LiftMasterLock

August 2017 | Chamberlain Group

Case Study



Lone UX Designer on a team of engineers.
LiftMasterLock is a Mobile application to pair with an existing feature of the LiftMasterCloud, allowing the Administrator to give warehouse workers the ability to operate warehouse doors with their application.

Setting the scene

Imagine you run a chocolate factory. Nothing fancy like Willy Wonka's, but a great big warehouse that stores goods and ingredients, and makes great tasting bars of chocolate. You have some humidity and temperature-sensitive ingredients, like sugar, or your finished bars of chocolate. You also wouldn't want your cocoa powder to mold, either. Something that always creates fluxuation in temperature and humidity levels are the opening and closing of warehouse doors, to let shipments of ingredients and goods in and out of the warehouse.



Adding value to the LiftMaster Cloud

Chamberlain has a Cloud-based database, called LiftMasterCloud. LiftMasterCloud offers a system where you can manage your warehouse buildings, see which doors are open, and manage employee information. The engineering team have already developed a warehouse lock unit that connects with the cloud in an IoT service. The screens below are some shots of the already-existing LiftMaster Cloud enterprise system.



User stories

During the debriefing of the project, I was given a few user stories that they had gathered from their LiftMasterCloud users, pertaining to warehouses. Here's some samples of the stories I've heard from warehouse management, truckers, and employees.



It was interesting seeing all the different sides to one product: management, trucking, and the employees. The employees were peeved about having to run all the way to the specific warehouse door when needed, and there was a lot of "telephoning", where the trucker would call the manager, who would then try to flag someone down on the floor to let them in. this process results in a loss of time for the trucker, just waiting to be allowed in since most warehouse doors were locked from the inside. Lastly, a few managers mentioned that when it comes to closing time, walking around the whole perimeter of the warehouse just to check if the doors are locked for multiple buildings takes up a lot of their time at the end of the day.


Establishing a Persona

Taking the gathered user stories, I established two personas to help keep myself focused on the target user. In focusing on the employee (since the administrator already has a portal on LiftMasterCloud), I can design a product that creates efficient communication for the administrator, thus shortening wait time for the trucker.



The Dongle

The warehouse door opener technology has already been greated; A small dongle gets fitted into the tracking of the roll-up doors, with capabilities to generate real-time data on temperature and humidity readings. The dongle was able to connect to LiftMaster Cloud, and also has capabilities to run live diagnostics so the administrator can always see the condition of the dongle. How would I represent that kind of information?


I've included the following graphic as a visual aid to the system in this project. The dotted lines represent communication relations.



The administrator's experience on LiftMasterCloud

Since LiftMasterCloud already exists, it's imperative that I analyze what it can already do for the administrator, in order to see what functions are essential or should be left out for the employee experience.


Facility settings

Facility settings was simply establish a name, location and time-zone, as well as establishing a manager. The page over looking the different facilities was an accordion-style format, where you could expand to see additional information about the building.



Device hub

Through the Device hub, you would be able to add/delete devices, check model numbers, and be able to instantly see if your IoT device is online and working. This allows for the administrator to easily pin-point disfunctional motors early on. Clicking for more information would allow the user to look into where the problem area is, if the dongle was not functioning properly.



Door monitoring

The warehouse doors can be seen opened or closed in this grid, along with the time it's been opened for. It offers the specific door name and building unit to help the user know which exact door is engaged.



So, what's the problem?

What's a way where we can allow management to check on doors, temperature and humidity, while also allowing certain employees to be notified of incoming truckers directly, not have to physically roll up the door themselves, and save the trucker valuable time?


Mapping out thoughts and information

In the below image, I had begun to brainstorm the possible solution forms I could take with the set criteria given. Do I go for a website? Mobile application? Tablet? Do warehouse employees generally carry tablets, or only the managers? Should the employees get notifications about abnormal temperature/humidity? How about using geolocation to ensure that when the door gets prompted open, the correct personnel are nearby enough?



Going with the flow

This sketch represents, after many brainstorming sessions, I was able to compose a soft affinity diagram for the flow of the application, which I had decided would be primarily be designed for an android mobile phone. I also had begun to split certain permissions only to the administrator, and those that were permitted to give to employees.



Low fidelity prototypes and more brainstorming

There were a lot of different elements that I had thought about implementing, to address the complex information structure I had to deal with.


How do I organize the locks, which have that own door? Where each those doors are within a room, within a building, within a site? What visual elements can I implement to allow the user to see certain information at a glance? Most importantly, if the employee just wanted to easily open a particular door for a trucker, how could they do that in an easy, minimal-user-friction way?



The admin's portal

Although there's not much to edit in the Admin's portal since all functions are present in the LiftMasterCloud, I had taken the liberty of adding the Live diagnostics page, as well as having a local dashboard that shows the user their warehouse and sites at a glance. Since the admin portal wasn't my main target user, I didn't dive too deep.



The dashboard

Within the dashboard, the most important feature would be the ability to see any urgent alerts upon logging in, in the upper right hand corner. The alerts would be ranked in level of urgency. Alerts can include disfunctioning locks, temperature or humidity out of range for a certain building, or a door has been open for too long. No alerts at a glance for the administrator means everything is running smoothly.



Diagnostics

Because the dongle runs live diagnostics, it's important that the administrator is able to interact with this feature. The admin should be able to add/delete alerts, and be alerted when these criteria are met.



The mobile application

This is the LiftMasterLock application. This particular application was designed for a standard employee given the bare minimum of permissions: locking/unlocking doors, as well as opening or closing them. It follows a bucket system-- sites contain buildings, which contain rooms, which then contain doors. By designing the search bar to be at the top, the user could immediately start typing in the lock, room, or building name, and search criteria would show up.



Login

The login screen is pretty standard. For the first time login for the app, the employee would need to use the invite link from their admin to join the system, securely. The login page features the ability to ask for a forgottem password, or to sign up. Pretty standard.


LiftMaster's branding is very dark, angular and industrial, with a red as their accent color.



Main screen

For the main screen, I had designed it to have a search bar, "recently searched rooms/buildings", as well as the feature to use geolocation to see what rooms are nearby, if you don't feel like searching for that criteria.


I decided to go with a "cards" look because this application was designed for android in 2017. Each building card has the ability to see how many rooms are in each building, the address, and locks in that building.



Beginning search

As you type in your search criteria, the app will already begin to search for matching results. When typing in "Co", the application pulls up all types of titles with "co" as the beginning. From there, if you knew your lock and see it at the bottom, could already lock/unlock the dongle you're looking for, or open and close the door.



Room

This is the screen you'd see if you had tapped a room card. The room name is at the top, and you can see which locks are locked and which doors are open.



Reflection

After having done the design work shown, it was handed off to another team to start conducting heavy research and testing, as it was near the end of my employment at Chamberlain Group. After reviewing the project, there were a lot of UI decisions and UX issues, especially in the mobile application that I'd address, like if displaying the number of locks were locked in a room was even necessary, or if it made sense to have the lock/unlock function be more interactive looking than opening or closing the door itself.