BookAShuttle, the client, is a cloud-based Fleet Management Software built on a .NET framework. The software allows hotel staff to effectively schedule, maintain and track all aspects of guest transportation while maintaining real-time communication with drivers and guests for unprecedented accountability and efficiency. The client was getting attention from big potential customers that were interested in using his software. But he kept getting the same first reaction, “I like it, but it looks too dated”. And they were right. The application was built 5 years ago and it was way overdue for some TLC. And that’s when I started to get involved in the project.
It needs to look current. The software needs to provide a user experience that meets today’s standards. The software has been in used, so the client didn’t feel we needed more explanation. Just make the look and feel look current.
I have a strong graphic design background. So I had no problem just updating the colors and fonts to make the client happy. But being the first time I interacted with the application, I didn’t want to make any assumptions. So I spoke with the .net developers and was able to get access to their staging environment. That allowed me to put myself on the shoes of the end-user.
The application was mainly used by a dispatcher at the hotel. By role-playing with the application, certain inefficiencies started to become evident. So I quickly started to hand sketch a new dashboard that I felt had a better architecture which allowed the dispatcher to focus on the most urgent information that needed to be addressed.
After several sketches, and due to the short deadline, I jumped into creating a prototype to present the client. He was very visual and was quick making decisions. So I new I had to present a prototype that eliminated any chances of being shut down because the client lacked vision or patience to have the final product. My approached worked. The client stared quietly to the prototype. Like he was looking for something to critique. Of course he did, and I’m glad he did. Because the prototype were so complete, it helped him to provide insights about what exactly he wanted the dispatcher to focus in order to be more efficient. I took his input to the heart and redesigned the prototype, this time I took it to the next level.
Thanks to the clear UX and UI direction, the .NET developers were able to revamp the application from the ground up. I made myself available to the .NET team to provide any support whenever they encountered a roadblock on the UX due to changes in client’s requirements. At the end the new look helped the client land couple of serious national accounts in the hospitality industry.