How We Make UX in Haulage a Great Experience

Created by Harrison Astbury - Published August 9, 2016


 harrison-astbury @ivolveharrison

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Operator Screen for a haul truck

With Engineer Callum Coe

Making a great end-user experience (UX) is something that iVolve prides itself on. Interfacing and making sure software is intuitive across all operational levels onsite involves a meticulous process of ‘getting it just right’. This is especially true for haulage, where not having access to the right data can mean money wasted onsite.

We have talked about the processes of developing the software on the back-end of haulage, but it’s also important to make the product practical to use on the front-end.

iVolve Engineer Callum Coe has recently been working on the redesign of our in-cab display, the iVolve Screen. The redesign has involved changes to how the Screen looks, sounds and feels.

What is involved in UX at iVolve?

He says that for analysing haulage, the rework means that in-cab operators are now able to access important data to them more intuitively.

“A good example of how we optimise haulage would be that we have a new colour block system. A large portion of the screen (that contains the total tonnage in the tray) turns green/yellow/red depending on the loading percentage (100%/110%/120%). This ensures operators know if they’re on or over target with colour in their peripheral vision – they don’t even need to look at the screen,” Callum said.

Callum said that intuitive features like that – which can be easily overlooked – are common sense at iVolve.

“They’re little aids like that, which help to reduce the time that can be lost with every truck/loader pairing.

“What separates iVolve in this new piece of software is that we’ve really put a lot of thought and a lot of time into what operators want to see, and more importantly what they expect to see,” he said.

Callum says the end result will benefit one of iVolve’s core values – UX.

“We’re trying to make our system very familiar to machine operators like a smartphone. We don’t want them to say ‘Oh this thing is just part of my job’, rather ‘This is a cool thing I can get a lot out of’. It comes down to being onsite, being familiar with individual operators, the culture of the site, and adapting your language with what you want to know from those factors,” Callum said.

How does iVolve tailor-make its software?

Callum says that any quality software company knows when to rework one of their key products.

“Windows is a good example… Vista and Windows 10 are their big iterations. This new development is our ‘big iteration’. We’ve tried to rethink everything we want the software to do - including what it’s doing now. We’ve thought ahead and thought it would be good to add new features and how we can do that in a really intuitive and accessible way for our operators.”

On site culture, Callum said that was one of the major factors iVolve has to consider when making sure a product is intuitive, and tailor-made.

“We want to respond to what they want; every site is different in their culture,” he said, “It’s a balancing act between delivering an awesome piece of software for operators and justifying its awesomeness to different levels of management”.

Callum said a great piece of software cannot rely solely on style, but it also has to have substance.

“It’s good to make the software look cool, but it’s about what it actually does in-cab and onsite,” he said.

This new in-cab suite will be released later this year. Stay tuned.

Follow Callum on Twitter here.