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Company: Google
Role: User Research, UI/UX, Frontend Development

Month Savings
January $100
February $80
Priority Queue Management (PQM) is an internal workflow tool at Google that helps the Enterprise Support team to prioritize and manage their cases effectively. It interfaces with Salesforce API to get the details of case records and then uses an algorithm to determine and display the most important cases for the team member to focus on. Managers and team can also adjust the algorithm based on their preferences.

Month Savings
January $100
February $80

pqm-mock

Priority Queue Management (PQM) is an internal workflow tool at Google that helps the Enterprise Support team to prioritize and manage their cases effectively. It interfaces with Salesforce API to get the details of case records and then uses an algorithm to determine and display the most important cases for the team member to focus on. Managers and team can also adjust the algorithm based on their preferences.

I’m the designer on this project, overseeing all the design aspects from conducting user research and usability study, the visual design to the frontend development. It replaced the legacy Salesforce system as the de factor workflow tool for the global support team of about 700 users.

Legacy System Painpoints

Before PQM, the Enterprise Apps support team used the Salesforce case queue view as their main workflow screen. The support agents and managers reported the following key system inefficiencies and painpoints in the system:

Lack of Prioritization

The Salesforce UI displays cases in a reverse chronologically order as new cases come in, which does not accurately reflect the priority and the value of the case. This causes a severe problem on days when there are high case volume, as the older cases may get buried and left for a long time before someone works on them, impacting the Service Level Agreements and KPIs.

No Overview and Metrics

When there is a case backlog, a team lead would usually go through the queue and delegate cases to team members. There is no way for the team lead to get an overview of the state of the support queue or find out more information of the case without going into individual cases.

Cherrypicking of Cases

There is a problem where some support agents pick easier cases to work on in order to boost their productivity metric. They would spend substantial amount of time going through queue, opening up the cases and choosing the ones that require less effort. This amounts to a large amount of valuable time being wasted and have a bad effect on team morale.

Key Design Features

pqm-reduce-information-overload
Only the most useful case information is shown, headings are omitted and non-English cases are represented by flags
Reduce Information Overload

I conducted extensive user studies with the support agents and team leads to find out what information are most useful to them. In PQM, case are displayed according to their priority level with only details that users find most useful, such as the summary, progress of the case and action needed. Colors differentiation and labels are used to highlight cases that require special attention.

Overview and Metric

The case statistics provide an overview of the support queue health to team leads and managers. Below the case stats, productivity metrics is displayed to incentivize and motivate support agents. Support agents can review their stats to ensure that they’re on track to meet their quarterly OKRs.

Easily Accessible Case Updates

The latest information in the case can be accessed on the page without having to go into the case individually. This allows agents to get a better understanding of the case easily and makes it easier for team leads and managers to delegate cases.

Highlight Top Cases

To prevent support agents from feeling being overwhelmed on days when there are many cases in the support queue, only the five most important cases are shown for team member to focus on. Team lead is able to change the number in setting.