Futurebase is a vision of what a modernized version of Quickbase would look like, with a visual overhaul based on our design system and improved navigation.
In January 2021, Quickbase hosted an internal Hackathon within the product organization that took place over 2 days.
There are several issues that are always at the forefront of designing at Quickbase. First, customers always like to tell us that they want to see more data on a the screen at once. Next, we often receive feedback that our platform doesn’t look or feel as modern as it should, which ties into a larger organizational OKR to make the platform more delightful. A final point of emphasis for me is that Quickbase had recently re-branded, but few of the changes would affect the product. I wanted to help future-proof the product in case more branding changes applied.
I partnered with an interaction designer and content designer. I focused on reducing the height of our navigation to give users more room for their data. With re-working the navigation coming up in the roadmap, my idea was to give the company a “north star” to head towards and show a very broad view of visual and navigation overhauls using our design system applied to our product, some of which is 20+ years old. This would also help make the UI look more consistent across different areas.
Our interaction designer focused on incorporating end-user defined navigation, whose goal was to let users access a panel from the main navigation that let them see items that they've pinned, which could be anything from charts, to buttons to start workflows, to KPI widgets from Quickbase dashboards.
On the navigation front, I was able to obtain a 48% reduction in header height, from about 200px to just under 100px. This would give users a lot more room for their data, especially if they're on smaller screens. A third of our users still use resolutions below 1280px in width.
This level of designing within 2 days? Incredible.
Quote from a senior director
Our project placed third out of eleven teams and generated a lot of excitement in internal chats. More than a year later, the work continues to be referenced by product managers as they continue to refine and finalize our roadmap.