Power Plants

Design Strategy

Overview

Nuclear power plants have a specific process for making repairs and improvements. To achieve this, they have to follow various schedules to achieve a shutdown to make the repairs and improvements. We were brought in to refine a system that was already in place, and help with the strategy of the product moving forward.

The Problem
The power plant shutdown scheduling software was not meeting user expectations. The hypothesis was that the information architecture did not match up with the users' process.
My Contributions
  • Lead interaction designer
  • Leadership workshop
  • Creation of design strategy
  • Information architecture
  • Wireframes
  • Prototype
Challenges
  • Finding the right area of focus
  • Combine the business goals and user needs
  • Navigating the complex information architecture
  • Allow for expansion and different branding

Scope of the Project

To narrow the area of focus, we worked with the client to identify areas we had to tackle with this project. To achieve this, we did an affinity exercise that led to identifying what issues were critical, important, nice to have, or could be addressed later.

Scope Targets

SCOPE TARGETS: This deliverable clarified what the project would focus on.

Keywords

Another exercise performed with the client team was identifying words they wanted associated with the product. We used these terms as the focus for the design moving forward.

Keywords

KEYWORDS: These are the terms agreed upon for the future design of the project.

Continuums

We came to the client with a few adjectives for how we were thinking the product should be defined, and asked them to vote about where they thought the product should be focused. This led into the strategy for moving the product forward.

Continuums

CONTINUUMS: These indicate the feel the stakeholders wanted for the product.

Out of the Room Thinking

Once we had a direction confirmed from the client, we worked to make sure our own ideas did not become part of groupthink when working with the client. We did this by:

Concept Cards

CONCEPT CARDS: These demonstrated some design thinking we identified in a brainstorm exercise.

Journey Map

Once we had established the business direction, we wanted to make sure we stayed on target with the user. So we went back to the research done in the field, and began to try to define a journey. After establishing a user type, I created a journey map to understand the interactions the user would have with the product.

Journey Map

JOURNEY MAP: This map was used to understand the user's interactions with the product.

Storyboards / Wireflows

Storyboards are an established UX practice. The most common way I like to implement them is thinking a bit about the interactions while working through them. This evolves into either comic book-like sketches or what is sometimes referred to as wireflows. Wireflows are wireframes combined with flows that capture the interactions that the storyboards are fleshing out.

Storyboards / Wireflows

STORY BOARD: These small wireframes combined with the journey map help clarify what types of interactions this project was capturing.

Rethinking the Structure

The structure of the existing product was very complex. With an understanding of how the interaction could work, I needed to understand what was available for the interaction. This was critical for the strategy of the product, and went through several iterations.

Information Architecture

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE: Clarifies the structure of the product.

Wireframes

Once the structure and high level interactions of the product are established, it's time to start building the design! We had to make sure it would be something that could grow and expand, and allow for different branding. So it had to be flexible, which was a challenge with the level of detailed information that would be displayed. I addressed this by keeping the design simple. To build the wireframes, I used Sketch, but would use Figma these days as I enjoy the prototyping capabilities.

Wireframes

WIREFRAMES: Creating the details of the pages before visual design.

Interactions

Capturing an interaction flow followed by a prototype where the interaction can be seen is the best way to express an interaction. Here is a simple interaction flow I created, with the prototype eventually implemented with the visual design in place.

Interaction Flows

INTERACTION FLOW: These, combined with the wireframes, clarify the details of the page interactions.

Outcome

This project was considered successful because: