Role
Interaction Design
Research

Methods/Skills Used
Mobile Design
Prototyping
User Testing
Interviews
Shadowing

Outgrowing our first mobile app

Transfix’s mobile app for drivers had come to a roadblock. While it served the company quite well during the first couple years, over time, it had become clear that drivers struggled to understand and use the mobile app. And rather than focusing on growth, our team was spending large amounts of time providing (much needed), personalized phone support. With many shipments flowing through Transfix every day, we had reached a tipping point.

It was slowing our team down. We needed a modern, user-friendly, and on-brand mobile app.

Today's Transfix mobile app—after the redesign


 
 ORIGINAL APP  Initially, my top concerns were the navigation, information discoverability, and lack of focus within the experience. It was challenging to know, "What do I do next?"

ORIGINAL APP

Initially, my top concerns were the navigation, information discoverability, and lack of focus within the experience. It was challenging to know, "What do I do next?"

 

Grounding the redesign with guidelines

With a newly formed Design and Product team, the driver mobile app is one of the first projects that we tackled. Throughout the experience, we began to create informal guidelines:

  • The design team and the product team are one. We are completely aligned — designers play a key role in product strategy and product managers believe the user experience is essential to any product.

  • Every project has clear, measurable impact relating to our company goals.

  • As members of the design team, a key responsibility is to advocate for the experience of our carriers, customers, and internal operations team.

  • Our design decisions are grounded in research and the Transfix design principles.

  • All members of the team, including engineering, are included in early project research and decisions.

Every project has clear, measurable impact relating to our company goals

This guideline has become incredibly important to our team. After finishing a project, most designers can point to improved usability and/or a more pleasing experience, but not all can say their design increased driver engagement by 30%, which has saved our internal team hours of phone time per week.

 Details of the driver's shipment

Details of the driver's shipment


Tackling the redesign with truck drivers in-mind

Truck drivers present a different use case than the average driver, because they spend most of their time on the road. At the same time, they are constantly searching for work and shipments to move. Our drivers need a frictionless experience, which includes a mobile app that is extremely clear and easy-to-use.

Identify the problem and create a goal
Real-time knowledge of a truck’s location hinges on a driver’s use of the mobile app. It allows us to provide visibility of the shipment status and work with our carriers seamlessly. However, driver engagement with the app, such as confirming shipment delivery, wasn’t meeting our goals.

Hypothesize solutions
Based on user feedback, we knew the app was difficult to navigate and the call-to-actions (CTAs) were not obvious. The app should help drivers with their work, not make it more cumbersome. By overhauling the navigation, information architecture, and visual design, we believed that drivers would more clearly see the value of the app.

 
 A few iterations of the shipments screen, where the driver can see his next job.

A few iterations of the shipments screen, where the driver can see his next job.

 

Design and test solutions
We then tested the new prototypes with drivers, asking them to walk us through and perform the tasks of a normal work day. The three rounds of user testing included in-person with our operations team, remote sharing with drivers, and then in-person at a truck show. Our goal is for our drivers to do good work, while the app provides lightweight support, so we tested the driver’s clarity and efficiency with the app.

 
 Some iterations of the details of a shipment

Some iterations of the details of a shipment

 

Iterate and build
In parallel with user testing, we constantly iterated on the app design. We ensured that all information was highly accessible and transparent. Any interactions with the app needed to be simple and quick, allowing drivers to focus on their work.

 
 Old vs New - A key aspect of the redesign considered the driver’s context and job to be done. We now focus the mobile experience to the driver’s current shipment and the upcoming destination by using a tab bar and sharing key details in the default view.

Old vs New - A key aspect of the redesign considered the driver’s context and job to be done. We now focus the mobile experience to the driver’s current shipment and the upcoming destination by using a tab bar and sharing key details in the default view.

 

Measure success
By the time we released the redesigned app, we knew it was clear and usable, but we still needed to measure overall impact on driver engagement and internal phone time.

Within a few weeks of the update, we saw mobile app engagement increase by 30% which means our customers receive higher quality, real-time updates. This also saved our team hours of time on the phone with drivers and, not only that, the responses we received were enthusiastic reviews including “I love it. A great tool to have.”

Because we blend our goals for product and design, our entire team maintains constant alignment on vision and priorities. With engineering, product, and design on the same page, we’re able to quickly iterate and then follow-through on the most-promising product developments.

 

Numerous parts of this article were pulled from my original blog post