After decades of natural expansion, key application processing systems used by patent examiners were cumbersome and slow. In addition to re-engineering the software, there was a need to unify the user interface (UI). For the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Mediabarn undertook a comprehensive user research and design exercise to improve usability.

Our Approach

Given the age of the systems, stakeholders were interviewed individually to gather concerns, desires, and requirements. To determine examiner workflow, a series of user observation sessions were completed. In addition, task-based one-on-one usability testing interviews identified numerous user interface flaws and inconsistencies that were causing substantial usability issues for examiners.

Project Results Included

Mediabarn researched UI issues with the legacy tool set and observed the patent examination workflow process. Leveraging those findings, a new interface was designed. The new interface eliminated the issues found during testing and more closely matched the tool set to actual workflow.

The Client

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting US patents and registering trademarks. Their mission statement includes “…providing high quality and timely examination of patent and trademark applications…”