Contextual Inquiry – Rapid Prototyping – Invision
The Quick Read
Dispatch Inc. is a package delivery service that utilizes independent contractors and proprietary software to manage hundreds of deliveries a day in 28 markets around the country. They came to my team looking for a strategy to move forward on with a new prototype software that was already in development by Foundry. Through a Cognitive Walkthrough and Contextual Inquiry we were able to find pain-points in the current and future software. We then split up and individually ideated on features that would increase work place efficiencies.
Here you’ll see that I created an embedded chat service, simplified sort/filter options, individual order comments, and driver tracking. All help the Customer Service Team stay on task and get work done faster.
TOOLS & METHODS
The Full Story
THE ISSUE AT HAND
How can a small start up take over the country’s fastest growing markets. In the hyper competitive package delivery space where is there room for innovation? Can we help create the most efficient work flow out there? We think yes, read on to learn more.
Dispatch Inc came to my design team with a big question. They had been using the same custom software package since start-up and the potential for improvement was glaring. They had already worked with Foundry to have a fresh prototype designed that would take care of some of the challenges at hand. We were brought on to compare the current dashboard to that prototype through a cognitive walkthrough and then went on site to run a contextual with their Customer Success Team (CST) in their offices on Bloomington, MN.
Some of our initial assessments were spot on, and some… not so much. The following case study will delve into the process, analysis, insights, prototypes and final thoughts.
With a Cognitive Walkthrough I evaluated if the order of cues and prompts in the existing prototype reflect the way a novice user might anticipate tasks and process next steps. Shown below as an annotated chart the user can walk through steps and see how whether a process is simple to follow, has opportunity for improvement or is challenging to the user to the point where they may choose to close the application or create a work around. With this analysis in hand my team visited the corporate office to engage with members of the CST team. In three teams of two we spent 30 minutes watching employees work in the current dashboard at their desks and another 30 minutes in a conference room with the prototype walking through the steps we had found in the walkthrough. Our time was well spent. The knowledge gained allowed my team to move forward, each building a prototype from the information they received and then coming together in the end to find the common threads to work from.
My take away from the interviews was that there was potential to add an internal communication and comment tool. Both the current dashboard and prototype could stand the addition of these and all those interviewed mentioned how helpful that would be. I designed and added an API embedded chat function to the dashboard that allows CST employees to reach out to lead drivers around the country to solve issue and urgent order matters without leaving the dashboard. Previously the employee would have several chat tabs open and this took care of that. Those chats and other comments could be auto saved to the order history for future reference.
Another big feature add was simplifying the sort/filter tools on the dashboard. Now the top left area filters while the column headers sort. It is a slick and intuitive process. The CST employees had a large number of workarounds for these tasks. Building them into the app will save valuable time and money.
Here you can scroll through some of the new features made. For a more full view and guided tour please visit: https://invis.io/83TX31FCF2E
What a pleasure to work on this project for such an inspiring up and coming company. It was also a good learning experience to put the user at the front of any analysis and not assume knowledge of a workflow. I look forward to seeing Dispatch grow and to see what changes if any they decided to build into their new dashboard.