Dataminr Editorial Tools
Dataminr has a team of experts that provides brief summaries and additional context about our alerts for customers. When we first introduced the feature, we were striving for efficiency and consistency. The editorial leads had determined a template for the summaries: “[what] [where]: who].” My job was to enable the team to write these summaries as quickly as possible while maintaining the structure.
After sketching, testing, and iterating, we settled on four fields, one for each piece of the template, plus one that concatenated the fields together. The purpose of the last field was to allow the user to read the summary as a sentence and make any necessary edits.
This UI successfully enabled us to provide summaries to customers for the next three years with minor UX improvements and grew to also include a panel for secondary information.
In late 2018, we needed to add more complexity to the workflow due to business requirements and took the opportunity to rethink the design.
With the addition of secondary information on a separate panel, there was some redundancy because the editorial users needed to reference the summary while writing the secondary information.
With the redesign, we decided to combine the workflows. During our research, we learned that the fourth field that showed the combined summary was also redundant and many users would skip the individual fields to write and edit directly in the combined field. We needed to keep some fields separate because we were able to pre-populate certain information like the source but we combined and trimmed the fields as much as possible.
When the second iteration of the summary panel was released, we received very positive feedback from users. After three months of using the new UI, the team was able to reduce the average time taken to write a summary by 3-4 seconds. Our goal at Dataminr is to get alerts to our customers as soon as possible because every second counts in the industries we serve. Reducing the summary-writing workflow by a few seconds was a significant improvement.