I was lucky enough to represent Glasgow Caledonian University at the European Project hosted by IMEC. The project pairs students from different European universities and programmes with a Belgian start-up to help elevate their business.
I was paired with SewerMapper. An innovative product that scans manholes and maps the underground system below us. We all met in Belgium for five days of getting to know the client and their goals. For us, it was a case of creating the product identity and the online platform working next to the device.
SewerMapper already had a logo. We cleaned it up and created the remaining elements of the identity in collaboration with the client. This included colours, fonts, and style of images.
We were two designers who split the tasks between us. I focused mostly on the user experience and user interface, however, I took part in the visual identity and the design of the brochure.
Designer and scrum master
After five days in Belgium, we went back to our respective homes and continued working on the project. Slack was a saviour when it came to project management and communication. I worked as a scrum master and user interface designer. This was a challenging role to keep as it was double the work. However, it was truly worth it. It showed the importance of project management, but more so the value of creating a friendly environment where people feel comfortable.
Simplify a complicated product
I am not going to lie, it took me a while to understand the product and its functionalities. It took a good couple of brainstorming-sessions and making job stories for each user type and the situations, they would use the product. The user interface had three stages: Filling in information about the hole that the machine does not register, scanning a manhole, and viewing past scans.
Because of confidentiality, I cannot show everything created. Items shown have been approved by the product owner.
Based on the job stories, I created the first prototype which was fully developed by the developers working on the project. Through user testing, we found the task flow to not be intuitive. This meant the user had to click to get the desired task flow compared to being guided through it.
With the new insight in mind, it was important to go back to the sketchpad and start ideating. By creating two options, it became a lot faster for the users to use the functionalities needed on the spot: You can register a new manhole OR scan an existing manhole. By adding the history cards to the front page, workers can easily access information needed about their previous scans.