A mobile app was designed to bridge the communication on customer requests between internal teams of a construction service company to reduce turnaround time.
The construction service company was seeing a dissatisfaction among customers due to the turnaround time on their requests; this was also affecting the company's revenue.
Understand the relationship between departments primarily involved in customer requests
Understand the workflow of each department, the challenges they face, and requirements to successfully complete their tasks
Identify areas where a majority of time is being utilized in the completion of a request
Having interviewed department managers, I identified 4 departments that where involved with customer requests: sales, implementation, production, and field service
Members of each department where interviewed to understand their role on customer requests and the interrelationship of the departments.
The sales and production departments were identified as primary roles responsible for execution of customer requests. Further interviews were conducted to understand the relationship between these departments.
I performed a thematic analysis on the responses from the interviews to identify common issues affecting the completion of requests:
Determine how to shared knowledge of department processes to different teams
Improve the effectiveness of communication to reduce wait time on issues regarding customer requests
Increase involvement of departments to improve adequate execution of customer requests
For a minimum viable product, the focus was on building a prototype with the sales and production departments needs in mind.
How might we create, or edit requests? How might we address issues on customer requests? How might we communicate to a group of people a customer update? How might we bridge the language barrier between departments? How might we provide the necessary materials? How might we get clarity on customer requests?
Iterations were sketched out to expand on the possible solutions
My solution for resolving issues is having a dedicated "Requests" section that allows for creation and/or edits to the requests (such as additional notes or documents). The requests could also be viewed all at once or filtered.
A groups tab allows for members of different departments to come together and use keywords that would help others become familiar with each others vocabulary.
I tested my wireframes before continuing and found the following issues that needed to be revised:
Affordance of components was not clear
Labels did not adhere to members mental models
Decide on design system
Select UI components: color, typography, icons
Set up prototype for testing
I wanted to follow a design system that could be used among iOS and android so it would feel familiar to the department users (decided a hybrid design approach would be best based on OS use of department members) I decided on Google's Material Design System because of it's flat design, ease of navigation, and intuitiveness.
In my revision of the wireframes, I created a separate filter tab to allow the view of a "scoped search" because of the amount of customers, requests created per customer, and departments involved that the company services. A view of the filtered criteria would keep the user informed of what they are searching, while having an easy way to eliminate a criteria.
Test prototype to reveal issues with usability
Continue developing app to optimize for team inclusiveness
Set metrics to evaluate effectiveness of app in reducing turnaround time for customer requests
Further engagement of users with the development of the mobile app would help in ensuring that it is designed to meet their needs. The challenge is that their current workload prevents them from interacting for long periods of time, meaning that I would need to focus on optimizing my research strategy to maximize on the amount of time provided for me to gather insights.
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