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Interaction Design

Posted in Design

  • Project Type: Individual
  • Course: SI 582
  • Deliverable: Mobile App for Package Tracking
  • Tool(s): Axure, Adobe Illustrator

Please feel free to drop me a note if you’d like to see the final Axure .rp file from this project, which contains all the interactions, variable settings, and page actions.

 

The goal of the project was to create a design solution in the form of a mobile app for centralized package tracking for consumers of e-commerce industry. The focus is in the interaction design therefore the feasibility of the solution in terms of availability of underlying technology is assumed rather than confirmed.

The differentiators of the solution I’m suggesting against currently available apps are:

  1. The external text extraction process for shipment confirmation email allows importing of all relevant information into the app without manual user input.
  2. The GPS tracking of delivery trucks allow real-time tracking of packages being delivered on the day.

The following steps and techniques were explored in completion of the project:

  • Sketching Alternatives
  • Brainstorming
  • Concept Map
  • Scenarios and Storyboards
  • Wireframe
  • Paper Prototype and Testing
  • Digital Prototype using Axure
  • Design Critique

You can test the prototype on your iPhone in three easy steps:

  • Open http://share.axure.com/HUZJUV/App_Home.html in your iPhone’s Safari browser.
  • Tap on the Add to Home Screen icon (goto_icon) at the bottom center.
  • Go back to home screen and open the prototype by tapping on the newly added icon.

Or simply check out the slideshow of the finished prototype here:

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The paper prototype was integral in determining the must-have features over nice-to-have ones. In order to maximize the maneuverability, three types of prototype materials were created: full (main page element in stock paper), semi (interchangeable content area in lighter weight paper), and partial (pop-up and error message elements). Planning the prototype elements in advance reduced the amount of duplicates while defining anticipated user actions and paths.

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Below are the works from earlier phases including the scenarios and the concept map.

Scenario 1

Jim McCormick is a project manager at a tech company that has a web application. Being a startup, his employer is big on creating a collaborative work environment that accommodates individual work styles and flexible work schedule. While Jim much prefers to work in the office, he sometimes decides to telecommute if he needs to run errands or otherwise need to be home during the day.

He lives alone in a studio apartment in a complex with approximately 100 units. While the building has a dedicated mailroom, the leasing office is not on premise and packages are delivered to individual units. Rather than going to stores and shopping malls, Jim does most of his shopping online, with the exception of groceries, and loves his Amazon Prime account with free 2-day shipping. Most of his packages get delivered via UPS. Because he is not home during the day, he has no idea when the packages actually get dropped at his doorstep.

He’s been using the shipment tracking app for about a month now. He knows about the delivery window option and thought it was clever but never really thought much about it. But last night, he saw on the local news that there’s been an increase in mail theft in his neighborhood, especially packages left at the door. Even though he’s never lost a package or had any stolen, that news report keeps bugging him.

Jim’s expecting a package and the app’s tracking detail says 1 business day until delivery, which is tomorrow. Now a little concerned about it being stolen, he opens the app and selects the delivery window option. Based on the delivery timestamps of the 9 packages he’s tracked with it, the app is now showing a delivery window between 4:11 p.m. and 5:01 p.m. for UPS, which is the carrier for the package he’s expecting. He decides to go home a little early and checks his calendar to make sure it’s clear.

Patrick from his project team had sent a meeting invitation for 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon to talk about one of the enhancement requests that needs to get deployed in the current release. This one’s going to need some in-depth discussions and Jim doesn’t want to do it over the phone. So he moves up the meeting to 2 p.m. and gets home by 4 p.m. The package gets delivered around 4:30 p.m. and for the first time since he moved into his apartment, he got to meet the UPS delivery person.

Scenario 2

Danielle Harris is a stay at home mom who enjoys baking and gardening. She has two children, Ben and Ashley, who are 10 and 8 years old, respectively. After she drops her kids off at school in the morning, Danielle runs errands, gets groceries, and comes home to spend most of her day cooking, baking, or tending to the garden.

Her house is a Mediterranean style two story single family home with a huge backyard. It’s her dream house and the backyard was what won her heart when she and her husband Rick first saw it 3 years ago. Rick has a small law practice and sometimes has documents delivered to his house instead of his office, partly because he doesn’t have a receptionist at his office and Danielle’s home most of the time. These documents usually get delivered via FedEx and they require signature.

Recently, Danielle missed a couple of deliveries and Rick had to pick them up at the local FedEx office, because she was planting new varieties of herbs and heirloom tomatoes in the garden and did not hear the doorbell ring. Rick and Danielle downloaded the shipment tracking app because of the GPS truck tracking feature. Now Rick makes sure all document/package he is expecting at home are tracked on the app.Danielle gets push notifications if a package/document is bring delivered that day. She carries her phone in her garden apron when going out to the backyard and checks the app to see where the truck is.

Today, Danielle checked the app, saw the truck icon near the entrance of their little cul-de-sac on the map, and had enough time to wash her hands and get the door to sign for the document Rick’s been expecting.

Scenario 3

Mark Green is a retiree in his early 60s living in a single story Ranch style home where he’s lived in the past 15 years. It’s a nice little neighborhood where everyone goes by their first name, helps each other hang Christmas lights, and gets together for occasional block parties. His next-door neighbor Carl is a very good friend of Mark who helped Mark through difficult times like when Mark’s wife, Jillian, passed away two years ago. Carl’s also retired and spends most of his day making furniture in the front yard with his garage door open. Mark volunteers at a local library three days a week and his passion is collecting vinyl records for his three turn tables that he absolutely cherishes.

The local records store where Mark used to get vinyls from got closed several years ago. Since then, he’s been using eBay extensively to find records. It took a little effort but he’s now an avid eBayer who knows his way around auctions and has even sold some of his records of lesser value on eBay to get a couple of rare records. He has packages delivered three, four times a week. These are mostly USPS media mail but because of the size of the boxes that contain records, they won’t fit in his mailbox and get left at the door.

When it comes to truly rare records or ones that he really cares about, Mark’s a little nervous about them being left outside for long for a variety of reasons including possible theft, exposure to sun/heat, etc., especially on the days he’s out at the library volunteering. Today’s such day and he’s expecting a rare record that’s still in the original shrink-wrap. He’d rather have these important ones shipped to Carl’s address knowing Carl’s always home and would gladly keep an eye out for his packages. But most of his purchases are from individual sellers who require he use the verified home address linked to his PayPal account. So earlier this morning as soon as he got to the library, Mark opened his shipment tracking app, pulled up the tracking detail of that precious delivery, and tapped on the Share button. He selected the text option, chose Carl from his contacts, and sent him a text message to give him a heads-up. When he got home, Carl handed him the package he had safely tucked away, and they grabbed a couple of beers in Mark’s living room listening to it.

 

Storyboards   Concept Map