Next Level Operational Efficiency
Satcom Direct is a small business providing connectivity services, hardware and data for the private aircraft market.
Since experiencing rapid growth, Satcom Direct recognized a strong need to revise their internal operations tools to keep pace with providing exceptional customer service. The Operations Department was using multiple, out-dated software platforms to complete their tasks that had little integration with other internal tools and had been developed without scalability in mind.
I was part of a team tasked with creating OpsX, an internal, fully integrated web-based tool to serve the entire operations lifecycle.
I was the solo UX designer on this project and responsible for user research and analysis, visual design and prototyping.
I worked along side a product manager, solutions architect and lead developer.
Understanding the Problem
Our goal for the project was to create a new foundation moving forward that would scale with the company’s future needs by streamlining workflows between departments and increasing automation.
Our high level goals were to:
- Simplify workflows and automate
- Create self-service tools
- Make it simple to use and maintain
We conducted user interviews to discover user pain points and challenges.
Key insights discovered during this process:
Distrust in the Information
Poor implementation and limited functionality with 3rd party tools created an environment were information was fed in but not accurate or up-to-date. It created clutter that needed sifting through and distrust that the information could be utilized.
No Single Source of Truth
Users were using multiple sources to cross-reference and verify information, sometimes with conflicting data. They lacked confidence the information was correct.
Cross department documents were being sent via email to a group email addresses. Why can’t these two systems talk to each other so we don’t need to use email? They had to visit too many places to do one thing.
Band-Aid Approach to Fixing Software Updates
Inflexible software and limited development resources meant quick fixes had piled up and become problems. Users were working around the software and needed training to “just know” how to perform certain tasks resulting in lengthy training periods.
The System is Slow
The system is slow with retrieving data and in the case of support staff it impedes their ability to provide accurate and fast service.
Using the insights from the user interviews I created personas to address each of the users needs.
I developed 5 personas from each of the main departments this new platform will serve including:
Epics and Stories
The product manager, having spent two years as an activations specialist, was in a unique position to deeply understand our users. Because of her previous experience, she distilled complex processes into robust epics and stories for the team.
I created workflows to help identify the necessary screens users would need to complete their tasks and find information.
Color Palette & Themes
Since this was an internal tool with limited development resources, the decision was made to follow Material for Angular specifications with little to no customization in order to reduce development time and maintenance.
I completed a color exploration utilizing colobox.io to create 3 theme color palettes based on the brand’s core colors. The result is a light, dark and blue theme that users will be able to switch between in their account preferences.
The colors needed:
- Adequate contrast for WCAG compliancy
- Plug into Material for Angular’s css framework
- Be easy to maintain moving forward
I worked with the developer to ensure I was providing the necessary color ramps required for Material for Angular.
The design system was partially built when I joined the project. My goal was to complete and standardize the components based on Material Design specifications.
An important factor to consider was how best to use cards. They needed to flexible enough to handle a variety of data and actions. What would they look like with tabs, input fields, buttons and icons? And how would they look with scrollable content?
The goal for the visual design was to create a flexible system with reusable components. We knew we would need some sort of dashboard layout for showing chart data and informational summaries. While also taking into consideration a minimization of page loads.
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From the visual designs I created prototypes to share with the team for feedback.
We are confident that with back end improvements and a clean UI operational efficiency will vastly increase and allow all operational departments to work together instead of in silos.
This project is on-going.