Creating a user-friendly platform for tracking loads at CaseStack partnered warehouses
CaseStack's main services include holding inventory at CaseStack partnered warehouses and transportation to retailer stores, called distribution centers. Currently, CaseStack and Warehouse users are tracking truckloads through Google Sheets. There are multiple challenges that come with managing so much information in a single Google sheet, especially with multiple different types of users working on these sheets and updates being made quickly. The Design team at CaseStack was asked to design a platform that would help these users track truckloads in a system, eliminating the current challenges users are dealing with.
Erika Friend, Michael DeGothseir, Crystal Kwok
UX/UI Designer, User Researcher, Usability Tester
Getting to Romeoville, IL
Designing CaseStack's Warehouse Load Tracker, Omniscient, was much different than previous projects in the past, since we're usually designing for users in our offices. This project began in January 2018, and has been owned by different members of the UX team. I will be delving into my solo involvement in the research and design of Omniscient.
Being able to tour CaseStack partnered warehouses was helpful in being able to visualize how and where our users would be using Omniscient.
Touring the Geodis Warehouse in Romeoville, IL
Current frustrations with using Google Sheets for load tracking:
Cluttered and hard to read
Comments being deleted to be updated with most current information due to lack of functionality (no comment thread functionality in Google Sheets)
Lack of consistency
And of course... it's hard to use!
The Product Owner and I observed warehouse employees use Google Sheets and watch their frustration with having to update information in the right columns. Manually editing all of this information proved tedious to the users, and they were excited to test Omniscient for the first time!
CaseStack View Demo
During usability testing, we had a few goals in mind:
Is this new platform intuitive to the user? - In other words, can the user perform the actions needed without guidance?
Test certain features, some of which included:
Checking in a load
Checking out a load
Commenting on a load
Deciphering between on time and late loads
Users didn't know this was a button
Users couldn't find the load ID
Program logo was too small for users
"Where's the trailer and dock door information? This information needs to be on the load listing page."
"I'm trying to click on the row to see more load information on a new page, but it's not working."
Confusion on how issues are resolved
Users didn't know what many of these icons meant
These usability issues led me to iterate the designs to have clearer affordances, better interactions for the user and content updates.
Testing with warehouse users was an eye-opening experience. I was able to see them engage in their day-to-day while they tested Omniscient.
Overall, testing went successfully and users enjoyed their experience with the new platform, Omniscient. The biggest discoveries that came out of testing included interactions that needed to be added or improved and optimizing visual design aspects of the current design.
Development of Omniscient is nearly complete. In May 2020, we went live with the MVP of Omniscient across all of our CaseStack partnered warehouses! This project was over two years in the making and I was excited to be the main designer involved for over a year and a half. I'm really looking forward to the impact this product is going to make for both our internal employees and warehouse employees in being able to track and manage loads.
Some features we're adding in the near future:
-Sorting and filtering loads
-Optimizing the view options