Melvin | Helping cities co-ordinate roadwork planning.

2019 — NDW — Web and mobile application [UX Design, UI Design]

Created a web application to make sure roadwork is well coordinated within and between cities as well as among the local government, central government and contractors (those who do the actual work).

User flows MVP

A bit of context, in the Netherlands roadwork is managed on two levels: local and central. The central government oversees the highways, using a tool specially designed for the Dutch road network. Local government oversee all local roads within their area and are, in contrary to the central government, free to use whatever tool they like. With all sort of communications and planning problems as a result.

We designed and build a web based application alongside the various Dutch local governments that allows them to effortless plan and, in particularly, efficiently coordinate roadwork. By improving the effectiveness and teamwork of local governments NDW sought to reduce the impact of road work on road-users. 

The use of Melvin is free and not bound by a contract, the only thing expected from the municipalities and provinces is that they contribute to the further development of the application.

Low-fidelity wireframe used in the project's tender to give the client a hint of Melvin's potential. 

UX Challenges
When we entered the project the product owner had already been working with the key user group for a few months. At that moment, the scope was still rather undefined and both Key user group and product owner were lost in the details. We had to make them think about the bigger picture, outside the possibilities and impossibilities of the tools they were familiar with and more towards their actual needs and wishes.

Already at the start it was the plan that MELVIN would eventually replace all local roadwork planning tools within the Netherlands in the upcoming years. This prospect on the size of the future user base and corresponding growing amount of measurements planned through the system and functionalities asked for good and especially scalable design. We wanted to make the application convincing, both in functionalities and ease of use, as the switch to the new application was voluntary.

Sketching out the main workflow and multiple options for how the main overview can work.

UX Solutions
To ensure that we were designer for the true user needs and wishes we organised weekly key-user sessions. We discussed their work process, how they work and the why behind it, and the UX proposals, through wireframes. Bit by bit it became easier for them to see the bigger picture and to let go of their image of the application as they knew it.

To facilitate the different work processes, we had given the user the opportunity to adjust the layout and workflow as desired. It is easy to switch between a map or table oriented workflow, or chose to have a combination of both. To keep the workflow straightforward, our application’s structure makes it possible for the user to perform all its work tasks within the table / map overview. Users could directly create a new measure or edit an existing one by selecting it from the table or the map. They can search for a specific measure through the filter or brows the table or map to see which measures there are within their reagent. Users could also check the edit and conversation history in a measure, give approval on a measure to a contractor or generate a report on all or specific measures. 

We wanted to keep the application as comprehensive and orderly as possible. Especially with the prospect of the growing number of functionalities. Every new wish and need provided therefore again the challenge to incorporate it into the total scope of the application. Occasionally this meant parts of the application had to be reviewed and altered but mostly this could be prevented with good design architecture beforehand.

Desktop wireframes. 

End note
At this moment, almost all provinces and municipalities have switched to Melvin. A few are still tied to an ongoing contract or want extra functionalities before they switch. The application is constantly being expanded with new functionalities.

Mobile wireframes. 

Product Owner - Wouter Luth
Backend Developer - Nikola Vidakovic, Juan Luis Chamon Martinez, Yao Li
Frontend Developers - Geert Tasseron, Bert Scholten
User Experience Designer / User Interface Designer - Marjolein Kors
Tester - Barend Vreugdenhil 
Scrum Master - Jeroen de Grebber
Datex - Tim Volk

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