Tiffany O'Keeffe
UX Designer

Software Release Planning

Ensuring seamless release of software updates


An education software development company based in Dublin


Service Designer


This project aimed to address low user adoption rates and negative feedback following a recent update in the learning technology industry. By conducting workshops and research, we identified gaps in the client's release management processes and created a comprehensive framework, including a Community Engagement Strategy Document, Product Rollout Plan, and Service Map, to facilitate effective collaboration and ensure positive reception, easy adoption, and proper support for future product updates.

A client in the learning technology industry expressed concerns over low user adoption rates following a recent update. They received negative feedback from customers, with some of them stating they weren’t aware of the changes and requesting to roll back to the previous version.

One of the causes identified was the lack of communication between their overseas-based marketing and client engagement teams and their locally based product and development teams.

This incident prompted the client to review their current release management processes. They sought help to establish a clear-cut system and ensure the product – whether it’s an update or a new piece of software – is received positively, adopted easily, and that support systems are in place.

I was one of two service designers for this project. We conducted experience mapping workshops with the client’s product and development teams to better understand their current processes and identify where the gaps lie. We studied their existing release plan and made recommendations based on our research and industry best practices.

Service Design for Software Release Planning

A portion of the Software Release Service Map

We produced the following documents to help the client's teams work together and more efficiently in their release planning.

  1. Community Engagement Strategy Document - Ensures the end-user receives all the information needed to successfully use and understand a new product.

  2. Product Rollout Plan – Provides a high level overview of the steps and stages the client’s product, development, marketing and client engagement teams should go through within each phase of the rollout.

  3. Service Map – Supplements the Product Rollout Plan. It illustrates the journey the client takes in the event of a new product release. It captures the local and overseas teams’ experience, end-user’s experience, and artefacts at pre-rollout, rollout, and post-rollout phases.