Gonzalo Vásquez - Portfolio

FRAUD MANAGEMENT TOOL

The FMT platform (Fraud Management Tool) was my first assignment upon entering to Equifax, and I didn’t have any idea of what it was coming. The application would be a huge tool to help to detect and prevent fraud to different companies and business like banks, insurances, Telcos, etc.

For this project was assembled a full new agile team (devs, test engineers, tech lead, product owner and me, the ux guy).

01. A DIFFICULT START

We started for defining the product from a B2B point of view, the necessity was already given by the customer which were demanding to our company a solution for detection and prevention of fraud which is one of the biggest issues for companies that deals with huge consumers DDBB and for who works with financial information around the world.

At first, all of the work was made with the Product owner, Daniel Basterrica, both for conceptual design and information architecture. But before that I had to fully understand all the concepts related with the business and the technology like PII, KFE, in18, cases, hot list, scores, attributes, and a long etc. For me, most of the things became clearer with the visit of the product managers from Canada and Peru, countrties where the application was set to have the first release and implementation. They gave us their vision of the problem, the technical challenges and the main of the product.

02. IDEATION

About last point, the team generated a documentation base with the important information, the features of the road map and product portfolio, there was still a lot of information to be validated both from the IA point and from the technology, not to mention the massive responsibility placed on the team, it was the first time that an application of this kind would be built from scratch within the SDC.

The first stage was directed by Pablo Ganga, who is now working at Amazon, Seattle WA. Pablo was big influence in my role and tasks, he gave me a simple and solid assignment, “I need something new and different from everything that we have built so far, something clean and appealing”.

In order to make sense we introduced to the team the idea to work with proto-personas, the developers had never seen something similar, but it helped to create the user stories from a human perspective, about what that person needed. I have to thank Daniel for given me the space for intervened with these artifacts and for trusting in my work.

From this point, it came up the first ideas. Nothing certain, just simple ideas aligned with the product needs and what we thought the client and users would expect from it. I have to confess that I was still feeling like floating in a sea of information and concepts too technical for me. I was coming from an agency environment working with many designers, in here I was the only one and I was surrounded by people with an engineering background, so much different from my previous experiences.

Then we started to refine de ideas for what the product owner was requiring; it was a long stage of many different versions, revisions and iterations. Many new features were emerging from the work with the PO, many things that hadn’t been though, some ideas went to production and other to the backlog until further notice.

At this stage we had a good vision in which direction we would go, I had more understanding with the team and my managers and the stakeholders were happy with my work.

The dashboard was a good idea at that time, assuming that we would have a supervisor profile which would be in charge of the team’s fulfillment in the goal of fraud detection, in addition he would have exclusive information to review cases with lack of data and thus an analyst couldn’t work on it and take decisions. Being a dashboard, this would offer team’s metrics, what is done and what task are on hold, delayed or missing, at the same it would suggest some improvements. This was an attractive idea for many stakeholders, an idea that it would have to wait in the backlog until the dev team had the capacity.

03. SEARCHING

The search feature was thought as a smart help with assistance in context, we took as a reference what amazon does and we applied a similar concept adapting it to our needs. The idea of how it was supposed to work was explained trough quick and simple prototypes, with animation included, so in this way the devs could fully understand everything that was going on. It was worked inside of the team as a POC (probe of concept) with the basic features thinking in to going adding the rest of the stuffs in the next sprints.

Finally, we started to come to an agreement about the first wireframes that would be implement it because all that time the rest of the team was building the back-end architecture and features.

04. VISUAL DESIGN

With the implementation I started to develop the first visual designs concepts of the UI, at the same time I leave the FMT team and was definitely transfer to the global UX team, which was awesome, but I lost the daily contact with the project since I had to star helping in other teams. On the other hand, it was good that I could started to work in the UI with the help and feedback of my UX team and also I began to work in the front-end code refining details for the first release.

My biggest pain was to learn Liferay, I had never use it and in the CSE almost all the applications were running on top of it, and as usual all the platform was develop to work with Liferay. So I had to learn all the necessary to be able to work with the workflow for the front-end files, it was a hard thing to learn because its way to integrate with Tomcat and Maven. But again, thanks to my team’s help and my manager Paula Bahamonde, who has a great knowledge of Liferay I was able to get better and everything was simpler.

05. WHAT I LEARNED

Being this my first assignment when I arrived to Equifax I feel that many things could have been done in a better way. It was a lot to learn from a development point of view, technologies which I had never worked with that made me hard to start working. I feel that the fact that many things were already defined from the product view forced us to attack only certain problems and to close the search for possible solutions, there was no time for experiment neither prototype all that I wanted. Finally, I think the project could have had a greater benefit if I would have keep working closely with the FMT team developing and designing side to side, instead of started to work externally from the UX team. Although this had some advantages, for example, I could start to work within new projects, different tasks were assigning it to me and all this helped to my growth.

Much of the designed and documented wasn’t implemented by the development team in the best way, either because it wasn’t possible at that time or for bad practices, it’s an item that we should constantly take in consideration improving it with better documentation, prototypes and better communication. Currently, the platform is in its third release and is being use in four countries. The new features and issues are being handled for the entire UX team in a complementary way.

Thanks for reading.

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