Magnus - Case Study
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Project Context

The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, approached us at BCG Digital Ventures to help asses and highlight opportunities with one of their recently acquired assets called Viridian TransVision.

Viridian TransVision (VTV) is a SaaS platform serving Small- and Medium-sized fleet owners and fleet managers of full Truckload fleets (i.e., "18 wheelers") in the U.S. In an industry where most of the competitors relied on dated systems or Excel, there was a positive outlook in VTV growing and taking a significant market share.
I. The Overview

THE ASK

Viridian TransVision was hitting a point where they were unable to grow and did not know how to evolve their product. BCG Digital Ventures was given the opportunity to participate in the “Validation Phase” of the VTV journey by offering recommendations to shape the product roadmap and business plan.

My Role

I led the product design workstream on a cross-disciplinary team working alongside our corporate partners. I was responsible and assisted on the following:
  • UX/UI design and recommendations
  • Building product prototypes
  • Ethnographic research and user testing
  • Developing a holistic customer journey
  • Refining product strategy
  • Designing and developing a robust pitch deck
  • Ideation sessions to generate innovative product features

PROJECT SCOPE

We call this phase a "Validation project", and the the nature of this project was to assess the capabilities of the current product offerings in order to provide product and business recommendations on how to grow the business to reach a target valuation.

Specifically, on the product side, our goal was to run comprehensive ethnographic research and market analysis to pinpoint key personas, identify product gaps and offer product/feature recommendations.
The Validation phase is all about discovery, MVP planning, and rigorous testing.
II. The Design Process

ETHNOGRAPHIC 
RESEARCH

Our design thinking approach was grounded in ethnographic methods and research and we utilized these techniques to discover latent needs and frictions that we uncover through careful observation, in-depth interviews, and ideation sessions. We spoke to experts in the TMS (Transportation Management System) market within 5 industries and conducted in-depth interviews with 21 core TMS users and site visits.
We visited multiple fleet management sites across the US to meet with users and better understand their workflows. This particular site is a construction good fleet located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

PERSONAS

From our research, we identified 3 main personas which then allowed us to isolate different value props we needed to address for each persona. Having a better understanding of our users helped us to direct empathy to the right place at the right time.

DESIGN PRINCIPLES

We identified core design principles that resonated with our customers and drive efficient workflows. We used these to guide our design decisions to ultimately improve customer experience that translated into business impact.

JOURNEY MAPPING

Mapping out the journey for different personas helped us to start identifying gaps and ideate on product features.
Side-by-side journey map of two different personas

UX Audit

Without much understanding of design, our client had a difficult time justifying further investment into further designing out the product. We had to find a way to convince them and justify why design was important.

With VTV already have an active product, I decided to perform and light and scrappy heuristic evaluation in order to identify key usability gaps and where design updates would address glaring user needs. In turn, I was then able to tie these UX recommendations to clear business implications and help our corporate partners justify design investments.
III. Product Design + Strategy

PRODUCT STRATEGY

We took the learnings from our research, expert interviews and surveys to come up with an MVP solution that would directly address the core frictions that were felt across all users of TMS systems. We focused on the value propositions that would have the biggest impact.

With that, we came up Magnus, a next generation TMS aimed to redefine transportation management by autonomously optimizing your fleet operations

FEATURE IDEATION

As a team, we spent time calling out insights, pain points, and observations and placing them on post-its. From there it became easier to draw out specific themes and areas where attention was needed. This led to a concept ideation session where we collectively drew out over 40 potential product features for us to explore, validate and hone into our final recommendations.

PRODUCT FEATURE 
DESIGNS

With our product features identified, we moved forward with creating low-to-mid-fidelity screens of key moments in the journey to help our users visualize and use the recommendations we offered. We went to test them with users at on-site visits which helped us iterate and refine our steps forward. At the end of the process, we were able to show our client our envisioned product with some potential mid-fidelity screens and a visualized storyline.
Feature #1: Load Match Maker
This feature incorporates automated load planning to maximize operating efficiency by leveraging the existing data in the platform, enhancing the user interface to surface the right data, automating tendering and using the learnings to provide predictive intelligence.
Feature #2: Track ‘n Trace
This is a role-based dashboard to surface easily digestible and actionable information in real-time to make a quicker data-driven decision. Managers can focus on operating efficiency and dispatchers can focus on maintaining driver relationships and dispatching.
Feature #4: Onboarding Oasis
With a long onboarding and training process being a major pain point in TMS, we plan to build out a high touch onboarding team and targetted training modules aimed at helping users break bad habits and adopt best practices.

USER TESTING

With these features designed in multiple different fidelity levels, we utilized in-person user testing extensively to drive forward product changes and iterations to ensure we were properly meeting core user frictions and adhering to proper business practices.

It was here where we learned the most not just about the TMS product, but more so about the people using it on a daily basis
We tested our concepts with users in field to best emulate working conditions. This finished vehicle fleet management location was in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
IV. Next Steps

SELLING OUR PITCH

With our product recommendations and business plan fleshed out, we were able to successfully sell our package and move forward into the MVP product build stage, where we will be planning, designing, testing and building a workable product.

At this point, I was staffed to a different venture and had to hand this project to a new team.

From this experience, I learned the importance of listening to my team. With working in a cross-disciplinary team, there were so many ideas and concepts I was exposed to and hadn't even remotely thought of. At the end of the day, the direction we pushed forward with ended up being a mixture of so many different ideas, it would have been impossible without selfless collaboration.
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