Calico Cottage is a large fudge distributor based in New York. With over 50 years of experience, the company has helped thousands of retailers achieve success with a unique, in-store fudge-making program that generates high inventory turns, superior sales volume, and significant profits. Calico provides retailers with personalized fudge, hands-on training, quality ingredients, and seasonal recipes.


Tasked to take part in a digital transformation, I aimed to solve the challenge of designing an internal knowledge base that increased internal staff collaboration, communication, and productivity levels. My efforts resulted in my team developing a UX strategy and MVP knowledge base that houses business processes information, collaboration features, communication integrations, and how-to work guides.

"Elham provided us an excellent UX Audit of our Zendesk Knowledge Base that enabled us to better frame the project migration into Confluence. We appreciated her attention to detail and the process she implemented. Elham quickly became a wonderful addition to our team providing excellent technical support and project management to build a knowledge base for our client. She was dedicated to solving our client's problems and offered support above and beyond what was expected. We greatly appreciate all of her hard work and commitment and look forward to working together again in the future."

- Alexandra Lloyd, Content Developer at Conduit Business Consulting

I collaborated with the Conduit Business Consulting team to review an existing internal knowledge base for Calico. I completed a thorough UX audit of the knowledge base, its content, and new brand identity from usability heuristics to mental modeling. My conclusion led me to opportunities to improve in terms of accessibility and feedback.

The design challenge I unlocked was how to design a knowledge base that integrates silos of platforms in the company, thus, decreasing employees' burden to access multiple sources of information. In my audit, I learned that in order to impact collaboration among enterprise staff, my design had to triangulate and prioritize pain points and build trust incrementally.

To address gaps and challenges on the compatibility of the first prototype with the company's digital transformation, I created an actionable product roadmap.

During my planning stage, I designed wireframes and restructured the information architecture of the current knowledge base that best reflects the goals of the employees. My 20+ scenarios for user flows allowed us to understand the multiple touchpoints of the staff and potential bottlenecks for the adoption of certain features.

I established rapid prototyping as a central and ongoing of my design process. With all the assets that I created, I were able to communicate the intent and validate the design assumptions. It also allowed the company to view and compare variants. I used wireframes to communicate an intention to the internal stakeholders, which represented the main use case and for demo purposes. I developed an MVP in Atlassian's Confluence and made iterations based on continuous feedback.

Designing UX in an enterprise environment presented a plethora of opportunities. My audit challenged me to brainstorm solutions for accessing employees, the end-users, using focus groups with management. My interactive prototypes and user research allowed us to build trust incrementally, and therefore break silos. Scaling our design as the company scales was important to us. I set up reflexive processes such as commenting features and monitoring analytics dashboard to allow the system to adapt over time based on feedback loops that monitor staff wellness metrics.

Read more of my work

New York State Department of Health

Empowering tomorrow's youth in HIV management


Reimagining patient informed consent 

I believe that empathy and a life-centered approach drive meaningful healthcare services and powerful digital health experiences.

© 2019 Elham Ali Consultancy, LLC

A one-woman PM and UX design shop based in Los Angeles.

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