UX Design. Shuttl. 2018.
Designing the GateKeeping Tool for Shuttl
I led the redesign of Shuttl's legacy operations tool, which kept a track of 90K+ active trips/rides, 1.7K buses across 8 cities on a daily basis. The impact of the project improved operational standards by preventing operational delays, miscommunication in bus activities, and helped users to proactively monitor trips, operations. This reduce call center costs, communication within teams to be more efficient and delivered an updated bus experience to our end customer.
March 2019-July 2019
Product Design, UX research, Information Design, UX design, Prototyping
Team- Anil (PM), I (Product Designer), Vikas (UI designer, joined later after I left)
Stakeholders: Gaurav Jain (Head of Products) Zinal (Head of Design) Ravi( Manager, TL)
Shuttl offers long-distance intra-city bus rides targeting office-to-home commuters whose work trips are classified as “very long trips”, that is longer than 30 km. Shuttl’s key offering to customers is a scheduled service for work trips with the convenience of a fixed seat in an air-conditioned bus at a reasonable price.
Service Panel is the operational tool for Shuttl to ensure that its daily bus operations for consumers and B2C run successfully as scheduled and planned with the convenience that is promised to consumers. This tool amplifies the operator's ability to improve serviceability and on-time arrivals. Our objective was to design a new panel that helps users to achieve their goals efficiently and keep up with the growing business.
Users of this panel, Dashboard Managers (DMs), are employees who make sure that every bus that is assigned a trip is serviceable and on-time and has a replacement if needed. They manage delays, arrivals, resolve on trip disputes directly with the drivers and vendors.
As the business grew and requests came from the internal users and stakeholders, the service panel was designed by accretion, resulting in short-termism on the backend. Eventually, the tool became an ineffective technical debt making users unable to work to its full potential. Fundamental usability was a challenge. The initial problem identified can largely be themed under "Out of line Communication", "Information Scatter" and "Unidirectional Information"
Without a dedicated researcher available, I took on the role of the researcher and conducted a 2-week in-depth research and insight gathering session using the “Day in the life” method to understand what it is to be a DM and how does the tool helps them to succeed. I also conducted a moderated interview session with each users. There were 8 participants from two shifts.
For analysis, I used a spectrum map to understand painpoints related to the interface and working behaviour
The research study unveils Insights, problems, needs, expectations and learning in-depth.
The DMs constantly communicate within themselves for reassurance before taking any action this is mainly because the panel doesn't act as an efficient output tool. Information on service Panel is scattered, hard to find and often users kept an external track of all the required information.
The service panel doesn’t help the DMs to review, access actions taken on buffer vehicle, non-ops vehicles. Thus, every DM maintains a book where they log changes to service. This serves as a verification, reference and rectification method for the future and current tasks.
The DMs and the drivers share a strong rapport. Calling is a major part of their “workload”, every two minutes. These calls are majorly related to non-trip communication like telling drivers about the actions they ought to take on their app, requests for marking a vehicle non-ops for various reasons, vendors who call them to update vehicle and driver details versa. But the driver
There is a dependency on knowledge transfer between Customer Care and DMs that effects the end user. The way the system currently handles alerts, the customer care does not have a full overview of real-time bus statuses whereas DMs overlook active tracking of a bus and focus on solving major vehicles and driver related issues. This affects the end consumer’s on-call experience as Customer Care relies on DMs to seek real-time bus status.
The Service Panel is not the (only) source of truth.
Ideally, the information provided by DM should be feed to the system and it should be seen by other teammates. Otherwise, it makes the process slower and affects the end-user on trip experience. Users are unable to retrieve information via service panel, driver details, are in some other tool, external documentations have past data that are recorded in the service panel at the end of the day. It doesn’t help the user with information that is either analytical or historical in nature.
DMs are more reactive than proactive in their processces
Communication between the system and customer service is an added responsibility. This takes up so much time and effort from the DMs that they are forced to be the communication bridge within the field and the customer care. This leaves them with less time to look for future trips and handle trips are currently affected.
DMs are sensitive about a bus/driver than the end customers
Since the Service panel only talks about the operation and what it impacts, DMs are more inclined to solve a problem operationally, without understanding that their actions impact a group of customers at the same time.
REFRAMING THE PROBLEM
// How might we make the Service Panel an effective, proactive ONE FOR ALL information system? //
Poorly formed Information chunks cause problems in how it stored, consumed, viewed, communicated, and actioned. Users tend to work on issues as when they arrive rather than being proactive. Further, these problems indirectly quench the efficiency of Customer Service
// How might we evoke customer-centricity in DMs and make them feel they are a part of the larger eco-system? //
We decided to work on the most important information archy-type that the DMs cared about i.e On-trip-alerts. The alert notification in the system was a set of chronological updates to a bus's status. With 100s of buses starting at intervals of minutes resulted in missing important updates like driver being absent.
Clearly show what is going on and where to focus
Direct on what actions to take and when to take
Access to information whenever required in one tool
Icon attribution: Alert by Gregor Cresnar from the Noun Project Document by Suavis from the Noun Project Dashboard by Eucalyp from the Noun Project
We tied the most atomic element of the interface to a simplified three page panel- Alert Information, Inventory, and Dashboard
Due to the confidentiality of the project, final screens cannot be shared online. Please reach out to me to know the full design story and impact of this redesign.