A case from Russia: Designing of the interface dispatch software for taxi service

It just so happened that a good interfaces with thoughtful scripts and a beautiful design — the prerogative of popular online services. For example, information or entertainment. And interfaces that behind the facade of industrial, dispatch, with a complex professional field, as a rule, are designed on the principle of “whatever works”, use outdated technology, do not take into account the human factor, overload the user with information, complicating its work.

We are faced with such problems, when embarked on the development of dispatching system for taxi companies Blaq. Here are the systems of the majority of taxi companies.

Big players the situation is the same. Here, for example, than it is necessary to use controllers of the “Yandex.Taxi”. Such systems overwhelm the person, not protect him from errors, increase the processing time.

In addition, taxi companies lose money on training new employees. After listening to the client, identified the requirements. Operator training — no more than two weeks.

The highly specialized system, before using the operator need to be trained. In terms of the intended learning more than missed. In the final version of the training and improvement of skills is no more than two days. The formation of the order — no more than 1 minute.

Operator actions must be organized efficiently at all stages from the moment the customer call prior to the appointment of a Board. We have excluded entry errors, long toggle between fields, added the ability to quickly check ordering. Full-screen mode and displays from 21. Operators work on large monitors.

This simplified the task of organizing the workspace. Fullscreen mode is allowed to use the edges and corners of the screen as the region with the smallest response time according to Fitts law. Examined the first version of the functional requirements of the new product proceed to the design patterns and design concepts. At this stage, testing different ideas of the layout, without going into much detail.

The separation of roles. The system has many roles — managers, employees of the Department of quality control, shift. The functionality is distributed conveniently for all that areas of responsibility do not overlap.

Pop-up panel. Each panel has its own function. Whether it is the view of the driver cards or the institution of a new order. At each moment the operator sees only one card and performs a single task, which reduces its load.

Map. The card operates synchronously with the cards and changes its state depending on them. Some situations can only be understood through maps. For example, to determine which route an order, or what is now the congestion of taxis in the city centre.

So we gave her under 70% of the screen. Immediately after the closing of this stage is a detailed prototyping. The month with the functional requirements and approvals, and we get a detailed interactive prototype.

The edge of the screen and endless button. To close the window or return back one, rather, aim carefully, take your mouse to the edge of the screen. According to Fitts law, this increases the speed of reaction to these buttons several times. When you consider that the person clicks on it 200-300 times a day, 5 days a week — the savings are substantial.

The same thing with push-button dialing and receiving a call. Their area increased clicks to the edge of the screen. The proportions of the map. Blaq works in Moscow — city with an annular structure.

So good for navigation on the map we saw that on the monitors of the controllers fit into a perfect square. In the majority of systems of competitors at the map proportions of an elongated rectangle, making navigation difficult along one of the axes. Hotkeys. When working with a system you can use only the keyboard.

This is done in order to reduce the time for switching between input devices. If the operator had each time to take the mouse to close or open a window, change focus to the field, the work would increase not less than twice. We made use of mouse is optional, the operator uses it only for training. All the basic operations you can do with hotkeys.

Their full list is available at two-second holding down Ctrl. In addition, when the operator sees this window, the first button hes already pressed, it remains to peep the second. The delay is created so as not to distract from this simple screen when switching languages or the copying of text.

Color coding. Each partition has its own color. Without reading the headlines, the operator can see which section he now. Even with peripheral vision.

Copied not only partitions, but also the elements within them. For example, the button to create a new order color the same as the form of filling a new order. The effectiveness of this technique is directly related to the experience of the user. The newcomer will read the headlines and look at the schedule, and the experienced will understand the condition, not even glancing.

It is important to understand that on the other side are people, and nobody is insured from errors. In the case of taxi, it threatens, for example, the emergence of a dissatisfied customer, merznuschemu on the street because his car went to another address. To reduce the number of errors associated with human factors, we applied two strategies.

Double confirmation. For example, the operator cant accidentally close the order at the stage of filling. For this purpose it is necessary once again to confirm the action.

Nonrandom combinations. For example, to send an order for processing the drivers, the operator presses Ctrl+Enter. Accidentally press them nearly impossible. To meet time-ordering in 1 minute completed.

In the General case the order is made several times faster. Within a month after starting the control center client moved to the new software successfully and it works. I hope that the example project will help developers of SaaS-solutions for business even in a difficult subject area to offer customers the products with thought-out user interface.

Source: google.co.uk

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