Cognitu 3.0

Case Study


My role in this project was UI & UX designer. I conducted a site audit
and carried out user research to discover pain points. I also redesigned the interface.👊🏾



Before we can dive into the problem, we have a bit of backstory to cover.👇🏾

Cognitu is a web 2 print platform (SaaS), converting static artwork into dynamic templates.

This allows users of any skillset to customise documents in a browser, or fully automate artwork generation.


Now the problem.


Cognitu is old, hasn't been updated in ages, and it is a user experience nightmare.

Cognitu also has a bit of a crisis of identity as it does a bit of everything, which makes

it hard to define what it truly is. For example👇🏾


• A bit of a DAM (Digital Asset Management)

• A bit of website hosting (clients host their online store on Cognitu for their print material)

• A SaaS with strong RBAC (Role Based Access Control)

• A bit of something else🤷🏾



Research & Discovery


I conducted interviews with clients and colleagues using Cognitu to get a better understanding

of where Cognitu meets their needs, and where it fell short.👇🏾


Colleague & Client Pain Points

• Simple actions take more clicks than needed e.g. 4-5 clicks to add a new user to a site

• Confusing layouts

• Redundant/broken functions

• Inadequate error reporting


Business Pain Points

• Losing contracts to competitors

• Struggling to onboard clients onto areas of Cognitu that generate the most revenue

• A lot of responsibility sits within the dev/templates team


As a system administrator on Cognitu, I found it to have a strong RBAC system.

However the interface made functions more difficult to understand. Too many clicks were required

for relatively simple actions, such as adding users, deleting templates etc.

There were a lot of redundant functions that should have been removed. Instead, they lead to

error screens with no explanation. There was also a lack of ownership and responsibility on clients

for managing their site, down to the most basic of functions like adding users.


Cognitu could be split into three modules to cover the entire functionality of the SaaS.

This would limit the amount of options available and make navigation as a whole a lot smoother.


1️⃣ Implementation/developer tools - this would cover the front and backend of all our client's sites, including

what functions would be available to them. e.g. payment processes, chatbots etc


2️⃣ Client tools (customer portal) - this would be the clients print shop where they can manage stock levels, add

and remove staff and amend role based access for employees.

We can also extend this tool to account managers


3️⃣ Pre-press tools - managing print queues and batching

By transfering some of the function that are currently the responsibility of the dev/impementation team

on to customers, will give them a greater sense of ownership of their products. This would also free up

dev/implementation teams time to focus on improving and implementing newer features faster.


‍The mind map below covers the complete functionality of Cognitu, however I have divided the functions

across the three new modules. Doing this has allowed me to improve the information

architecture and ensure users only see what they need to.





Cognitu's navigation was based on drop down lists but there

were too many options which made navigation laborious for users.


We opted for a sidebar navigation that allowed the user to see contextually relevant

information when they needed to - primary and secondary selection states

help the user better navigate the sidebar.

As mentioned previously, simple functions take longer than they should on Cognitu.

These processes take the same amount of steps to start and the same amount to end.

For example if a site manager wanted to add/remove a users the amount of steps it would take to start

that process would be the same amount to end it, therefore actions take twice the time adding to cognitive load.


Extra Bits + The Wrap-up


A great starting project for me as I'm at my best when I'm solving complex problems


A quick recap on what went well and what I would improve in the future

Good bits

• Wearing multiple hats to find a solution

• My understanding of the project and the users needs


This needs some work

• Adding animation & Video to flesh out the Case study

• More of a focus on research for better insights

• iteration based on user feedback


Thank you!


Overall, I had a lot of fun working on this as I spent a lot of time working directly with this product!

Currently I'm looking to join a design team to work on awesome products and solve really cool problems

with great people. If you are hiring, or know someone who is. please reach out @


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