated on the design after conducting several hallway tests with a subject matter expert and several individuals that fit the profile of our assumption personas.
A mock-up of the main screen to manage applications using API keys in the ILP.
A mock-up of the screen for creating an application using an API key in the ILP.
A mock-up of the screen to view an existing application using an API key in the ILP.
A mock-up of the screen to edit an existing application using an API key in the ILP.
"Integrate in an instant" was picked up by a developer team later that year in D2L, and they were able to implement the changes that solved the API key generation problem originally proposed by in the Hackathon.