Shipment dashboard to strengthen client relationships

Equll Trucking Logistics

 
UX Researcher
Project Manager
Team:

Client:   Bati Tola - Equll Founder/CEO

Tools:
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Heather Curtin - Information Architect

James Burnett - Visual Designer

Challenge

 

Led UX Research and Project Management for a team of 3 UX designers on a client contract to redesign the current desktop interface from a minimum viable product into a usable platform during a 3-week agile sprint.

Equll current site 3.png

Solution 

 

Build and deliver a clickable prototype of a visual dashboard with clear hierarchy, live GPS tracking, and simplified navigation to help customers increase shipment visibility, capacity, and reliability.

Equll-GA Dashboard Mockup 1.png
 

Plan

To help guide the scope of this 3-week sprint, my first priority was to help develop a statement of work with a clear project scope, detailed deliverables agenda, and proactive communication plan to ensure all team members could collaborate effectively.

 

To ensure that all team members could easily locate and share files, I created an organized documentation folder in Google Drive. I also designed a project Trello board with cards for each deliverable to enhance visibility for key task assignments and due dates.

Equll Trello board.png

Since my teammates and client were also my users, a primary goal was facilitating timely and consistent availability of design artifacts.

As the primary client point-of-contact, I led 6 Zoom meetings with company Founder during the 3-week project.

 

To help efficiently communicate our progress on key design decisions, I built presentation slide decks for each meeting with detailed agendas, key deliverables, and next steps to build trust and transparency.

Equll client meeting 1.png
 

Research

Equll is an early-stage startup looking to become the Seattle Port's version of "Uber for Trucking": connecting truck drivers with shippers via a technology-driven platform.
 
Our team's domain research showed that with no current local competitors, the Seattle marketplace was primed for an innovative company to bank big profits by increasing logistics efficiency through digital automation in a traditionally low-tech industry.
Proven Business Model

While researching competitive business models in other markets, a standout was LA-based Next Trucking. Their featured article in Forbes showed a $500 million valuation and a rock-solid value proposition.

Next Trucking 01.png

“In 2018, the Next Trucking did almost $46 million in sales and thinks revenue could more than double this year to $120 million.”

2020.03.17 Competitive Analysis Summary.
Competitive Analysis

Researching 3 main competitors isolated 2 key features that could add value to Equll product offering: a visually appealing and functional dashboard view and a map with live GPS tracking for routes.

Creative Interview Recruiting

Working around recruiting constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic, we combined 1 provided user, snowball recruiting, and a subject matter expert for sufficient data collection.

I created an interview script digging into deeper pain points and motivations behind common daily shipment tracking tasks.

 

Data was captured through Zoom video recordings and detailed notes. Key quotes for analysis:

Equll Interview 1.png

"Any load that doesn't make it to the ship on time is memorable, because it impacts our customers."

"I pick carriers that are capable and experienced to consistently get specific jobs done."

Usability Testing - Current Site 

In order to get an accurate baseline for the current site for comparison with our new designs, I created a usability test plan, interview scripts, and conducted usability testing on 6 representative users with some experience in shipping and logistics.

As a self-described "data-dump" serving as a minimum viable product, it wasn't surprising that confusing navigation and poor error prevention caused very low initial System Usability Scores averaging 34 / 100.

 

analyze

Meet Sheri

After synthesizing interview data points with a Miro digital affinity map, a few clear trends emerged which our team used to develop our persona.

  • Valuing client relationships

  • Need to see everything in one place

  • Clear visibility of shipment status

  • Efficient communication with drivers and warehouse managers

Equll affinity map.png
2020.03.24 Persona.png
2020.03.31 Equll Concept Map v2.png
Trust is Everything

To help define a clear hierarchy of Sheri's priorities to incorporate in our designs, I created 2 iterations of a concept map.

While the first version accurately captured visibility, capacity, and reliability as core needs, our interview data helped clarify her primary goal of building client trust and confidence.

