Helping users embrace change.
Repair Technicians don't need to change many tools in their craft - until their job starts adopting digital tools for inventory. UX Research seeks to understand their mental models to encourage them to embrace a new tool to check out products.
Ethnographic Research . Lo-fi prototyping . Evaluative Research . Design Strategy
Process & Role Understanding
We gained a much clearer picture of how our key user, the body technician, operates in their job. This was a big empathy builder for our internal team, who had made inaccurate assumptions about them in the past. This is crucial in building a tool that will be adopted widely through behavior changes.
Improved Net Promoter Score
By comparing our previous solution and a new design, we found that our design changes were impactful for how users experienced this tool.
Future Mobile Strategy
Everything learned in this project helped the product strategy team map out a much larger mobile redesign effort that would be more accessible and valuable to users. This strategy was green-lit by the business after seeing the impact of this smaller effort.
Lead researcher & strategist
Body technicians are hands on people operating an industry that defines itself as "old school" while is currently being rapidly automated.
The rapid shift from manual process to automation causes serious friction for many users, especially this role.
Our inventory management software is mandated by body shop managers who are looking to streamline the ordering process and optimize profits.
However, this is a total shift for the technician, who has suddenly become accountable to checking out their own products. Adoption of this digital tool is bleak.
1. Increase adoption of mobile scanning tool by technicians during checkout phase
2. Reduce errors in automatic ordering process
On Site Observations
Traveling to several different shops with a 3M sales rep and a distribution rep helped me gain a lot of insight about the context of a body shop.
I interviewed 10 technicians and had them walk me through their experience using our inventory management tools during their work day.
When I returned to my office, I documented the process I saw with photographs and attached pain points that related to usability heuristics.
This helped me communicate the process, the friction, and opportunities from a user centered point of view to stakeholders and my design partner.
The current solution doesn't match user's expectations, or mental model. Users feel like this process is unnecessarily complicated and time consuming.
At a baseline, we need to make interactions simple and quick by improving the UX flow and UI components. Better yet, we should find a mental model that makes sense, like a shopping cart method!
Project Insights / Heuristics
Visibility of system statusWe aren’t being consistent with confirmations or progress updates. We have overlooked the final confirmation/feedback stage, asking users to logout to confirm that they have completed checkout.
Match between system and the real world
User’s mental models can make them both over and under confident. How might we improve (digital and physical) lists to promote user confidence? How might we make clearer quantity adjustments that align with current scanning methods?
Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
Fixing mistakes is a frustrating and costly process. How might we provide consistent paths to correct missteps and history to review?
Together, my design partner and I formulated key solutions to address the biggest heuristic pain points. Then we created a prototype that we could test in context with our key users.
In addition to getting feedback on the new experience, I wanted to compare the old and new mobile designs. I did a SUS analysis that showed significant improvement in the usability of the new experience.
Future Mobile Strategy
This project was a gateway to encourage business stakeholders to consider our mobile solutions. After proving value for technicians, we began to strategize how we could improve the entire mobile service - from hardware, to UX, to creating a strategic roadmap to consistently offer new value to all our body shop users.