At many jobs, my first priority is to clarify with product management who, exactly, the users are. Personas are a great tool to bring up that conversation, and represent the results.
After chatting with the CMO (pictured) and product management leaders, we came across a design principle: The KeepTruckin product is about improving the relationship between drivers and safety managers.
Another effort I started early in my time at KT was developing a robust user testing practice. Watching how users react to the core platform tasks the first time they see them is a great way to judge the intuitiveness of the interface.
Plotting the results of the usability test on a grid is a great way to summarize a report by quickly visualizing problem areas, such as adding drivers and vehicles here. We solved the frustration by adding a more prominent button.
We also watched how drivers used the mobile app, the heart of the KT ecosystem. This product is relatively mature, and used by over 100,000 drivers throughout the United States. So we didn't want to make any sudden, drastic changes. We solved on of the primary painpoints with the simple addition of this carat to better indicate the log chart is clickable. This measurably decreased time to get started.
Going onsite with users led to much more profound insights about who uses the product, why, and what they are frustrated with. This dispatcher user is having trouble tracking his drivers, one of the key features he expects the platform to accomplish. This visit opened the door to talking about another dimension of their business: Brokering freight.
KeepTruckin wanted to branch out to serve more of our customer's needs. As we had seen during our site visits, many trucking companies spend a lot of time and effort finding cargo to move.
The Product team brought me in when they had the opportunity in mind as "create a load board tool." I helped clarify the discussion and move us to action by asking a lot of questions that eventually enabled me to simplify the proposal down to this diagram.
After more site visits to deeply understand Broker users, many rounds of design and prototyping with Engineering, and validation testing of the final concept, we ended up with a streamlined product based on the ANT design system. I'd love to walk you through the design decisions that made the system both comprehensive and intuitively simple.
KT wanted to expand even more - and management had identified the local trucking market as a target. They asked me to help envision the next product.
Rather than diving into designs, I knew we needed to clarify the discussion. We started with this little bit of insight about our existing target at that time (left) and the new one (right). While we also had many competing speculations about what the market was and how to enter it, this was not enough to start sketching, so I went into research mode.
I overcame many obstacles to recruit 30 customers and non-customers in the target market, leading to reliable insights in under a month. I analyzed whether they would value a list of features execs and PMs had suggested. Combined with cost estimates from engineering leaders, the report ended with a succinct set of recommendations about where to start building.
In addition to the pointedly actionable direction for the product team, I also provided this analysis of the range of driver types. This diagram surfaced an underlying dynamic that distinguishes the personas we would serve, and implies a persona-centered market strategy of starting closer to home (at left).