Kuali Ready - A Business continuity planning tool

What would you do if disaster struck? Or if you had a leak in one of your buildings and had to relocate hundreds of faculty, staff, and students? Would a university know what to do? How would they get back to business as usual?

A team of three set out to improve the experience of business continuity planning and take it to a whole new level.

How might we?


Creating the software was not just enough. For the past 2 years, Ready was experiencing a lot of churn from clients saying that Ready was not ready, no pun intended and it didn’t help them do the job that they needed it to do.

I was asked by the Director of UX to jump over and work part-time on figuring out this problem. The hypothesis was if we could design something that could solve people’s needs then we would keep Ready and the company would invest more resources in ready. If not then we would scrap it and allocate the sole developer and product manager elsewhere.

I was currently working on the CORE team which handled internal tools that all Kuali software used. Kuali Identity included login, users and group creation and, A workflow creation tool, and a form building tool which we called formbot. Yes, I was doing a lot.

So why not throw more on my plate? Because this is what I do, I tend to solve problems at a high level while creating better user experiences and I love it!

The team

George South Senior — Senior Software Developer

Terri Eikenbary — Subject Matter Expert/Product Manager

Aaron Uyehara — Senior Product Designer

I was fortunate enough to jump on a really great team that was able to collaborate and work well together.

The existing product

Discovery Phase

What we found out

Then the faculty members would go their separate ways and still have a hard time filling out the plan and plans would not get filled out.

University BCP admin would then have to handhold faculty and staff while the plan was filled out.

What was the real problem?

Types of universities and personas

This community usually has a dedicated emergency planning or admin to lead efforts.

Universities regardless of size who want to create a plan but don’t dedicate resources or efforts?

Part-time emergency planning admin with no support.

lay BCP leaders — faculty or staff that on top of their job have to fill out the plan and be an emergency preparedness leader in case something happens.

Our hypotheses

If we could validate a new design that would help BCP admin and perparers complete more plans then Kuali would invest in Ready and build it.

Inspiration struck

Design Phase



I initially used Sketch and Invision to design and prototype out wireframes. I later moved to Figma because of our rapid prototyping and validation tours we were conducting.

High Fidelity Mockups + Prototyping & Testing

Prototyping was very important for us. We were able to make quick changes due to user feedback on the fly with programs like Figma.

I switched to Figma because our design had rapidly changed. While using Invision and sketch Layout would change so quickly that I would have to go into Invision and move hot spots. This was very tedious.

While I was in Figma and user testing I made changes while I was with a customer. Figma allowed me to make changes with automatic updates.

Here’s a link to the prototype that we used to validate the latest changes.



More transparency and setting expectations really seemed to get people excited.

Buy in from Kuali

Just another kid from the L A I E. Product Designer @Kuali.co

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