Re-visualizing Finning's machine analytics.
Industry Project - Centre for Digital Media
This was a 12-week project with a team comprised of five students. A full working prototype was presented to Finning Caterpillar at the end.
Scrum Master & UX Designer
Adobe XD, Sketch, Framer X
FinFleet allows CAT customers to oversee the health of their equipment and be notified of problems when they happen.
Currently, fleet managers that rent CAT equipment for their projects can access their machine data through a Finning software called Visionlink.
Although useful, it is non-intuitive and time consuming for users to find the necessary data to make informed decisions.
The ideation phase at the beginning of this project was influenced heavily from design sprint practices in which I facilitated as the scrum master.
As a team, we generated our initial solutions through an exercise known as the four-step sketch as referenced in the “The Sprint Book” by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. The exercise went as followed:
1. Notes. Twenty minutes. Silently walk around the room and gather notes.
2. Ideas. Twenty minutes. Privately jot down some rough ideas. Circle the most promising ones.
3. Crazy 8’s. Eight minutes. Fold a sheet of paper to create eight frames. Sketch a variation of one of your best ideas in each frame. One minute per sketch.
4. Solution Sketch. Thirty to ninety minutes. Create a three-panel storyboard by sketching in three sticky notes on a sheet of paper. Make it self-explanatory.
For the purpose of this 12-week project, we scoped down to focus on the user journey of one of many metrics that represent machine asset performance.
1. UX Design
Alongside the other designers, I focused on the flow of this application to allow a user to get the most pressing information they need in as little clicking as possible.
2. notifications & alerts
A pivotal role I played was iterating and developing how the most critical alerts would be presented, and in a manner that anyone could understand (tech savvy or not).
3. Scrum master & leadership
-Daily standup at the Kanban board. We assigned tasks and prioritized them in the level of importance.
-Team retrospectives. After each weekly client meeting, I would facilitate a retrospective where each team member had to write three positives regarding the overall group and three areas of improvement. This was a time to be as honest and transparent as possible to allow us as a team to deal with any issues and move forward stronger.
-Ideation Exercises. Following a scrum methodology means lots of iteration and we as a group constantly had to do this whether it was asked from the client, new features, or failed iterations. Every week we had to iterate and in doing so I facilitated exercises such as the 'four-step sketch,' 'lightning demos,' etc. These exercises from the book would limit nonproductive verbal brainstorming and create something physical as fast as possible.
-I facilitated an agile development and design team by implementing certain exercises that allowed the team to make changes quickly. These exercises included:
Challenges & Solutions
1. ConTact with the user
Due to the company's privacy concerns, we were never given direct access to fleet managers which are the users of this application.
Our assumptions had to be validated by an employee who was in contact with fleet managers. This wasn't instant and therefore made it challenging for us to iterate correctly going forward.
We looked at this challenge with a scrum mindset in which we had to adapt and act accordingly. Every week we had prepared questions that were sent to our client. They would talk to a user privately and get back to us. We learned that not every situation is perfect, and that we had to work with what we had.
2. USER Demographic
Our client stated that the majority of our users were not tech savvy and that some only used the phone for the purpose of calling others.
It was an interesting challenge, to allow creative visualizations to tell users important information at a glance, all while making it very simple to use.
Because we didn't have access to our targeted users, we got creative and tested it with people of similar demographic.
In fact, I tested the applications flow with my father who fit the demographic of our targeted user. This proved to reveal details that we overlooked initially.
3. Team bonding
The beautiful thing about the Centre for Digital Media is that you get the chance to work with others from varying backgrounds and cultures from all over the world.
Our team consisted of students from very different backgrounds and I know personally learned so much from them. That being said, we all had different work habits that all of us were unaware of going into this project.
Because we only had twelve weeks to deliver this product we had to come together in a quick and agile manner.
Every team is going to experience a speed bump here and there. For us to reduce these and move forward as efficiently as possible we instilled weekly retrospectives after our third week.
This allowed everyone on the team to voice their support, criticism, and concerns in an open and safe environment.
Sometimes things got raw, emotions were heard but everything was done in a constructive and respectful way. We became a well-oiled machine after our first couple of retrospectives. It was fascinating how effective this was for our team.