Cushman & Wakefield: My Lease

Contextual Inquiry | Primary User Research | Cognitive Walkthrough | Interactive Prototype

Cushman & Wakefield (commercial real estate company) developed new tools for both their internal team and potential clientele.  Before moving it into its second phase of development, the client wanted to audit and improve the current user-experience.

Interviewing C&W clients in their workplace

Interviewing C&W clients in their workplace

With an initial cognitive walkthrough, performing the site tasks as if I were a user, I identified inconsistencies and trouble spots in the user journey.  While this walk through was mostly superficial, it afforded me points of reference for my contextual research.  My team interviewed two internal users of the tool at Cushman & Wakefield's office in downtown Minneapolis.  I then interviewed two of Cushman & Wakefields clients at their place of work.  Keeping the users on their home turf was critical for the evaluation of this employee tool.  We found that employees were supplementing this tool with post-its, with external programs that otherwise would have remained invisible to our team.

We found that the internal tool was so new to the work flow that while having room for improvement, users were overjoyed with this new tool.

I recommended de-prioritizing this part of the design until the tool had more time to fit into the users work flows.

After conducting extensive interviews and walkthroughs with Cushman & Wakefield clients I found that the tools were actually creating distrust, and that clients didn't find the information provided by the tools to be valuable.  Both the clients I interviewed had such a depth of knowledge that they seemed to feel somewhat insulted by the tools themself.

Both users sighed and slouched through our session until they reached the "My People" survey tool where they perked up and expressly stated that they found this concept of great value.  Despite that value assessment, they grew frustrated with the overall experience of the tool itself, struggling to find their way.  I decided to prioritize a re-design of this high-value tool focusing on usability and trust building.


After building out features and a user flow, I built my client an interactive, annotated prototype in Invision.