As a robust continuous integration tool that works seamlessly with Github, CircleCI has always been hugely popular with developers, but a year ago the tool was doing little to support the needs of anyone else in the enterprise.
Managers or executives who wanted broader views across the code base to gain operational insights, see how teams were performing, and to gauge the status of projects over time couldn’t really get what they needed. Additionally, payment for CircleCI was tied to a user’s Github account, which was problematic for larger companies where an accounts payable person might be responsible for paying for services but may not have any idea what Github is.
While none of these issues was keeping CircleCI from growing, when the company’s CEO came to Hero Digital, he made it clear that CircleCI needed to better support multiple types of users, and broaden its offering beyond Github in order to position the company for where the market would be in a year.
We began by interviewing existing CircleCI customers to find out what was working and what wasn’t, and where there were obstacles to adoption. From there we built various personas for both existing and aspirational users, including developers, engineering managers, and high-level executives. That research indicated that making CircleCI more visual and improving user interaction could help broaden the tool’s appeal, and that adding analytics and expanding CircleCI beyond Github to include other code repositories would deliver new users and revenue streams.
Guided by that research and working closely with product and development teams, Hero Digital overhauled the tool’s user interface and visual design to create clean, pleasing UI that supports users’ needs for data density and easy scan-ability.