Fluke Networks came to Devise Consulting for user research and software product definition for their handheld cable analyzer system, which is sold today as Versiv. Cable analyzers are a tool primarily used by technicians who are installing network cabling (such as copper wiring or fiber optics) into buildings. Fluke had just redesigned their hardware platform to provide touchscreen capability, and wanted to have a state-of-the-art interface to match. To ensure that the solution worked as well as possible for their users, Fluke also invested in usability testing and detailed design including visual design services from Devise.
The Devise Consulting team, led by Lizz Bacon, conducted field research with technicians in various construction facilities as well as with project managers in the offices of companies who manage network cabling installations. We learned that there were major unmet needs — and thus, product opportunities — in terms of managing large installation projects and better associating cable testing activities to different client accounts. By designing a project-centric organization of data into the Versiv software architecture, our solution replaced literally thousands of pages of printed results from a given project which all-too-often caused errors and time-overruns.
Fluke Networks stakeholders were astounded at how quickly the Devise team came up to speed on a technical domain. We delivered comprehensive site maps and detailed designs for complex testing activities. The visual design, led by Devise associate Stacy Westbrook, was a particularly winning aspect of this project. Devise created a visual language of controls with clear affordances, most especially the “yellow brick road” primary button that the user taps to move naturally through a sequence of actions. Usability testing of the Devise designs performed with an interactive prototype on an iPad helped to validate the interaction model and visual design cues before the team invested in full software development.
Fluke product leader Steve O’Hara recently wrote Devise that the Versiv Cable Analyzer is a “tremendous success.” Versiv revolutionized people’s understanding of what kind of value a cable analyzer could provide, and continues to drive market share and win industry awards. Fluke Networks also submitted patent applications to corner the market on the innovations identified and delivered by Devise.