KUGADI DESIGN APP
Kugadi is a mobile workforce management platform that allows managers to track their employees — helping them cut costs by reducing the amount of time and people it takes to manage employees by facilitating efficient reporting and improving customer service by keeping track of employees and making them accountable for their tasks. They build software that helps manage these types of things in the security industry and have noticed similar difficulties for managers within custodial field services. Seeking innovative ways to solve this, Kugadi initiated a design challenge and myself and the team at Lux Interaction stepped up to the plate – winning the competition on April, 7th 2017.
Managing workforces of employees such as janitors or security guards poses a great headache for employers since it is challenging to keep track of where employees are at any given time. Because of this, companies have to staff supervisors at every location, which creates significant overhead.
Additionally, there is no streamlined process to gather data on the workforce’s shifts, arrival and departure times, hours worked, tasks completed, and issues reported. There is also a lack of communication between the employees and managers, so a lot of tasks go undone, which creates customer service issues.
In seeking to address this problem within the Janitorial Service industry, Kugadi (a mobile workforce management) initiated a design challenge — where the company asked User Experience and Product Designers to create an innovative product that would allow managers to know where roving employees are at any given time and to verify if they are doing their job correctly.
The application (a mobile app build for the Android Platform) would allow for one remote manager to supervise multiple locations at a time, communicate with the janitors to make sure tasks are completed, provide site-specific tasks and instructions, and ensure that any issues that arise during an employee’s shift are taken care of right away.
Native Android app for use by a commercial cleaning company.
The app will be used by cleaners to manage and report their daily activities.
The aim is to empower the cleaners to work more efficiently and have an accurate record of their work at the end of the day through an auto-generated report.
Accurate Time and Attendance. In order to pay the cleaners, it is vital to know exactly when they started and stopped their shift. It is also important to keep track of the breaks they take as it is a legal requirement for them to take a certain amount of breaks during the day.
Accurate records of buildings and floors serviced.
Allow cleaners to report things they cannot deal with. For example: Graffiti sprayed on a wall or a broken light.
Be able to communicate with a supervisor remotely. To get instructions or have realtime-time conversations.
Industrial and Ecological Review (what we found out there)The Janitorial Service industry can be segmented into three primary areas where janitorial enterprises are engaged in the cleaning of residential buildings (homes, apartments, and condominiums), commercial facilities (factories, municipal structures, businesses, retail outlets, educational and healthcare.), and specialty areas. These activities are primarily contracted services and the commercial service area — particularly in education and healthcare represents the biggest growth area within this industry. General cleaning services were estimated to have generated approximately $51 billion in revenue in 2015. There is a high level of competition with approximately 829,522+ companies operating in the Janitorial Service industry as of 2015. Typical contracts lasting for one year and companies bid on contracts which makes price-based competition important for this industry. Low barriers to entry and increasing competition within the Janitorial Service industry means that there are many small services competing for commercial and residential contracts. Rapid turnover within this industry is not uncommon with estimates of cleaning companies losing up to 55% of their customer base each year to actualized or perceived poor service.
To understand the individuals who would be using the Kugadi Clean Assist app, the Lux team interviewed several custodians in the building where the studio is. The following is a brief example of the types of questions asked and answers that were received.
Q — “Como usted deja su patrón saber cuando los suministros de limpieza son bajos? (What is the process of reporting low cleaning supplies to your employer?”
A — “Currently we are required to either leave a note on the supervisor/front desk or leave a voicemail with the details of the low cleaning supplies.”
Q – “Tiene que informar cuando haya terminado de limpiar una sección del edificio Building Co? ( Do you have to report or log when you complete your cleaning duties throughout the day/end of the day/etc. )”
A — “Yes, we write down by hand on a paper log when we complete the areas. We include the day and time, as well as our signature. This is only in certain areas though, like the bathroom.”
Q — “Cómo funciona el proceso de sincronización dentro y fuera de building co.? Tiene que reportar sus descansos? How does the process of clocking in and out at building co work? Do you have to log your breaks?”
A — “We are given a 15 minute break every 3 hours of work. The break is at a specific time, each shift.”
Q — “Tiene actualmente un sistema para reportar cualquier incidente que está fuera de sus control? Do you currently have a system in place to report any incidents that are out of your control?”
A — “We are told to call the supervisor/security at his cell-phone if there is ever an incident. Sometimes we are blamed for messes that we did not create. Or doors that were left unlocked that we had already finished it.”
Creating user personas is one of the most important elements in our product development cycle. At the end of the day, we were designing for custodians, their supervisors, and the business owner — so we created fictional representations of these individuals to help guide our design process and address their pain-points and frustrations. Kugadi is a great company, but they are the product owner and not the end user — so to make a product that would be received by those who would ultimately be using this app, we had to design for them.
Going hand-in-hand with our user personas, we distilled our research into the daily activities of the product’s users. To do this, we took the personas and deconstructed the user’s day in a visual format to identify where they experience challenges and pain-points (friction points) — and then used this to identify where we could implement the design solutions.
Affinity diagrams were used in our research process to identify patterns in the data collected from user interviews, industry reports, and technological reviews. As designers, we like to put our research into a visual format and find that this helps us to sort all of our findings out.
No explanation needed — but we’ll give one to you anyways. In our design process, we use low-fidelity sketches as our starting point for visual design.
We find that this is the best way to illustrate the concepts that we are trying to build out and it is also a great way to explore many different ideas without significant time and resource investment. User testing is incorporated into our sketching process with paper prototyping and we are able to see what ideas have the potential to work and which ones don’t. We also simply enjoy the process of throwing a lot of ideas out there and this is one of the best ways to do it
How would the Kugadi Clean Assist app be structured? Where would things be placed and what positioning would make the most logical sense? We use information architecture to figure all of this kind of stuff out and also to help us when designing the user-flows for how someone would complete tasks within the app
As designers, compare the role that we play in product development to that of architects in the construction of a building (hence the term information architecture). The sitemap is our blueprint for how a product (in this case, Kugadi Clean Assist) will be structured and provides the outline of how we will design (“build”) it.
The user flow is the next progression in the Information Architecture phase of our product development cycle. Although the example below uses the high-fidelity screens from our design, it functions similar to our initial user-flows (which were functional, but ugly and we were a little embarrassed to show them off). We use user-flows to map out how a user will use a product — in this case, Kugadi Clean Assist — and also to make sure that the user is able to work through features through a logical progression.
The branding and style guides helped t0 keep the design of app consistent — especially since we were working in teams to develop the user interface (ie. the visual components of the screens). These guides are also important for when we hand the final designs over to the development team (ie. the coders / programmers) as it will help communicate the individual elements of the design to them.
Selected samples of the high fidelity wireframes designed for the Kugadi Clean Assist App. You can see where the branding and style guides came into play here — as well as the evolution of the design from the initial low-fidelity hand sketches.