Jeffery DeJong

Smart locker

Overview

A secure app locker with inventory managment for field service engineers. Used globally, it was available for both iOS and Android and translated into eight languages.

I was responsible for improving the experience of collecting parts from the locker.

Research

A limitation of this project was not being able to contact users. Instead we had to learn about their needs and behaviours indirectly through video recordings and other means.

Initial concerns

  • App was unintuitive and required costly training to learn how to use.
  • Users had to go to two different places in the app to collect a package.
  • Engineers were choosing incorrect actions to complete a task, resulting in bad data on the system.
  • Engineers weren't always confirming collection of packages by scanning them out of the locker, resulting in bad inventory data.
  • Engineers weren't always able to tell which locker door had opened.
  • Inaccessible to a diverse range of people.
  • Usability suffered in inclement weather conditions.
  • App design didn't match the company's brand identity.

Observations

  • While sitting with customer support, I overheard an engineer struggling to describe which locker they were having problems with. There was no system for identifying a specific locker. This confirmed a previous assumption that we needed a standard means of identifying lockers within a locker bank.
  • Watching video footage of an engineer opening a locker, the engineer had to place their phone in the locker, or put it in their pocket, between steps of the collection task. This limitation was also identified during task modelling.

Task modelling

  1. Engineer
    • I’ve received notification of a problem and…
      • I’m told what parts I need and…
      • I know what parts I need and…
      • I don’t know what parts I need and…
    • I’m in the middle of fixing a problem and I realise I need a specific part and…
    Location
    • …I’m at a location with a locker.
    • …I’m at home.
    • …I’m in a vehicle (moving).
    • …I’m at a job site without a locker and can’t leave.
    • …I’m somewhere else.
  2. Parts

    Find the correct parts on the system…

    Location
    • …near to where I am now.
    • …near to where I need to be.
    • …enroute to where I’m going.

    Insights

    • Help the user find the correct part quickly – search by description (eg: 1/2” screw with hex head) or taking a photo of part (using computer imaging)
    • Don’t assume a location - provide smart options
    • Connect with map/journey planning functionality
  3. Reserve

    Order the part at a specific location.

  4. Travel

    Find and travel to the locker (if not already there).

    Insights

    Connect with map/journey planning functionality.

  5. Unlock with phone

    Unlock the locker door using the phone app.

    Insights

    This is a point of failure. What alternative mechanisms are available? Could we remotely open a locker?

  6. Lockers

    Find the correct door.

    Insights

    Help the user find the correct door.

  7. Opened

    Open the door.

    Insights

    Accessibility issues. Example: can the engineer reach the door?

  8. Packages

    Find the correct packages.

    Insights

    Some lockers contain several brown packages with whitelabels and barcodes on them. Users need help to find the correct package. Possible options include augmented reality to scan the barcodes to help identify the correct package.

  9. Package

    Remove the packages from the locker.

    Insights

    The height of the locker and weight of a package may affect an engineer’s ability to collect it. Leverage information about the package and the user to select an appropriate locker on delivery, or alert user if potentially problematic.

  10. Scan package

    Confirm receipt of packages.

    Insights

    How will the system handle damaged or missing labels?

  11. Closed

    Close the locker door.

    Insights

    What happens if there is no data connection to sync data?

Considerations

I prepared a set of factors to apply to various stages of the task.

Environmental conditions

Weather
Dry
Light rain
Heavy rain
Rained
Snowing
Snowed
Temperature
Very hot
Hot
Mild
Cold
Very cold
Noise
Quiet
Loud
Light
Sunlight/bright
Overcast
Sunrise/sunset
Dark/poorly lit
Wind
None
Mild
Windy
Very windy
Area
Wet floor
Icy ground
Sandy
Animals
Geckos
Bears
Monkeys
Insects
Cockroaches
Mosquitos
Flies

Locker

Dimensions
Height
Width
Depth
Access
Blocked
Site Access
Open
Restricted
Blocked
Door
Damaged
Jammed
Won’t open
Others
Above
Below
Beside

Device

Type
Mobile
Tablet (Kiosk)
Alternative Access
Data
None
Mobile Patchy
Mobile Strong
Mobile Problem
WIFI
Battery
Okay
Low
Empty
Condition
Okay
Damaged screen
Unusable
Bluetooth
None
Off
On 3
On 4 LE / 5

User

Dimensions
Very short
Average height
Very tall
Obese
Assistance
Glasses
Crutches
Walking frame
Wheelchair
Support animal
Hearing
Okay
Impaired
Deaf
Sight
Far-sighted
Colour blind
Impaired
Use of Hands
Both
One
None
Handedness
Right
Left
Cross-dominance
Ambidexterity
Cognitive
Memory limitations
Reading
Dyslexic
Illiterate
Language
Same as default
One of alternative options
None of the available options

Package

Dimensions
Height
Width
Depth
Weight
Kg
Identifier
Unique (serialised)
Not-unique (non-serialised)
Condition
Good
Bad

User journey

Using BPMN, I mapped the user’s journey. I included as many ‘unhappy paths’ as possible to identify opportunities for improvements.

Unable to find lockersLockers foundI have a phoneI have the appI don't have a phoneI don't have the necessary appI've downloaded the appFind lockersOpen appDownload app

Locker identification system

C2A12345BCD

Note: not rocket science.

Wireframes

  • Designed several possible implementations.
  • Presented selected wireframes to key stakeholders.
  • Iterated further based on feedback.

Mockups

  • Using elements from a growing pattern library and future design system, prepared detailed designs.
  • Worked with an illustrator to create bespoke icons.
  • Collaborated with a motion designer to produce animations and transitions.

Production

  • Worked with a product owner to slice and create user stories.
  • Prepared assets, optimising SVG and PNGs for faster load times.
  • Defined specifications as necessary, including responsive behaviour.
  • Worked with developers in sprints to implement the design.

Acknowledgements

Most of the thought and work that went into this project was done while I was the lone UX/UI designer. However, after building a more diverse design team, we were able to further refine many elements together. Special thanks to Sophie Pilley (UX/UI/Motion), Kirstin Clark (UX/Illustration) and Richard Shapiro (Product Owner).