Encompass is a full-service fleet management product that improves both day-to-day efficiency, as well as FMCSA compliance, for users across the United States and Canada.
Amy Daley, Taylor Clinton, Mikal Grant
Feb 2019 — ongoing
This project began, first and foremost, as a need for the organization to adapt to the changing landscape of the transportation industry. The company had possessed the foresight to shift a portion of their efforts from printing paper logbooks for truck drivers (which they are required to complete for each trip), to building their own software solution for drivers to enter their time.
The comprehensive nature of Encompass was also to its detriment. The product, while robust, was a Frankenstein’s monster of sorts; stitched together from products and features gone by. Its features were reminiscent of an apartment building, with each tenant living and existing independently of the other. Each unit was so close in proximity to the other, but locked doors and drawn curtains prevented anyone from ever seeing the other residences. Everything was happening in a vacuum, and we needed to unlock the doors. We needed to build a house.
In order to fully understand the vast landscape of Encompass, we first had to understand what was working well and what needed to be changed from a navigational standpoint.
We conducted a series of card sorting exercises in order to recategorize, rename, and restructure the product’s primary navigation. We needed to answer the fundamental question: does this navigational pattern make sense?
Heuristic Evaluations and User Interviews
Having an existing application has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. We chose to focus on the positive, which is why we began by conducting a UI inventory to identify patterns and outliers to be addressed from the existing product. We were sure to critically examine the highest-use features (determined from our product’s Pendo tracking) for UX improvements as well.
After gathering that information, we were left with a few questions to ask our users:
- What is Encompass doing well today?
- What can we do to improve the product?
- What are some things you wish Encompass did better?
We conducted 1:1 interviews with five users as well as nine internal associates in both the Customer Care and Sales departments, and we found that the main theme was that the product had almost everything they needed, but there were a few items that stood out as areas of improvement:
- Better data manipulation (sorting/filtering),
- A more modern UI (users were exposed to, and expected to see, modern web applications), and
- A more intuitive navigation (to paraphrase an oft-repeated quote, "After [salesperson] showed me how to get there, it was easy to remember."
As this round of interviews concluded, we were able to create a set of user personas in order to infuse a more human-centered approach into the design process.
Initial Wireframes and Flow
For both ease of implementation (ultimately via SASS) as well as to have as many options as possible, we ended up using tints and shades in order to improve accessibility while remaining within the color palette chosen.
Once we were able to solidify a design direction, I believe that we were able to achieve our goal to keep the product in-line with the overall voice of the brand, which is:
- Trustworthy and confident. Our experts are the best in the industry with regard to FMCSA Regulatory compliance.
- Educative and helpful, not patronizing. We’ve added in helpers where needed in the new UI, but for the most part we believe we’ve let the interface speak for itself. Now instead of teaching users to use Encompass, they are learning to use Encompass.
- Serious, yet relatable. Although we’re dealing with a lot of sensitive data, we shouldn’t be afraid to crack a joke once in a while.