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Xerox FreeFlow Print Server

User Experience Design

Xerox FreeFlow Print Server

Xerox FreeFlow Print Server (formerly DocuSP) is a workflow and color management application for Xerox production printers. Its function is to control the printer and it does the majority of the processing required to prepare a document for printing.

Problem

Although the Xerox FreeFlow Print Server was designed to pair with Xerox production printers, it was not the only controller application available in the market. Competitive controllers were being purchased more often because they were perceived as easier to use with “good enough” color out of the box; while the FreeFlow Print Server was considered to be very powerful but overly complex to use.

Solution

Our team initiated user research to learn more about why the Xerox FreeFlow Print Server was overly complex to users and what features were lacking. Activities included analysis and use of the competitive solutions as well as focus groups with Xerox analysts who supported customers with both the Xerox and competitive controllers. The results of this research informed the design direction and feature prioritization for Version 6 of the software. I designed the Advanced Preview (also called Soft Proof) feature in this version, as the lack of high resolution preview capabilities was uncovered as a source of dissatisfaction in our research.

Results

The release of FreeFlow Print Server, Version 6 was hailed as a significant improvement and saw a 10% market share increase for Xerox over its competitors in this space.

Focus Groups

FreeFlow Print Server Focus Group ReportI helped plan two rounds of focus group discussions with internal Analysts (Xerox employees who supported customers in the low-end production and commercial graphics printing environments who had experience with FreeFlow Print Server as well as its competitors). I participated in the sessions, taking notes and produced the reports for each. Information from the first focus group was used to define priorities for features and design direction. The second focus group was used to validate and refine the new design and features.

Competitive Analysis

FreeFlow Print Server Competitive AnalysisIn parallel with the focus groups, I took an in-depth look at one of the competitive controllers (my colleague analyzed the other) to understand how it differed from our product. We set up the controllers in our print room; submitted and modified a variety of print jobs to experience all the functionality. I created detailed Visio diagrams of all the workflows and then focused on specific features preferred by the focus group participants. Our team then used this information, along with the focus group data, to refine our strategic design direction and new features.

Wireframes

FreeFlow Print Server WireframesThe design process for the Advanced Preview feature culminated in the delivery of a formal Screen Design and Behavior Specifications document that was then used by the development team to implement the feature. It is a very detailed wireframe that includes workflow, state changes, images and labeling used in the design.
Advanced Preview Screen Design and Behavior Specification

Core competencies: Competitive Analysis, User Testing, Focus Groups, Wireframing, Behavior Specifications, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Agile Development Process