Dana Black
UX designer

Product Redesign for Enterprise Application

Southwest Airlines

My Role

Associate UX/UI Designer

Team Composition

1 Senior UX Designer, 1 Associate Designer, s Product Manager, 6 Developer pairs, 1 QA. Development was nearshore an offshore in China. Also collaborated with client's design system team.

Skills and Tools

Sketch, Zeplin, Jira, Facilitation, User testing, Card sorting, Prototyping, Interaction Design, Accessibility, Mural

Service Blueprint wall created by myself with feedback from client and the team

Service Blueprint wall created by myself with feedback from client and the team

Digital Transformation and Redesign for Major Airline

Project Brief

This was a digital transformation project for Southwest Airlines’ (‘SWA’)  internal enterprise maintenance scheduling platform. The previous application was pretty outdated and SWA was looking to migrate their product suite to the cloud. This essentially meant that there was a need for a new design.

The Problem

We needed to determine a way to display the work that was to be done for an aircraft on a calendar across multiple days and we needed to determine the best way to 

The Goals

  1. Develop a strategy for cross team collaboration and create alignment across all functions

  2. Determine the best way to  show multiple work packages across multiple days

Responsibilities

Design strategy, user journey mapping, wire-framing, cross functional collaboration

Tools

Sketch, Zeplin, Jira


Inception

Team Alignment

Below are the guiding principles we used when approaching our design for the application. I collaborated with the development team to come up with the items below. These are things that we felt were most important and crucial pieces to the design implementation. 

Learnable - Follows patterns that are familiar to the user

Discoverable - ease in how users discover features and functionality

Correctable - User is able to correct or edit their actions

Supportive - Aids the user in completing tasks 

Usable - Easy to use and flows nicely

Information rich - Provides valuable information to the user

Credible - Users must trust and believe what you tell them

Desirable - Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation

Accessible - Focuses on how a disabled individual accesses or benefits from a site, system or application.

Consistent - Familiarity with interactions and designs across various parts the the app 

We then did an exercise where which we figured out ways to apply my earlier guiding principles

As a designer, it was extremely important to come up with a collaborative way to not only  work with one another, but the rest of the development team as well in order to transfer knowledge and come up with a efficient way to quickly move through our sprints.

Not only was establishing a design sprint process important, but also creating touchpoints and helping the development team and stakeholders understand where designers fit in. I did this by identifying various ceremonies to be performed on a specific cadence.

Delivery

User Research

This was the user journey we created to help do the following:

1) Understand the line planners journey 

2) Identify gaps in the current 

3) Create a roadmap to understand the path to production

The app itself was essentially a calendar that the user could view to see which aircraft were scheduled to have maintenance on the given day.

Requirements Gathering

One challenge I had was trying to determine the best way to display the work packages given the fact that multiple work packages could exist for individual aircraft. These work packages could also span across multiple days. 

Co-Sketching

First I needed to understand all of the initial requirements of the calendar view. I did some user research and low-fi wireframing with our line planners to get a better idea of the primary behaviors needed.

User Testing

Once I understood the requirements at a high level, I decided to converge and approach it on a more granular level by now seeking to uncover the specific data we needed to surface for the individual work packages as well as tasks.

After that I did an interaction design exercise with users to brainstorm ways to show work packages that spanned across multiple days. New work packages were conveyed using different colored stickies. The idea was to determine the best way to see the way different packages overlapped.

Aside from the multi day work packages,another scenario that I had to solve for was multiple work packages for one aircraft. This meant that there could be several other work packages associated with one aircraft on a single calendar day.

Wire-framing

This is an example of the low-fi wireframe that was created in order to seek feedback from our user.

Final Design Artifact

In terms of the final design, I landed on the following:

  • Multi Day work packages would show as boxes that spanned across multiple days in the calendar

  • If there were overlaps with other smaller work packages, then there would be triangular  icons symbolizing when a package begins and ends

  • If an aircraft had multiple work packages, there would be a  two half cells shown under the date for that aircraft

What have you learned from this project?

Since I worked with a brilliant and tenured team, I was able to learn what it looks like to truly work collaboratively. I also learned how to promote and push for design excellence by creating opportunities to educate the development team and build alignment on the project at hand. This was done by facilitating mini workshops and lunch-n-learns in order to gain empathy and bring the team into the work I was doing as a designer.