I created this final Storyboard to integrate our research into one clear scenario to drive our design process going forward:

2020.03.25 Storyboard.png
 

design

After completing research and analysis, our team started the design process by analyzing user interfaces of key direct competitors and indirect comparative services for inspiration.
Shipment Dashboard Design

When comparing to the current Equll desktop site, Dray Alliance was the competitor we kept coming back to as the benchmark for providing a clean, simple, and clear port drayage dashboard.

Yelp offered an example of an industry-leading interface for filtering and map functionality.

Dray Alliance 1.png
V1 Dashboard Wireframe
  • Columns for navigation, shipments list, details, and map

  • Color-coded statuses

  • Filtering options by time and shipping state

Shipment Details Design

Compared to the current Equll site, Dray Alliance again had a shipment details page with clear prioritization of key shipment numbers and a tracking progress bar.

Trello and Slack provided examples of industry-leading interfaces for message and activity logs.

V1 Details Wireframe
  • Prioritized shipment numbers and appointment times

  • Driver profile and rating to build trust and transparency

  • Detailed map view with route tracking

  • Billing details and activity log

Equll Ship Details 1.png
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Message Details 1.png
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prototype

Usability Test Plan

To guide our prototyping process, I created a Usability Test Script focusing on key tasks identified through our research. I made sure to include items from our team's New User Flow such as checking shipment details and contacting drivers to resolve issues.

Equll usability test script.png
Usability Testing - v1 Prototype 

Our v1 dashboard included a central list of shipments, a map with details view, and color-coded statuses. I conducted remote usability testing on 6 representative users with some experience in shipping and logistics.

The average SUS scores for our v1 prototype improved 120% over baseline from 34 to 75.

v1 testing.png
Key Iteration #1 - Nav Bar

We used testing feedback and our Card Sorting survey to improve the information architecture of the navigation bar.

 

The 3 new categories were: Account, Quotes, and Shipments.

Nav 01.png
Nav 02.png
card sort 1.png
Ship status 1.png
Key Iteration #2 - Status Visibility

We added a stronger outline to the selected shipment for increased visibility, refined the search filters, and added a "new shipment" button.

Ship status 2.png
Key Iteration #3 - Edit Buttons

Testing showed issues with the distance between the "edit" button and the information to change. Solution: increase the proximity of the button.

Edit 1.png
Edit 2.png
activity 1.png
Key Iteration #4 - Message and Activity Log

Our first round of testing showed confusion from users regarding how to contact drivers.

We added the keyword "Message", as well as adding buttons to the driver profile and color to the text box.

Usability Testing - v2 Prototype 

Our v2 prototype included updates to the left navigation bar, color-coded shipment statuses, edit buttons, and activity log.

 

After testing with 5 users, our average v2 prototype SUS scores improved 15% over v1, from 75 to 87.

v2 testing 01.png
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Final Usability Results

After completing two rounds of testing and making key changes, the final result was a huge 156% increase in qualitative usability scores over the current website.

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High Resolution Mockups
2020.04.02 Dashboard v3 02.png
2020.04.02 Shipment Details v3.png
 

Deliver

Final Handoff Presentation

​To conclude the 3-week contract, I led our team through a 40-minute Zoom presentation to showcase our work.

Resources included:

  • Shared Google Drive deliverable folder

  • PDF copies of all meeting presentations

  • UX Spec document and assets

  • Copy of Adobe XD Prototype file

  • Key deliverables and supporting documents

  • Final Adobe XD v3 Prototype Link

 

Next Steps
  • Expand contact and messaging functions

  • Build filters and search functionality

  • Build “Add shipment” flow

  • Build “Quote” flow

  • Make website design responsive

"Thank you guys for the great work. You've added a tremendous amount of value to our business. I wish we could work with you guys to build the whole project" - Bati Tola, Equll Founder/CEO

Retrospective
Our client was very happy with the quality and usability of the final product, which as a project manager is my highest priority when completing a contract. I'm confident that the prototype we developed for Equll will serve them well as they continue to build their platform in the future.
I was extremely proud of the hard work my team put into this project. We worked was as a functional team with a strong work ethic, a high level of professionalism, effective organization, and used constructive feedback when needed.