Shipment dashboard to strengthen client relationships
Equll Trucking Logistics
Client: Bati Tola - Equll Founder/CEO
Heather Curtin - Information Architect
James Burnett - Visual Designer
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
“In 2018, the Next Trucking did almost $46 million in sales and thinks revenue could more than double this year to $120 million.”
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:
"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.
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
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:
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.
V1 Dashboard Wireframe
Columns for navigation, shipments list, details, and map
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High Resolution Mockups
Final Handoff Presentation
To conclude the 3-week contract, I led our team through a 40-minute Zoom presentation to showcase our work.
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
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