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Logistics fleet Management reimagined for the largest shipping company in the USA

Logistics fleet Management reimagined for the largest shipping company in the USA

With a fleet of over 4,000 barges, Ingram Barge is the largest shipping company in the inland waterway system in the United States of America

Services

UX Research, Interviewing , UX/UI Design, Prototyping, Presentation Design

Technologies

Sketch, InVision, Miro

Keywords

Fleet Management | Captain Friendly | Prototyping | UX/UI | Moving Barges

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Project Overview

We spent over three months doing field research at Ingram Barge locations in New Orleans, Paducah, and St. Louis. In-person research is vital to building a comprehensive understanding of how users work and design the application.

Like with many organizations, Ingram still used manual tools like spreadsheets, post-it notes, and email to manage complex business processes.

The Problem

The primary UX challenge was designing an application that a particular segment of Ingram’s barge captains would accept and use.

Due to the nature of their work, these end-users didn’t have much patience for new technology. Ingram had tried and failed to introduce something like this once already in the past, but it had died due to low adoption.

If the project was going to succeed, we had to get their buy-in.

The Solution

Since Ingram Barge is a shipping company, efficiency is always a priority.

This new application would help optimize their transportation processes by:

1. tracking where barges are on the river in real-time,

2. reporting how much freight each barge was carrying,

3. and determining when a barge could carry more freight.

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We identified each step in every workflow people performed as part of the fleet management process and moved on from there.

A lot of design firms skip this part and cut straight to designing high-fidelity screens. That’s probably why the last vendor Ingram employed failed. Understanding the business process and true workflows of the end-users must inform how those interactions are designed.

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After defining the user flows and outlining the information architecture, we created a low-fidelity black and white wireframe for each screen that would use for each step of the user flow.

Low-fidelity wireframes are important because they are easier to edit and, therefore, more conducive to rapid iterations based on client feedback. After several iterations, the wireframes were approved by Ingram’s stakeholders.

We then developed a clickable prototype for the users to review themselves

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After several iterations, the wireframes were approved by Ingram’s stakeholders.

We then developed a clickable prototype for the users to review themselves.

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Once the wireframe was approved, we created a high-fidelity version of the application and continued to iterate based on user feedback.

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Conclusion

After defining the user flows and outlining the information architecture, we created a low-fidelity black and white wireframe and then transitioned into high-fidelity visuals. We created clickable prototypes to help developers visualize and implement this excellent solution.