“We had to display a lot of information at once and help them make sense of it. There are many ways to do that wrong and only a few ways to do it right.”
Tools & Techniques
Understanding: Contextual inquiry, usability testing, user personas, task & user flow
Prototyping: Sketching, Invision app, Adobe XD
UI development: Nunjucks templating system, Bootstrap framework, Fontawesome icon library
Deliverables: Invision app, Git version controlling system, Gitlab Pages
A leading Distribution service in Denmark approached Synergy-IT for development of their distribution system with features to track and manage their delivery and pickup services.
The system was required to solve the problem of the service providers, operating from their central hub (Headquarters), to assign and track the assignments or tasks given to the couriers for pickup and delivery services.
Also the couriers who were on the field needed a system to perform their jobs efficiently and to get notified about the tasks assigned to them, in realtime. Thus a software system of operational excellence was requirement of the client.
The challenge was to develop a completely intuitive system to streamline client’s delivery business. The system needed to be rich with features like realtime delivery tracking and competent protocol for efficient data transfer.
Being a delivery system, it required a pickup and drop model. A smooth and effective design pathway that can be synchronised with the backend was the crucial part in developing such system.
My job was to design a tool that made their lives easy and increase productivity.
My first step was to understand how everything was working and what were the pain points for the client?, who were their users? what were their goals?
A problem well understood is half solved. That’s why research is the most important part of my process. I discovered that humans were doing hours of tedious mental labor that a computer could do for them.
The couriers were dependent on paper lists with a high probability of making mistakes. The distributors weren't aware of the state of their couriers and deliveries.
"Smart planning requires seeing the big picture and specific details at the same time."
We had to display a lot of information at once to distributors and couriers and help them make sense of it. There are many ways to do that wrong and only a few ways to do it right. I went through dozens of sketches before arriving at a solid direction.
I analysed all the requirements from clients with a consultative approach and started with crafting an intuitive delivery-driven mobile app with backend web application.
To achieve client’s expectations, we (me, project management group and developers) developed an architecture for developing a mobile app with web backend system, which would have Delivery tracking system, job management tool for courier and updates on task assignment and its completion in realtime.
While the interface would have to be flexible, it would also need to lead the user to the right conclusions. By providing contextual tips, we could cut guesswork and make the user more efficient.
One of the biggest deficiencies of the old system was that it didn’t alert users to upcoming issues. It didn’t offer any help solving them, either. These were major pain points for them.
The Finished Product
The project is live now with 2500+ couriers using the app to perform their jobs, while distributors can monitor their performance and help them out in case of any roadblocks. On ground testing has gone great. I’ve designed solutions to their big problems, plus enhancements they didn’t knew they needed.
The app resulted in operational excellence in delivery and pickup services of the client business. The distributors & couriers processes got automated which resulted in saving lot of time and streamlined the complete process to keep the delivery tracking in realtime. This lead to enhanced customer experience and streamlined processes of operations.