Luminator – mSET

Intelligence, safety and efficiency in transit

Overview

CLIENT

Luminator delivers technology solutions that increase the intelligence, safety, and efficiency of mass transportation systems around the world.

Luminator Website

PRODUCT

The new SaaS, Managing Safety & Efficiency In Transit (mSET), would be an all-inclusive solution that offered transit authorities cloud-based accessibility, reduced maintenance and operational costs, improved safety, and reduced liability claims – providing security and efficiency for millions of people in the public transportation sector.

BACKGROUND

As the company was experiencing rapid growth and a need to stay competitive in the marketplace, Luminator acquired four partner companies that included seven software modules with incohesive workflows.

PRODUCT STRATEGY

Utilize strategic user-centered design thinking to modernize and consolidate the seven newly acquired software into a single cohesive application experience.

OPPORTUNITY

Luminator saw an opportunity to both improve and expand their existing service offering by consolidating the seven newly acquired software modules into a single application suite.

ROLE

Product Designer

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Upon validating our assumptions and ideas with users, the following key findings were identified:

Findings

FULL CONTROL

Transit authority users required full control over their vehicle fleets by managing their drivers, tenant clients, video surveillance units, and infotainment creation and publishing within a simple, easy to use web application.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

Transit authority agencies needed to regulate which users had permission to publish content on vehicle displays and edit unit configurations within the vehicles.

CONSOLIDATED ADMINISTRATION

To control the application modules, users preferred having a single location for administrative operations such as managing their vehicle fleets and managing system preferences.

PRIMARY USER OPERATIONS

As users preferred having a single location for all administrative functions, the Operations and Administration module was created to control the settings of the entire mSET suite. In addition, a single location for all of the important administrative functions allows admin users to restrict the functionalities of a specific user role.

Our team helped solve Luminator’s digital product crisis and transform Luminator into the world’s reliable mass transit technology company.

MANAGING SAFETY & EFFICIENCY IN TRANSIT

To simplify the application based on the primary operations performed by users, the seven newly acquired software applications were consolidated into four mSET modules, containing several intuitive and easy to use workflows.

mSET Prototype

Features

OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION

As users preferred having a single location for all administrative functions, the Operations and Administration module was created to control the settings of the entire mSET suite. Plus, having all of the important administrative functions in a single module, allows an admin user to restrict the functionalities of a specific user role.

OPERATION & ADMINISTRATION – VEHICLES

Operations and Administration allows transit authority agencies to easily manage their entire vehicle fleet in just a few clicks – from adding vehicle(s) to a fleet group to adjusting a vehicle’s onboard unit configuration.

CONTENT MANAGER

Content Manager allows users to import and manage content files. These content files (images) are then used to create presentation assets.

CONTENT MANAGER – CREATING AN ASSET

Presentation assets are created using a set of layout templates. This allows users to create a presentation asset by choosing a template and selecting the content to be displayed based on events and activities related to the vehicle.

For example, a specific store’s advertisement can be set for display as the vehicle approaches a scheduled stop located near that store.

PRESENTATION EDITOR

To create a new presentation within Presentation Editor, users simply drag and drop the asset(s) that they previously created unto the presentation’s timeline.

PRESENTATION EDITOR – NEW PRESENTATION

To create a new presentation within Presentation Editor, users simply drag and drop the asset(s) that they previously created, unto the presentation’s timeline.

By actively collaborating with the client, the product was completed within budget and delivered 2 weeks early.

Planning

WHAT GOALS ARE WE TRYING TO ACHIEVE?

During the planning phase, we prioritized key stakeholders for the project, as well as defined the goals, key risks, assumptions, product KPIs, and the timeline for user validation and development inception.

Challenges

LANGUAGE BARRIER

As the newly acquired applications were collected from various companies around the world, our team faced language barriers with our new international team members.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

In order to minimize language barriers and save time and energy, every question asked during the interview process had to be well articulated in order to gather the precise information we needed.

INCONSISTENT TERMINOLOGY

The terminology used across the applications was acquired from different companies and was therefore inconsistent. This increased the complexity of the process and made identifying duplicate functions difficult.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

The terminology within each application was interpreted, and parallel terms were identified and consolidated to form a glossary document.

LACK OF DOCUMENTATION

There was insufficient documentation and expert knowledge of the acquired applications.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

To overcome the lack of documentation and expert knowledge, our team utilized each of the applications first-hand and conducted moderated usability studies with users. This provided insights into the applications and allowed us to chart workflows and identify user pain points.

Discovery

WHAT PROBLEMS ARE WE SOLVING? AND FOR WHO?

During the discovery phase, our team and I utilized various UX research tools to capture a deep understanding of both the business case and the proposed product’s users.

Challenges

CHALLENGE WORKING WITH GLOBAL TEAMS

As Luminator had international teams located around the world, our primary challenge was coordinating with the widespread stakeholders and team members of the acquired applications. This presented financial, logistical, and communication barriers that were more complex than usual.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

A remote design sprint was held to coordinate stakeholders and team members from around the world. This ensured everyone was involved in determining the product’s direction and how the applications would be merged into a single suite. In addition to a remote design sprint, a facilitator set clear agendas for every meeting and ensured all participants had a voice, to optimize communication efficiency and save time.

