Providing real-time analytics with powerful data visualization to increase operational efficiency for the New Zealand Transport Agency.
The New Zealand Transport Agency is a forward thinking Government organization that realized they had an operational problem. They had an immense amount of data on the roadside events happening across the many highways and country roads of New Zealand. The issue, however, is how do they use all that data to make smart decisions in regards to resource allocation in the moment of crisis, and how can they use this data to better PREDICT the appropriate resource allocation based on a given variable set?
So the crux of the opportunity lies in the following: how do we take an immense data set and create a UX/UI that provides that data needed to make smart decision and how do we make the data visual and intuitive to the user?
The users for this design opportunity were acute in scale. The users of a tool like CARS Metrics are Operator Managers that work inside the command center at the New Zealand Transport Agency. Their role is to manage internal resources (operators, contractors in the field) and to insure all roadside events are managed and communicated to the public in a timely and correct manner.
They need data, good data, to make very important decisions that have a wide ranging affects on the greater public. They are currently using various software applications and spreadsheets to compile information on the current status of roadside events.
Team & Role
As the lead designer of this product, I wore many hats during the entire process. Working with a team that consisted of a Project Manager, 3 Devs, and QA Specialist I was able to take a leadership role in the research, design, and testing of the CARS Metric product.
I had ownership of user research, use cases, user task flows, wireframes, low-fi prototypes, interaction design, visual design, and hi-fi prototyping.
First step was to fully understand the contract and the features included, focusing heavily on each and every word so we had a complete understanding of the language. Bringing in our CEO (head of biz dev) was critical at this early juncture.
After compiling a full feature and business requirements we were able to identify the key specs that had to be included in V1 of CARS Metrics.
With the key requirements mapped out, we started to whiteboard out basic user flows. A lot of white-boarding here. After our userflow was established I started to design basic wireframes in Axure using a 12 column grid.
Based on the user flows, we constructed the IA such that there was a minimal level of difficulty to instantly access all relevant information. After all, the goal of this product is to enable users to quickly consume vital KPI’s and make better operational decisions.
The objective of the interface was to provide real time critical information to the user in a clean and unambiguous way. This was accomplished through the use a bold color scheme, padding and boxed UI elements, informative icons, and clear font types, and the use of several charts that match data viz best practices.
The design was very well received within the company and stakeholders in New Zealand Transport Agency. While it has not yet been released, the CARS Metrics design is quickly becoming Castle Rock’s most important product under development and the Business Development department has been selling the design to other agencies with strong success.
Interested in viewing the interactive prototype?CARS Metrics Prototype