D.A.R.T.S. is a shipping and receiving app designed to ensure accurate parcel delivery, reduce loss from damaged items, and improve carrier rates by identifying top performers. I joined the project just in time for an MVP launch and worked to improve the user experience and design new features for upcoming releases.

Design Thinking

To get up to speed I developed personas based on some field research, contextual inquiries, and interviews at the nearest warehouse. The project was internal to WWT so it was easy to drive to a site and talk to people. Due to the nature of their work, the users had several physical limitations requiring special consideration. Things like safety glasses, work gloves, warehouse noise, no "work space", and bulky device cases made using technology much harder.

Part of the redesign involved leveraging a mobile-first approach so users wouldn't need to carry bulky iPads on forklifts or while pushing dollies. I created large, touch friendly icons and action items, added a dedicated keypad for improved focus and accuracy, and drew custom icons relevant to the tasks at hand.

I also mocked up a driver check-in flow to streamline checking in. The current model involved drivers flagging a worker down to be added to the queue which caused frustration and interrupted jobs being done. Additionally, I designed an admin panel to track the queue and access damage metrics which were key to negotiating carrier rate contracts.

Overview of mobile-first screen designs

Mockup for kiosk and smartphone check-in flow

Detailed view for check-in questions

Web-based dashboard detailing truck queue

App view showing data entry for damaged items

Code Contributions

I paired with another developer for a few days to build a functional prototype with Angular 2.0. We were able to do a complete rebuild and get the app in front of users to validate this design direction. My specific contributions were the HTML and CSS for the app as I was not overly familiar with Angular at the time.

His designs clearly articulate the value a user will get out of each interaction with the page. Working with Brendan was a treat. In three days of pairing, we were able to redesign the entire application and put forward a working prototype.

Johnny Steenbergen

Developer, Asynchrony Labs

Learning Moments

D.A.R.T.S. was a fun project to work on. I loved being out with the users and getting a feel for their jobs. They aren't "digital natives" and had a certain apprehension about using an app to do their jobs. Initially they were hesitant to be critical of the app because they weren't sure what to say about it. But as I built rapport by talking shop and asking questions they really warmed up and started giving me very honest feedback.

On a personal note, I felt like a little fish joining Asynchrony and was very intimidated when I was assigned to this project. This was my first job with "UX" in the title so it took some time for me to warm up and start trusting my process. The UX team at Asynchrony was awesome to work with. The designers were critical but encouraging and I'm very grateful for my time there!

Brendan is a talented, thoughtful UX and interaction designer. I am convinced he can learn and master any skill or practice to make himself a UX thought and practice lead.

Kate Chadha

Research Practice Lead, Asynchrony Labs