The challenge

Make the user experience of the GoRide dispatch app simple for the dispatchers.


My role Lead Product Designer - Research, IA, Interaction, Visual design & Testing.

Overview

I worked with 3 other designers with the goal to improve the user experience of the GoRide dispatch portal. The reason being there was lot of dissatisfaction from the dispatchers regarding the usability of the app. The features in the app made the experience slow and complex to use. Since the app was an important piece of GoRide. The Business immediately understood the need for a change. I was part of the team to rebuild the app from scratch and redefine the experience.

What is GoRide?

GoRide is a Non Emergency Medical Transportation service under Ford Motor Company. The mission is to provide mobility and independence with dignity to individuals who are elderly, ill or living with disabilities. It’s more than providing transportation from here to there. It’s about going the extra mile to make sure every person regardless of age or ability has a reliable, comfortable and affordable way to be proactive in their health care.

As of now, GoRide has 55 shuttles running daily in different counties of Michigan and Ohio. It is slowly expanding to multiple states. Every week the team grows. So, we need to make sure that we design the app such a way that it has better user experience for the dispatchers. We don't want them searching cluelessly for vital information of the patients or missing out on entering it.

Dispatch App

In just over a year, GoRide transformed from a small service to a bigger network with over hundreds of supporting facilities.

The current Dispatch app — designed in 2017, struggled to scale alongside the growth of the company. Fundamental usability was challenged. Disparate features and experiments competed for focus. App reliability and performance issues increased exponentially.

The Dispatch app had become vital part of business.

Early Insights

Dispatcher problems - Current UI

The app didn't work the way the users wanted. While the vision of the app was to track all the real-time data, there were clear limitations to the UI:

  • Everyone we tested had problems understanding the cautious errors messages shown on the screen.
  • The map view was very small to see any details and the two sidebars on each side of the screen were taking up valuable space.
  • 70% of the users missed the dropdown on the vehicle number to assign a different vehicle. They clicked on the details button to do it.
  • Nearly all interviewed users had some problems following the notion behind scheduled rides, completed rides, and active rides.

The real challenge

Capturing the Magic

Our goal for the project was to make the UI simple for dispatchers. The original premise was simple: Keep track of the trip activities for the day, assign vehicle to an upcoming trip, and create booking upon request. However, the facilities scheduled most of the trips; we do not have the realtime co-ordinates of the rider. We have to think through all the scenarios and make sure we create a strong foundation that embraced a rapidly evolving business and more diverse driver base.

Our high-level goals were to:

  • User Experience. Make it simple to use.
  • User Flow. Create better Hierarchy and navigation.
  • Cross Platform. Create a platform for innovation and deeper engagement.

My Role

I led the design of the dispatch experience and collaborated with three other designers who were working on the Billing and payment and iPad app for drivers.

I partnered with one other researcher Jacob to explore how dispatchers do their work. We did ethnographic study by sitting with them for a week. We were looking for how they take the calls, how they create a booking, how they assign a vehicle, what kind of notes they take. On top of that, we went on multiple trips with different driver to understand how the dispatcher and drivers communicate.

Process

We followed the following design process for this project

Design Process.

The Discovery

Dispatchers expectations were different

I was surprised by the issues we found. It became more evident that Dispatchers expected the experience to work with minimal effort. As they are taking the information over a call, the UI should be simple enough to navigate and enter the data.

Almost all the trips involved needed some extra coordination effort from the dispatchers. Most of the time the dispatchers were not talking directly to a patient, instead they get the coordinates from the facility. So, it was important for them to take note of all the key informations. They needed a place to store some notes like room number or any info regarding the patient and an easy way to bring it during the trip.

Testing with GoRide Dispatchers.

Skateholder Persona

We meet with the business team to understand why they wanted to redesign from their perspective and to see if any of their goal changed over the past year.

Stakeholder Persona.

Deeper Insights

I partnered with our User Researcher Jacob to create an experience map of a user and how they interact with the dispatchers and drivers.

Experience Map.

Getting the ideas out

Brainstorming

After several hours of brainstorming, it was clear from the research that dispatchers wanted the activity to be sepereate tab rather than combing it with bookings. It will be easier to see the process as it is happing; Waiting to assign, To pick up, Picking up and To drop off.
High level user flow

Ppaer sketches

Drawing different variations on paper bring out more ideas. Here are some of the paper sketches I drew for the project.

Skeletons

Using the paper wireframes as reference, I created few skeleton layouts. These are helpful to understand the actual look of the web page and gives a mental model of how things will be layed out.

Wireframes

Now we populated the selected layout with some mock data to see how actual data will fit in these layouts. We created multiple wireframes.

Initial mockups

Our main principles for the designs were to be more inclusive, consistent, humanistic, delightful and essential. This means every element in the UI should have a purpose. Leaving complexity behind allows designing with restraint by emphasizing the essential and stripping away the distracting. We wanted to provide all the necessary information in a sleek and elegant way, so we can be distinct, clear, and concise with our users.

Usability Testing

We switched the place of account information and service area because we got feedback that the placement of each of them was confusing.

We did usability testing with 10 dispatchers. Places where our assumptions broke down, were:

  • 60% of the dispatchers missed the account information on the bottom of the sidebar. They were looking for it on the top bar.
  • 70% of the users agreed that changing the service area was not often used. Dispatchers wanted to see the pickup and drop-off location without going to a different page.
  • The minimalistic view was well received with all the users.

Final Designs

Later weeks were filled with stakeholder meetings. Fellow designer Jacob and I met with PMs, content, identity, and engineering to review our work. Iteration after iteration was made to distill our MVP down to a very lightweight, bare-minimum version.

Next Steps

Design Handoff - we use Sketch to design and Invision to hand-off the designs to the developers. We use the Rally to keep track of the project. We created and maintain a checklist of all the cases & features that need to be designed; created & managed by me. The checklist will flag the status of the feature being picked up or not, and whether it’s completed or under works. All the completed rows should have the link to the corresponding design. If a certain feature is moved to the next iteration because of a certain dependency, then the corresponding team is marked along with a describing comment.


If you’d like to read more, I’ve published additional case studies for GoRide Design System and a personal project, PetMeal. Read about me or go back to home