UX architecture and Visual Design
Role-Based Access Control
A case of overthinking the wheel
Our platform was a single-user entity up until recently, upon launch, it was clear a role based system was needed urgently, so all of our teams were on a single track dedicated to make RBAC happen as fast as it could.
Many options came about, and when assigned to the project, the first question that came around was, why overthink an experience that should be at the most, simple and forgettable?
Out of convenience, the first iteration of this project was based on MS AAD, so given that a familiar structure was alread in place, why were we trying to alter the mental model for our users by reinventing what already works?
A case for making a forgettable experience. Personally, I see this as an experience that is to be used once or twice while setting the users and then never again, and the measure of its success, is that it was simple to use, familiar and went through without second thought. Thus, successfully and forgettable!
When the PM team finalized requirements, we received a lot of new terminology and roles that overlapped each other. An architect made the decision to simplify the roles to a bare minimum and to place them on a table with the idea that it could look like an ascending comaprison table, which was difficult to do because of the overlap.
Upon receiving the wires, I started looking at this and immediately stripped a role for its redundancy. The next thing was a pet peeve of mine, I have always sustained that enterprise software doesn’t need to be all tables all the time, so I started playing with this and make something easily understandable and easier on the eyes, this exercise led me to create these roles based on cards and iconography.
As the work progressed, we came to the conclusion that we were throwing the user in deep water without much knowledge of what was going on and what was next, this sparked another decision that had a product-wide impact: First Time User Experience; a collection of nicely illustrated pages that explained where the user is and what comes next and how to achieve the desired results. After some testing, this was very well received by our client base and it’s how we got buy-in to do this across the platform.
Finally, I decided to get rid of all tables as even a simple comparison chart could not be achieved. The result was a flow filled with illustrations and tutorials that are easy on the eyes and simple to understand. At last, a solution that is meant for you to forget it after you’ve used it!