During my time at Online Department I’ve had the opportunity to work with this amazing entrepreneur. Extensive research done by him has shown that transporting packaging is experienced as ‘just’ a wooden pallet or ‘just’ a cart by those who work with them. Hereby underestimating actual value of said cart or wooden pallet and resulting in high amounts of losses and unpleasant disputes.
TellApe aims to help companies achieve insight in their transporting packaging by offering easy & low acces methods of registering incoming and outgoing packaging. Ultimately giving their clients peace of mind by creating a higher level of ownership of their products. With just one click they can see where it is, exactly what packaging, if they have a surplus or deficit and if they owe some one or they them.
Below is a short summary of the 2+ years that I’ve worked on this project, that is still ongoing. First from my role as a Researcher & Interaction Designer, later on as a UX Lead. I’ve taken out a couple of highlights, but have many more stories to share. Feel free to contact me if you want to know more.
Although there was a lot of research done on the business case there was little known about the behavioural patterns of potential users. Normally this would mean that we would do some interviews and user other tooling to get a better understanding. However the client being a start up brings certain constraints (Time & Budget) and with it gives us the opportunity to experiment with more lean & agile research methods Instead of doing extensive research up front we used paper prototypes to quickly envision what the client had in mind and presented this to possible users. From there we could start up an explorative interview to better understand why something would or wouldn’t work.
In a couple of days we validated our paper prototype with various transport companies, wholesalers and exporters in the western part of the Netherlands. With it we validated the business case and developed a better understanding of their habits, used IT solutions and product eco-systems around packaging materials.
After gathering and synthesising all our learnings into insights we took a step back to re-evaluatie our prototype. Although we were going in the right direction it was missing essential features to be of real value. One of the biggest hurdles we identified is integrating this new product into their eco system. A lot of data is already available but only on certain channels. If we could use that as a starting point it would save them even more time. Unfortunately most of these channels are part of a closed system circuit, making it hard to gain easy acces. Another learning that we came home with was that by just eliminating the paper trail we could get their IT from fax into the digital age.
We put the new possible features through some ideation sessions to see how they might work and re-designed our information architecture. Adding an entire new product to the offering; a desktop application to manage all the data captured by the mobile applications, on which employees register ingoing and outgoing packaging. Through the desktop application the administrators can manage and control all drop off & pick up locations, customers and get up to date insight on where their packaging materials are. Which is based on all the transactions logged by the employees.
When we launched the application our main focus shifted from adding features to perfecting the application and optimising the user experience. We’ve been doing this by constantly making small changes and by expanding the eco-system that the client wants to offer. We helped the client shift from a purely consultancy focused company towards an asset based consultancy driven by a purpose. For more information take a look at https://tconsult.nl/ or https://tellape.nl/