Inch - mobile workforce management solution


Challenge

Design an MVP mobile workforce management solution for SMBs

Team

Helgi Hermannson - CEO, Lyuba Kharitonova - product manager, Irina Nikulina - product designer

My role

I was the only designer in the project, responsible for every aspect of the product design

Link

Project in the development stage. Visit the landing page to learn more.

Outcome

Without having the real product yet, we are already acquiring loyal customers interested to participate in research and testing and waiting for our launch

What I did

  • Conducted user and market research, usability testing together with PM

  • Delivered information architecture, interactive prototypes, hands-off materials

  • Established visual identity systems and product style guides

  • Communicated the project with videos and other materials to the stakeholders


What is Inch?


Inch is task management, time tracking, and communication software available on the web and as iOS and Android apps. It is designed for SMBs needs and is friendly to the low-tech users that prevail in the mobile deskless industries. Inch helps businesses to move from phone calls, emails, and spreadsheets to a more meaningful and efficient way to plan and analyze the work and keep employees accountable.

Following is the product vision concept, that was set at the beginning of the project. The MVP solution presented at the end of the article is different.




The process


I have joined Inch at the moment when the team has identified the potential opportunity for a mobile workforce management solution. Our first challenge was to visualize and communicate the idea. After that, we conducted extensive research to identify the product-market fit and understand better the context of use. Then we have identified and tested the MVP and currently, we are working on its implementatio




Research


User research

  • We have chosen semi-structured interviews as the main user research method because it’s a cheap and fast way to get the information. We have interviewed managers and mobile workers from USA, Iceland, UK, and Russia from different industries: maintenance, construction, cleaning, healthcare, and retail.

  • I conducted digital ethnography by gathering and analyzing competitor's user reviews in order to identify related pain points.

  • I synthesized the insights into empathy maps, personas, job stories, and journey maps.




Benchmarking

  • 2 areas were benchmarked: industry-specific mobile workforce management solutions and industry-agnostic task management solutions for the desk workers. First area was analyzed in order to understand the offers and close competitors, the second area was analyzed in order to aim for the level of experience desk solutions offer.

  • Following issues were analyzed and compared: value proposition, target audience, pricing, use cases, main features and user reviews.





Identification

  • I conducted a brainstorming workshop with the team in order to identify the product vision.

  • Initial product specification was identified by the product manager

  • I developed a low and high fidelity information architecture based on the specification

  • After th project evaluation, some details were cut in order to get the MVP faster





Design

  • Low and high fidelity prototypes were iteratively developed and tested

  • I developed a design system from the begging. It saved a lot of time in the long term because it was faster to reiterate with reusable elements in hands.

  • User flows were prepared for multi-conditional interaction. Linear flows were covered with the interactive prototypes

  • Hands-off materials were delivered to the developers with a comprehensive explanation of the behavior





Customer feedback and usability testing


We have conducted 2 types of testing: usability testing and feedback sessions with potential customers. It allowed us to reiterate and identify better or correct the product. Below, you can check some customer feedback.





Solution


Tasks are the main feature of Inch. Employees receive their working tasks in different locations. They can check the details and discuss the task in the comments. After the task is done they should either mark it as completed or clock out. In the second case, Inch can verify if the clock out is done in the appropriate location. As a requirement of work completion managers can ask for photos.


Map view supports route optimization use case. It can help to save resources and keep employees more satisfied with the tasks near their living area.


Timeline view is currently in the validation stage, as previous tests revealed the demand to have a visual representation of the worker’s schedule.





If time clock is activated, assignees can clock in and out of task making the completion time accountable. It is also possible to switch on geolocation requirements to ensure the time clock is done on the site and avoid time theft. On task completion, employees can attach photos and notes to the task for the quality control or issue report. If time clock deactivated the reports are done through the task completion functionality.






Messages support internal communication so companies can avoid other non-related communication channels that provoke distraction, such as private messengers or social media groups.


Time clock is needed for the employee payroll, client invoicing, and performance analysis. It shows the time, spent on each task and the wage that is to be paid to the employees for each task. Grouping support various use cases: grouping by employee allows to create and print payroll, grouping by location helps to prepare invoices, grouping by date support the analysis process. The system highlights the difference between the scheduled and actual time to help to identify critical issues and control overtime as this is where the businesses lose money.





Prototypes


The project is in development, but you can check the interactive prototypes to try it yourself. Prototypes take time to load, please, be patient.


Explore desktop prototype


Explore mobile prototype