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Tennessee Department of Transportation's construction and maintanence software for reporting personel and equipment on work sites
Recorded (in Adobe XD) from user testing.

goals

To create an efficient way for hundreds of TDOT inspectors to document roadway construction and maintenance.

analysis

We found that most users had little to no experience with computers. The application needed to work offline while users were in the field. Users needed consistent application updates and data saves that would not interrupt their work. Users also needed to add complex calculations to create TDOT and contractor inventories. The application needed to work on state-issued Dell touchscreen computers. Challenges included: dealing with the technical limitations of the native Dell cameras used on the worksite; encouraging users to synch and update information consistently, and making sure that user calculations were clear to inspectors.

solutions

We built the app as a wrapper app with a Javascript frontend viewed passively through chromium. This allowed the user to see the app in a familiar way, as they would on their desktop. We used Angular and Material Design as a base for the software. This gave us a base for our UI without wasting tax dollars on a new design language.

This design saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for TDOT because users were able to double or triple the amount of worksites they visited in a day. The design won the Improving State Operations award.

research and user study

The Daily Work Report project was proposed as a result of a Construction and Maintenance merger around 2014 - 2015. This exposed a major overlap in the process of inspecting job sites.

Working with the Product Owner (who was an Engineer for TDOT alongside many of our users), we found that our users were on average late 40's early 50's. A major portion had GED or equivalent education and commonly had a background in construction or as manual day laborers.

planning and workflow

We built the app in phases. Each phase consisted of three to five two-week sprints. The build of the first phase allowed users to navigate to a Work Report via a Calendar interface. Later we added the sections of the work report as feature sets.

rough whiteboarding
workflow planning

prototyping

I chose Adobe UX for its ability to prototype quickly with high fidelity mockups. [ See video above ]

The app significantly streamlined workers’ processes. For example, during testing, we found that users needed to look up similar work items by a unique number rather than through descriptive text. This key information influenced our design. We made this filed easy to see and to use, thus saving the user significant time in looking up materials and calculations.

development

With the support of a strong team, I developed front end components including HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I also finalized and created UI elements. We chose Angular Material (as a UI library) and a template for Material Design because of its strong design framework and CLI.

live testing

I tested the app by asking the subject to perform a short series of tasks while recording the screen. I also asked each person to identify the most difficult part of their job and what would make it easier. I used this feedback to streamline the app.