Apparel Graphics Scheduling Application

A complex scheduling application that handles hundreds of tasks every week with many dependencies and inputs.

Details

My Role: Lead UX Designer

Others on project: CEO, Director of Engineering, Schedule Manager

Results

Time on task: Reduced by 38%

Support calls: Reduced by 42%

"This is a huge win for our floor manager and operators to have a better view across all of the work going on at once and how those various work streams impact one another."

Discovery and Definition

Apparel Graphics is an apparel decoration company that does screen printing, embroidery, labeling, and other services for customers across the United States. They came to me to help them reduce the complexity of their scheduling processes and make them more user friendly across the company. They were also having a lot of support calls around a disconnect of expectations between customers and sales.

Primary Challenges

1. Lack of visibility into various work streams across jobs, machines, and personal

2. No way of easily knowing or visualizing how a new job could impact current or future jobs

3. Needed a source of truth across management, sales, and operators to create efficiency across the company

My Preferred Design Process

Defining Goals and General Ideation

This feature didn't exist at all in their current application and a constant pain point was a disconnect between sales and when they promised a job to be done and when it could actually be completed. Or a job taking longer than anticipated or getting rescheduled due to another job overage and this not easily getting pushed back up to sales and services and causing customer complaints when the job wasn't delivered at the time expected or promised.

IA / Taskflow

Since we were designing for multiple personas that had overlapping taskflows/views it was helpful to visualize this to understand where those handoffs and overlaps would likely take place.

Design Process

Layout Concepts

I put together some broad concepts for us to start from based on common scheduling paradigms like kanban, card, and a more traditional calendar approach.

Visualizing Role Based Changes

Depending on the persona viewing the schedule they would either see schedules for just a single machine or user or they could see schedules that spanned multiple machines and users resulting in a much more complex UI. The product manner persona would always see the most complex view but it was well understood and desired so they could have a view across all jobs, machines, and users at once to understand where they stood and what they might need to adjust.

Final UI

Measuring and validating designs

Research was conducted on a bi-weekly basis with their scheduling manager and feedback was then taken and synthesized and discussed as a product and design team.

- Users really liked increased transparency around scheduling
- The designs were still perceived as pretty complex and further refinement would need to be done
- Production oriented personas didn't need access to all jobs and machines but rather needed a lot of that "noise" cleared away so they could focus on their tasks for the day
- Users liked the utilization of drawers to access various settings instead of losing focus and going to completely different pages