My Contribution:

  • Visual Design
  • Interaction Design Support
  • Client Engagement Support

A contact center is an integrated communications system that coordinates all telephone and electronic contacts between an organization and the public. Contact centers can range from phone-only centers to omni-channel (phone, SMS, chat, email, social), and exist in many industries and domains. Agents at these contact centers use software to help manage and distribute lead flow, maintain customer records, and deliver their company’s message or solution efficiently and effectively. The goal of this project was to establish a solid design foundation to support customer beta and future product iteration on a reimagined contact center software product. The work here happened over the course of two projects (roughly 7 months). During Part 1, we tackled a fully integrated solution (omni-channel interaction support + CRM ‘lite’), and in Part 2, we outlined rules for integrating the experience design from Part 1 with existing CRM platforms.

Part 1: Designing the Experience


On a really tight timeline, the best way to move fast was to start making, even when requirements were only half-baked. This helped us drive conversation with our client and form a point of view. These matrices showed us that taking a stab at the unknowns was a good method for engaging with our client, and helped define product requirements.

These matrices mapped the expected feature set across each channel (voice, email, SMS, chat, social) and state (incoming, outgoing, in progress, and in wrap up) so we could identify patterns and variables across the system. As a highly configurable tool, we used these matrices to start understanding which features could appear in each state.


We learned in foundational design that a customer-centered agent interface would differentiate this tool from the channel-centered UI of the competition. The challenge, however, was finding UI patterns across all the different communication channels.

In the above model, customer interactions live in tabs, docked to the footer. We learned that this model maintains too loose a relationship between active interactions and customer record information (in the background). It also didn’t support things like full screen email editors or the ability to view script and notes at the same time on an interaction.

This model draws a tighter relationship between the active interaction and associated customer record information. By selecting a new tab in the side nav, the agent pages between interactions and customer records at once. With plenty to figure out yet, this was decidedly a more promising interaction model.


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Part 2: Integrating Gracefully with Third Party CRM platforms

While Agent Desktop has a fully integrated CRM ‘lite’, many contact centers have existing customer databases that are a pain to migrate over to other systems. These contact centers have slightly different needs in that only certain features and functionality from the Agent Desktop are really necessary. These ‘core components’, as defined in Agent Desktop, are Interaction Management, the Interaction itself, and the associated Customer Information. The challenge this time was more a question of integration with various 3rd party CRM platforms (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Zendesk, etc) than a UX/UI challenge, as we leveraged many of the flows and visual design from Agent Desktop.

We conducted a workshop to kickoff Part 2. The goal was to identify the relationship between the toolbar and the CRM. As a collaborative exercise with the client, we laid out a spectrum of integration. On one end, the CRM fully integrated into the toolbar, and on the other end, the toolbar fully integrated into a 3rd party CRM. Understanding where and how the CRM communicated with the toolbar app was critical to the interaction design. With each 3rd party CRM bringing its own set of constraints along with it, much of the teams effort went into defining breakpoints within the UI that allow the system to scale based on CRM limitations.