Designing the mobile app for an industrial IoT product
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Designing the mobile app for an industrial IoT product

Summary

Pall Corp was in the pre-sales generation phase for the rollout of a new IoT product, Prodigy. Prodigy is a smart industrial filter that measures flow rates and other key metrics for any liquid passing through it. The filter then sends the data to process engineers who are using the Prodigy mobile application on the floor of that industrial facility.

Under a tight deadline, Pall approached us to design and create a mobile experience for Prodigy to enable their sales teams to begin the sales and feedback cycle.

Their team sent us some rough requirements and a desired user journey. After a little user research and sessions with the Pall Marketing team our lead designer Karl jumped right in imagining the UI / UX for Prodigy.

In two weeks our design team led by Karl delivered an exceptional fully clickable mockup of the Prodigy application. The Pall sales teams were then able to download the mobile application mockup to their iPhones and tablets to give engaging sales presentations.

About

Pall Corp is a Fortune 500 manufacturer of proprietary filtration, separation and purification products and solutions. They have a global presence and serve several industries including aerospace, chemical production, power generation, water treatment and medical.

With a heavy focus on the physical and life sciences, the staff at Pall lacked the expertise to design beautiful and intuitive mobile software. The Pall Prodigy team approached us in March 2016 to ask if we were able to deliver a mobile design for their product. Since a staggering 70% of digital products do not get adopted, we knew we had to be careful and make sure Prodigy experience was well thought out, tested and validated.

Challenges

Inventing a new product is always difficult from a design and usability perspective. It was no less true in this case.

Understanding what process engineers (PE) did on a daily basis was a huge initial barrier we had to overcome. Our designers don’t have experience working on the floor of an industrial facility and haven’t had close contact with an industrial process engineer before. This meant that we had to do a deep discovery with Pall to truly understand and empathise with a typical PE.

Factories have complex processes with multiple filtration monitors attached to each process. The main usability problem we identified was envisioning a hierarchy of information that allows a PE to comfortably drill down from a factory, to a targeted reading on a monitor, that’s attached to a specific process. All this while taking into consideration that the application had to increase PE efficiency in overseeing filter status across all processes.

How We Helped

  • Translated the Pall storyboard and engineer workflow into a process we could understand and then optimize.

  • Created a UI prototype that displayed only the most relevant information to a PE at each level a process.

  • Created a high-fidelity mockup of Prodigy mobile application.

  • Iterated on Prodigy design continually over 2 weeks by incorporating feedback from the Pall marketing team.

Their Results

  • Rapid approval by the Chief Industrial Design Officer at Pall.

  • Began to generate pre-sales for Prodigy almost immediately after demo was complete.

  • Two-week turnaround time for a high-fidelity mobile application mockup for iPhone 5, 5s, 6 and iPad 2,3.

  • User validated design and experience.

  • The new workflow for process engineers using Prodigy allowed them to decrease the load of scheduled day-to-day maintenance tasks while still being responsive to needs as they arose.

From the Team

“This was a rewarding and challenging excersise to design an experience that would be understood by the enginners that would have to use it day in and day out. Over the couple of brainstorming sessions we had with the Prodigy team, we outlined their needs for information at a glance. We took extra care to make sure their user could drill down into exactly which monitor they needed to see, right when they needed it the most.”

— Karl Danninger

Visuals

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