Designing the GateKeeping Tool for Shuttl
Shuttl is a bus service that allows millions of users to commute together to work stress-free. Service Panel aka Signal is an operational tool to overview thousands of daily trips in each city to manage, deviate or resolve issues that affect the on-trip service. Dashboard Managers are at the forefront of this tool.
My role —Senior Product Designer
Contribution: UX research, Information Design, UX design, Prototyping
Team- Anil (PM), I (Product Designer)
Stakeholders: Gaurav Jain (Head of Products) Zinal (Head of Design) Ravi ( Manager, TL),
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. This tool amplifies these user'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.
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 in their full potential. Fundamental usability was challenged. The initial problem identified can largely be themed under "Out of line Communication", "Information Scatter" and "Unidirectional Information"
Users of this panel, Dashboard Managers (DMs), are the gatekeepers who are the bridge between system and on-field activities.
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 was 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.
DMs loose a lot of effort and time in communicating
Communication between the system and customer service is an added responsibility because the service panel is inefficient this makes the process slower and affects the end-user on trip experience.
The Service Panel isn't the only source of truth.
Unable to retrieve all information via service panel, driver details, are in some other tool, external documentations have past data. It doesn’t help the user with information that is either analytical or historical in nature.
DMs are more 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? //
Making Service panel reliable and efficient by designing alerts that provide clarity and actionable
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
We decided to work on the most important information archy-type that the DMs cared about i.e On-trip-alerts. The essence of the Service panel was Information rather than the architecture. We simplified the whole Panel to three main pages- Alert Information, Inventory, and Dashboard
The relation between Alerts and Information architecture
Icon attribution: Alert by Gregor Cresnar from the Noun Project Document by Suavis from the Noun Project Dashboard by Eucalyp from the Noun Project