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Timeline: April - May 2023, 5 weeks

Tools: Figma / Miro / Photoshop

Role: UX / UI Designer

Responsive web design to manage The Linnean Society of Londons’ services


The Linnean Society of London is the oldest natural history society in the world. They offer professional membership, research materials, lectures and education to name a few of their services. Their current CRM system is outdated, difficult to navigate and lacks the utility needed to successfully run their wide range of services.

The problem

The key features that the current CRM system offers is membership and committee management, mailing lists and event booking. Staff uptake of the current CRM system has been poor because they feel that it is difficult to use and does not give them the utility they need. The CRM system needs to cover all of The Societys’ services. The platform must also provide the utility that staff need in a simple, intuitive and user friendly interface.

Initial tests

Staff members who were familiar with the current CRM system often took over 46 seconds to identify the feature or information they were looking for. Within each of these searchers users performed an average of 2 back clicks due to incorrect paths being followed.

The process


  • User interviews

  • Affinity maps


  • Personas

  • User journey map

  • Task flow

  • Information architecture


  • Wireframes

  • Style tile

  • UI design

  • Component library

  • Prototype

Usability Testing

  • Usability testing

  • Iteration

Current system

key points for redsign were identified by reviewing the current CRM system.


The spread sheet layout of large amounts of data is tedious. The excessive use of grey scale is not engaging. The universal association of the colour red with making an error, misplaces its use within this design.The icons also feel outdated.


The vast majority of members profiles are incomplete thus prohibiting the membership networking utility of the system. This lack of engagement would also suggest that this outward facing part of the system is either redundant or not fit for purpose.


The meaning of many of the user interactions are unclear. There is also no colour, size or shape consistency for the buttons and many other interactions.


The presentation of data is overwhelming, making it difficult for users to interpret and formulate any actions.


Staff access all the features through a hidden menu option called “admin”, located under a drop down menu when selecting the profile icon.key functions of these features are then further buried within more drop down menus.

The solution

I asked myself if the system could be modernised by restructuring the sitemap, giving users easier access to information and features, better data visualisation and clearer user interactions. Additionally, a greater reconsideration of the memberships utility of the system should be explored.

High level design goals

  • Produce a modern, user friendly interface

  • Present data in an interpretable formate

  • Reduce the sitemap complexity


I identified two areas of research that would be critical to the project’s value proposition:

Primary research

User research to understand the staff and memberships experience of the current system.

Secondary research

Reviewing CRM system design patterns to implement the latest in design trends. 

User research affinity mapping

I conducted five user interviews to understand how key users are currently using the CRM system and what pain points they are experiencing.

Key findings

The CRM systems purpose is to manage the membership, receive payments and present useful data on all the societies activities. Users are currently utilising many of the functionalities but admit that the tools are not very good. The existing mailing list, map, events, membership, and committee members functions needed to be redesigned. New functions that were needed included office management, room hire and collections. The main users of the system were staff members, whom required their own unique functionality from the system.

“I think it would be much easier if I was able to select only the items I would want to see on my homepage.”

Mark, research participant #2


The designs sought to fulfil the needs of 1 key persona. "The Staff Member" wants the CRM system to be fully integrated with their activities to help speed up and inform their work. They want simple personalised functionality around regular tasks undertaken, such as easier access to well-presented statistics related to their job.

Site map

The CRM systems information architecture had critical information and functionality buried at lower levels, making it difficult to access and use. The site map was redesigned to be flat, in order to give users access to information they needed as quickly as possible.

Task flow

“Building a personalised dashboard” user flow was designed so that staff members could personalise the homepage for their unique use of the system.

User flow

This user flow enables staff members to personalise their dashboard to suit their individual needs.

Ideation and design

The Society already had its own logo and branding guidelines. The Society logo was used, however, their current colour pallet was not fit for purpose. The CRM system redesign was only for internal use and so a new colour pallet was selected.


Roboto, a very recognisable and trusted font, was chosen because of its wide and accepted use. This easy to read font is also readily available on many platforms and so would be easier to implement for The Society.

Color palette

In order to ensure that the critical information stood out and was engaging, all the statistics were displayed in bright colours set on a white background. Each card was delineated by thin calming green outlines.


Low fidelity wireframes were produced through careful examination of the current CRM system and modern design patterns. Wire frames were produced to cover the full range of features that staff needed. These features were grouped together on separate cards.

Component library

The component library was populated as I created the high fidelity designs. This method helped to increase the speed at which I could create each subsequent card.

High fidelity design

At this stage I revisited my user research key findings to ensure that my designs addressed “how I might”:

Enable users to personalise their dashboard by selecting only the cards with the grouping of features and information that is relevant to their roles.

Create new functions that are needed such as room hire and collections management.

Improve the management of the membership by highlighting fellows, providing engaging membership exploration, with a global map, and access to society wide membership data.

Present useful data on all the societies activities, such as providing accessible data on all the activity related to their collections.

Incorporate all the necessary suggestions and iterations needed to create new functions, such as a building and office management system.

Usability testing

Usability tests were conducted with the following goals:


  • Are users able to personalise and edit their dashboard?

  • Are users able to organise their dashboard?

  • Are users able to identify which cards they would populate their dashboard with?

  • Do the cards have all the information that staff need to guide actions in their roles.


Test subjects found the cards to be modern and clean. The information was fit for purpose and was easy to understand. Test subjects were able to successfully complete all the user flow tasks.

Identified revisions

The following revisions were card specific and suggested by the member of staff to whom the card was relevant.




The circle toggles were not clear and so these were changed into buttons. The feature “Collections” did not make sense and so it was removed. Additional utility was still needed and so the following features were added: reprographics, online collections, enquiries, tours, readers, environmental tags.




It was critical that the event organiser could easily see the split between revenue from ticket sales versus donations and so this information was made available. The event organiser wanted to know where the event was being held. With this in mind, icons were created to show if the event was online, on site or in the field.

Mailing list



The date range for the information being shown was unknown and thus was confusing. A drop down menu was included in the top right hand corner that would allow users to select a date range for the emails that wanted to be seen. Link clicks were removed a replaced with a wider understood term called “Events”. Events is a term used by GA4 and it covers a wider range of interactions that a user could have with the received mail, such as scrolling down a page. The email engagement was changed to show total averages of all mail sent. The data that is being shown is related to the email that had been selected from “Sent mail”, however this was unclear. To make this clearer the selected mail is now highlighted with an orange fill.

Room hire



The arrows for each of the rooms data were moved to right hand side to enable the data to be more easily read.




“Total sales” felt ambiguous to the office manager, who felt that “Total revenue” made more sense. The “Average revenue” was of no use either, however it was felt that the loss of earnings from returns, damaged goods, refunds, missing items should be accessible and so it was changed to “Actual loss” to take account for these events.

New design tests

After the redesign staff members took over 17 seconds to identify the feature or information they were looking for. Within each of these searchers users performed 0 back clicks. The new design was 63% more efficient for users.


The greatest challenge of this project was understanding how to succinctly group the societies different services together on cards that had all the necessary functionality needed for the relevant staff members to do their jobs. Taking my time in the beginning of the project to understand the society and its different services helped me to know where to delineate one area of work from another, in order to produce useful cards with the correct information and utility. There is a considerable amount of designing yet to be done for this CRM system as there are a number of different user flows that can be created for each of the cards.

Looking forward

It is important to note that the implementation of this redesign would be incredibly difficult for the current CRM system provider or the society who does not have the money to pay for it to be developed. The purpose of the design was to help guide the society into new ways of thinking about their CRM system, their data and how they might want to approach a large scale CRM system update in the future.

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