Overseeing design concepts from inception through implementation was a real challenge for me. This was my first project without any “senior support” and, to be honest, I was really scared.
Design a product from scratch sounds very difficult…and it is! When you have to make all UX decisions, you got nervous and sometimes you were more focused on avoiding possible mistakes than thinking in possible solutions. But making decisions made me learn, being mistaken made me grow to become a better UX Designer. That’s the way in UX Design: if something doesn’t work you always can iterate to improve it and so on.
When you have to make all UX decisions, you got nervous and sometimes you were more focused avoiding possible mistakes than thinking in possible solutions. But making decisions made me learn, being mistaken but specially grow to becoming a better UX Designer
The product consists of an online platform that manages the waste collection in a smart way and that’s why the name of the product is SmartWaste. This product belongs to “Smart Cities Suite” which offers many products related to the managing of a city (Smart Industry, Smart Store, Smart Building, among others). The power of all these products resides in their connection between them thanks to Indra’s IoT and Big Data Platform called Sofia2. You can read more about it here.
User research. Customer Journey.
Before starting prototyping with no sense, I was lucky (because not always you have the chance to do user research) and I had the opportunity to travel to Logroño (La Rioja, Spain) to participate in user research activities and usability studies to be able to iterate design solutions based on customer data. So, I traveled together with the Customer Experience team in order to make two workshops based on a Customer Journey.
The aim of these workshops was to collect information about our users in order to create a product which satisfied all their needs.
While we were preparing all the stuff, our users (a group of 15 people) were having a coffee, relaxing and talking to each other at the cafe. They were divided into two groups: people who recycle and who don’t. We put a sticker on them in order to recognize each group.
The Customer Journey was called “The life cycle of a waste” (“El ciclo de vida de un residuo” in Spanish) where were drawn all the stages: from buying a product in the supermarket (1), bringing it to home (2), taking it to the rubbish (3), putting it into the right trash can (4), garbage collection (5) and finally the recycling centre (6).
Well, after organize and analyze the results and find common patterns…were time to prototyping!
Ideate & Create. Prototyping
I started with low-fi prototypes on a paper because for me was easier starting to sketch quickly and iterate faster.
So, once I had the main structure (navigation menu, header, footer, body) I started with hi-fi prototypes.
I worked really close with visual design and development teams to ensure that UX implementation was done properly. Every morning, after a hot cup of coffee, my main task is to test the new update in the SmartWaste testing environment. In this way, I truly knew the state of the product, what I had to improve, which features were implemented and which were not and next steps.
Once I had the first version closed and validated with the Product Owner, I started to create documentation of how the solution is composed (elements), its interaction behavior and visual specs.