We had the privilege to work with Kony to transform field service from being loads of paperwork to doing a few simple tasks on a tablet or phone.
Kony provides a cloud-based mobile application development software for the enterprise that spans across the software development lifecycle. The Kony Field Service application is directed at improving the process flow of field service teams. Team members often travel or work on-site to install, service, or repair systems or equipment. Formerly paper-heavy processes were brought online, allowing teams to improve first time fix rates, meet SLAs, and increase profitability.
Our main goal was to design an application that would allow these workers to be as efficient as possible by giving them more control over their schedule and tasks. With a history of paper-based processes, it was difficult for field service workers to be as mobile as they needed to be. From the start, it was clear that usability in all aspects of the word would be paramount to the success of this app. With this in mind, we designed for easy visibility for an outdoor environment, multiple mobile platforms (iOS and Android on both phone and tablet), and even larger hands (we learned that a large majority of field workers are male).
Identifying Existing Issues
When we began working on this project, the Field Service Application had gone through one iteration and existed at the time as a sales demo, which served as a jumping-off point for us. After clearly identifying the target user audience and structuring clear goals for the product, we analyzed the existing product with a thorough expert analysis, which we used to identify usability problems within the current interface.
Connections and Flows
As an exercise to visualize the flows and connections within the app, we printed out each screen and physically mapped each page. Through this process, it was clear to see whether processes were intuitive and logical for a user, or if more work needed to be done. Through this process, we also identified when design patterns could be repeated and reused to build consistency across the application. This in turn helped to guide the new information architecture.
Wireframes and Interactions
After looking at the heuristics and existing flows, our designers started work in creating wireframes, which we used to present our proposed designs to the client. These wireframes transformed ideas into something more tangible for the client to select from and review and comment on. In turn, we were able to take the feedback and iterate quickly, focusing purely on interactions and process flows. Our team also had scheduled weekly presentations with the client, keeping us on move quickly and involve the client every step of the way.
As we designed the application, we adhered to the existing brand guidelines to be consistent with the look and feel of its sister app. We also considered usability different environments and across variable platforms. Because of the diverse environmental conditions of field work, we chose neutral whites and blues as the main colors, with a few handpicked accent colors to highlight conditions and statuses. We also extended the icon set to cover all uses, testing our icons for legibility and meaning across cultures.
The final design of the Field Service application is simple to use and aggregates all the main procedural tasks that a field service worker previously would have need to complete manually.
We designed an easy way to view notifications and give each line item a rating of high to low. This allows the field service worker to quickly see how many tasks are coming up, in progress, on hold, or completed and learn more about the task or see a full list in more detail.
Not only did we move the entire process online, we were able to use technology to provide more information to the field worker. This included guiding execution of tasks, ability to check for available parts and material in an inventory in real-time (thus eliminating long service delays), as well as seamless communication between the technician and the customer.
To keep the application simple, we followed best practices in creating interactions. We padded all the design elements with extra space to account for larger fingers and easy readability.
Cross Platform Friendly
This application was designed to be used on a mobile device. However, since the devices used by field service workers vary greatly, we designed native applications for both iOS and Android platforms for mobile and tablet.
Starting from identifying issues with the application demo provided to us, we designed to solve those problems and simplify the workflow. Visually, we considered external factors, such as the various working environments of the field workers, the different types of devices on which they would use the app, and even the size of their hands. Overall, we helped Kony create an app that can be used in any field situation and increases the efficiency of the workers.