Exposure: Supply Chain Risk Management
What is Exposure?
Exposure is a supply chain management web and mobile app that aims to help users easily identify and respond to risks. To accomplish this, the app delivers a feed of news and events that are curated specifically to the user's supply chain.
The existing Exposure app had several major problems.
From talking to our users, we realized that using a map was not the correct way to visualize risk in the supply chain, because geography is merely one aspect of many supply chain problems. In addition, the cards on the left gave users too much information right off the bat, which made scanning issues difficult and tiring. We needed a scannable design that was scalable and flexible enough to accommodate many different types of incoming risk data.
Secondly, Exposure produced so much noise and false alarms that our customers began to distrust it. Our mistake was that we tried to tell our users what we thought their problems were. Instead of proscribing problems, the app needed to allow users to identify which news or events could be real issues for them.
Finally, because the web app was getting a complete overhaul, the mobile app (iOS and Android) needed to be redesigned to feel cohesive with its web counterpart.
Below are examples of the old design that we scrapped completely because it just wasn't working for our product.
We solved the problems by completely overhauling the app with two new features.
Goal #1: Design a scannable UI that is scalable and flexible enough to accommodate many different types of incoming risk data.
The first new feature is the "Feed." My visual design partner and I introduced a simple list view that could accommodate many different types of information. Taking inspiration from popular news apps and feed readers that emphasize scannability, we decluttered the card and kept only the data that the user absolutely needed to see at this level. We moved all other details into a drill down view.
Goal #2: Design a UI that allows the user to identify which news or events are real issues to them.
Next, we created the "Issues" feature. I designed a flow that allowed the user to easily turn anything in the Feed into an issue. Once a card has been marked as an issue, it will live in the issues column for easy progress tracking.
Goal #3: Make the iOS and Android mobile apps feel cohesive with the web app.
In this design, I ensured that all information that was available to the user on the web was also available and easily accessible via the mobile app. The common visual design elements between web and mobile created cohesion between the two platforms.
Below are the high fidelity mock ups of the web and mobile flows.
The Design Process
After talking out and sketching user flows, I discovered that there were two main user archetypes I needed to design for.
One was the "Browser." This is a passive user who likes to keep an ear to the ground and watch what’s going on. He likes to be kept in the loop, but rarely is the first to raise issues, and instead, prefers to see what others are doing first. He usually waits to be told that he needs to take care of something. The other was the "Promoter." This user likes to be proactive and puts out fires before they happen. He will be the first to raise the red flag and pull in the key people necessary to take care of an issue.
Research, Brainstorm and Sketch
Due to the short project timeline, I did some rapid competitive research then jumped straight into sketching ideas and layouts.
Wireframe and Prototype
I took our best ideas and created low-fidelity wireframes to see which design had the most potential. I then prototyped the user flows using Keynote.
Because we were given only 5 days to produce a complete re-design of the Exposure web app, we jumped very quickly into the visual design phase. Together with the visual designer, we ironed out many design details.
This project was completed in 2014.