SOLIDIFYING REQUIREMENTS

Because of the project’s size and complexity, identifying and solidifying product requirements at the start of the project was a difficult task, and continued to be a challenge throughout the project’s design.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

Because we knew the size and complexity of the project, our team expected changing requirements. To handle changes, our team worked in an agile process with client stakeholders. Throughout this process, we maintained a log of requirement changes, and utilized a project management tool, Jira, to help oversee the project. By anticipating future revisions, we were prepared to handle the changes as they arose.

GATHERING REQUIREMENTS

Interviewing stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) helped our team understand Luminator’s business, their customers, and market needs. These interviews also helped clarify the pre-existing notions and expectations of stakeholders, and gave them a chance to analyze and align with their own objectives.

User Interviews

Usability Studies

UNDERSTANDING THE USERS

User interviews and contextual user inquiries were used to establish an understanding of mSET users. This allowed our team to understand the users’ pain points, goals, and objectives while utilizing the current solutions.

BUILDING USER RELATIONSHIPS

Based on formative research, our team Based on formative research, our team developed six user personas for each of the user types. Each persona included a journey map to help us understand the user actions and pain points experienced while performing and completing certain tasks.

Framing

HOW ARE WE SOLVING THE PROBLEM?

During the framing phase, our team’s goal was to acquire the ability to make prioritization decisions about the product’s features.

Challenges

TECHNOLOGICAL RESTRAINS

Because each of the applications had a distinct server-side framework, it was impossible to determine whether the final product design was technologically feasible.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

A decision was made to involve developers in the design process beginning in the early stages. This helped ensure design deliverables were technologically feasible early within the process.

CONSTANT REQUIREMENT CHANGES

Our team faced constant requirement changes in relation to demands made from Luminator’s clients.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

As new demands began to arise, we implemented a formal process with Luminator to gather approval for newly requested changes. This process required a sign-off from Luminator’s four stakeholders to approve any requirement changes before a change would be recorded in our requirements backlog to replace a previous requirement.

PRODUCT COMPLEXITY

Because of the large number of related applications and functions within the product, designing the software suite in a single design phase was not possible.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

Each module required an individualized workflow (completed one-at-a-time), and required our team to utilize various user experience tools in order to capture and implement the necessary functional requirements. Because of the complexity involved, Luminator’s stakeholders and SMEs heavily collaborated with our team throughout this design phase.

ESTABLISHING USER EMPATHY

To get a better understanding of the users, we created a service blueprint to diagram the flow of goals, stages, and touchpoints of each user persona interacting with Luminator’s products.

APPLICATIONS OVERVIEW

Having an established relationship with mSET users, our team proceeded to understand the software. We created sitemaps which rendered a bird’s-eye view for each of the acquired applications and highlighted the requirements needed to build mSETs information architecture.

Of the acquired software was simplified into a single application suite.

Framing

ESTABLISHING FRAMEWORK

To build the application’s architecture, we focused on consolidating the “Operations and Administration” module first, as it controlled system preferences and administrative functions for the rest of the suite.

For the final Operations and Administration module, over 250 screens that contained settings functions were consolidated into about 30 screens. This process of mapping applications architecture piloted the integration for the remaining modules.

OPTIMIZING WORKFLOWS

With an established application framework, we began optimizing user workflows. To do this, flowcharts visually diagramed each step within the user journey for accomplishing a specific task. This enabled our team to account for all of the use cases and requirements.

The example flowchart shows the workflow of a single function within “Operations and Administration”.

ESTABLISHING VISUAL HIERARCHY

Due to numerous functional requirements and the complexities of the application, wireflows were used to highlight the necessary components of each screen. This allowed me to make quick iterations based on continuous requirement changes.

The wireflows example shows “Unit and Firmware Publishing” within “Operations and Administration”.

USER VALIDATION TOOLS

During usability testing sessions, wireframes were a simple, cost-effective way to make quick iterations while constructing the product’s visual layout.

Wireframe Prototype

PROTOTYPE

High fidelity prototypes were used to gather additional user’s feedback and further test the product’s usability performance. Unlike wireframes, these prototypes closely represented the final mSET application and contained design aesthetics, graphic elements, and important design specs for the engineering team to use during the development implementation phase.

mSET Prototype

DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION

During the implementation phase, design team worked hand-in-hand with developers to prevent roadblocks and delays. As changes arose to the product’s requirements, the team and I provided developers with the necessary directions and components needed to make smooth iterations.

To further support the development team, a “development guide” was created to explain and clarify the functionality of each component, and demonstrate mSET’s essential features through the annotation of mockups.

“Managing Safety & Efficiency In Transit (mSET) Best Wireless Video Surveillance Network Solution – Platinum Award Winner”