At Transfix, we strive to create well-designed products with measured impact. Regardless of the design instinct to constantly iterate and improve products, the work we choose to do must have a clear, positive impact to Transfix. Otherwise, we put the company at risk.
We recently applied this strategy to our mobile app.
Outgrowing our first mobile app
A few years ago when Transfix was young, we released our original mobile app for truck drivers. We called our drivers to get them set up, enabling them to view their shipment information and share their truck’s location in real time－it got the job done.
However earlier this year, we had come to a roadblock. The mobile app, which initially served us quite well, no longer sufficed and it was slowing us down.
Over time, it had become clear that the drivers struggled to understand and use the mobile app. And rather than focusing on growth, our team was spending large amounts of time providing (much needed), personalized phone support. With many shipments flowing through Transfix every day, we had reached a tipping point.
Grounding the redesign with guidelines
We have a range of users from enterprise shippers to operation teams to truck drivers, and we must apply impactful design to all products. This will drive us toward our goal to drastically change the transportation industry.
With a newly formed Design and Product team, the driver mobile app is one of the first projects that we tackled. Throughout the experience, we began to create informal guidelines:
The design team and the product team are one. We are completely aligned — designers play a key role in product strategy and product managers believe the user experience is essential to any product.
Every project has clear, measurable impact relating to our company goals.
As members of the design team, a key responsibility is to advocate for the experience of our carriers, customers, and internal operations team.
Our design decisions are grounded in research and the Transfix design principles.
All members of the team, including engineering, are included in early project research and decisions.
Every project has clear, measurable impact relating to our company goals
This guideline has become incredibly important to our team. After finishing a project, most designers can point to improved usability and/or a more pleasing experience, but not all can say this increased driver engagement by 30%, which has saved our internal team hours of phone time per week.
Proving design value on every project
is a necessary sanity check.
By framing our projects with this additional criteria, our work has higher impact and the value of design is appreciated by all members of the company.
Tackling the redesign with truck drivers in-mind
Truck drivers present a different use case than the average driver, because they spend most of their time on the road. At the same time, they are constantly searching for work and shipments to move. Our drivers need a frictionless experience, which includes a mobile app that is extremely clear and easy-to-use.
Identify the problem and create a goal
Real-time knowledge of a truck’s location hinges on a driver’s use of the mobile app. It allows us to provide visibility of the shipment status and work with our carriers seamlessly. However, driver engagement with the app, such as confirming shipment delivery, wasn’t meeting our goals.
Based on user feedback, we knew the app was difficult to navigate and the call-to-actions (CTAs) were not obvious. The app should help drivers with their work, not make it more cumbersome. By overhauling the navigation, information architecture, and visual design, we believed that drivers would more clearly see the value of the app.
Design and test solutions
We then tested the new prototypes with drivers, asking them to walk us through and perform the tasks of a normal work day. The three rounds of user testing included in-person with our operations team, remote sharing with drivers, and then in-person at a truck show. Our goal is for our drivers to do good work, while the app provides lightweight support, so we tested the driver’s clarity and efficiency with the app.
Iterate and build
In parallel with user testing, we constantly iterated on the app design. We ensured that all information was highly accessible and transparent. Any interactions with the app needed to be simple and quick, allowing drivers to focus on their work.
By the time we released the redesigned app, we knew it was clear and usable, but we still needed to measure overall impact on driver engagement and internal phone time.
Within a few weeks of the update, we saw mobile app engagement increase by 30% which means our customers receive higher quality, real-time updates. This also saved our team hours of time on the phone with drivers and, not only that, the responses we received were enthusiastic reviews including “I love it. A great tool to have.”
Because we blend our goals for product and design, our entire team maintains constant alignment on vision and priorities. With engineering, product, and design on the same page, we’re able to quickly iterate and then follow-through on the most-promising product developments.