For Integrated Services Inc (ISI), Devise provided user research and user experience design services. We went into the field to spend time at quick-lube shops, studying their operations and daily activities in order to provide design concepts for a new web-based dashboard.
We were able to articulate multiple directions and opportunities for the application based on an assessment of the roles involved in quick-lube shop operations, prompting our client champion Wayne Allen to say, “Liz is fabulous…several people within my company were amazed at how quickly she came up to speed with the issues our customers were facing.”
We collaborated with the client team to identify the best way forward for the immediate redesign. We carried forward the existing vision for a literal car-dashboard inspired section of gauges. Compared to the prior design, however, Devise made the information density much higher.
Most importantly, we defined a clear set of information design patterns for alert thresholds (where measures should NOT be moving into dangerous territory) versus operating targets (where measures SHOULD be moving into desirable territory). This clear language of red alerts and green targets — tested to be accessible and unaffected by red/green colorblindness — greatly improved the technicians’ understanding of these key operational tools.
Because we understood the quick-lube context of use so well, we added a couple neat features to the software design. The first was prominently and persistently displaying the date and time at the top of the screen, because many of quick-lube users are hourly workers who are watching the clock! Additionally, for the manager, we added a section to display the day’s weather forecast, since it turns out that business volumes can vary greatly depending on whether it’s wet or dry outside. On a dreadfully rainy day, the manager is easily able to set realistic operating targets to a lower level for all their shops. Seemingly small insights such as these helped our client to create a differentiated product that genuinely delights and serves its users.