NCR User Research & Usability


  • NCR Corporation (Alpharetta, GA)
  • Senior User Researcher


Problems: There were 2 main areas of research industry by product owners at NCR: better understand the people who use our software, what their needs and pain points are, and how they do their work AND validating our assumptions and designs that would be used by these people. I have done research for the Cinema, Venues, Hospitality, Travel, and Financial groups.

aloha-customer-journey.pngCustomer Journey Process of Aloha Hospitality onboarding and install process from awareness to first use. Multiple user profiles and use contexts (conversion, new site, new hw, and site upgrade) were considered.

alex_user_journey_v2.pngUser journey/scenario for site setup of Alex the IT Specialist persona for a new venue in comic book format.

User journey/scenario for site setup of Alex the IT Specialist persona for a new venue in comic book format.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 2.59.20 PM.pngAPEX Task Analysis done via Microsoft Planner (a Trello competitor). We needed a totally digital solution to do and share the task analysis since the design and product teams were completely distributed.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 2.57.04 PM.pngSample confluence page for the Cinema space that documented user research session–both site visits above and usability test sessions/results/reports below.

Techniques used:

  • Ethnographic observations of site operations and important processes.

  • Contextual inquiry into the jobs and tasks users had to accomplish.
  • Interviews with users about their roles and responsibilities and top-of-mind biggest pain points.
  • Paper prototypes of rough ideas (along with co-design to make improvements).
  • Digital prototype informal usability testing.
  • Remote & Local, Moderated usability testing of fully developed systems.
  • Mall intercept interviews and informal usability testing.

  • User modeling based on general user profile data researched over time.

  • Heuristic evaluation of legacy system usability.
  • Task analyses of workflows of all sorts of users from accountants, operations managers, IT techs, site managers and staff, and even consumers.

Research projects:

  • Interview consumers about Cinema movie-going experience through mall intercept.

  • Contextually inquire about film buying, ticket pricing, contract settlement, and vendor payment through Cinema HQ site visits.
  • Contextually inquire about/observe cash counting and deposits at venues.
  • Contextually inquire/engage in participant observation about inventory at venues by taking part in hosting a venue location for an event.
  • Informal usability testing scheduling, ticket management, and labor management with managers, and POS and labor clock in/out module with Cinema staff.
  • Usability test kiosk (in developers lab) to gain insight into what goes on in consumer’s heads as they make movie-going purchases.
  • Usability test fully developed Vision system to see how current system fits user needs and learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of NCR’s UI library.

  • Interview with Professional Services about maintaining Travel business rule systems through their APIs to inform a tool to help manage those rules.

  • Interview with Professional Services tasked with training users of hospitality back office setup.
  • Accessibility evaluations against WCAG for several hospitality products.
  • Site observation of how second makelines responsible for completing online orders in restaurants and heuristic evaluation of a digital kitchen system used for relaying such orders to staff to create an improved design for this line.

Solution & Outcomes: Three products have been brought nearly to market. Several more are under development (with one being shelved for the time being). All systems and insights (kiosk testing is a good example) have led to knowledge that has been reinvested into further system design. For a better sense of system success, would need to convince product of the important of tracking metrics being built into systems. So far, such arguments have been unsuccessful.


Timeline: >2 years

UX Methods Used: Ethnographic observation, Contextual inquiry, Interview, Prototyping, Usability testing, Heuristic Evaluation, Persona, Customer Journey, Task Analysis