In this project the client - Elementum - has a digital map of of all the products, suppliers, and carriers that operate worldwide, that includes everything in your enterprise. That's a lot of data. We needed users to peel away all the layers and data points that are unnecessary to their particular role in the supply chain. So we asked them. With a simple conversation, not a list of checkboxes.
In the movie, Her, Theodore's new operating system becomes an emotional connection. 'Samantha' becomes the perfect partner for Theodore because of the personalization he manifested from a series of brief questions at the onset. The deeper the questions became the stronger the bond grew. That was the inspiration for the onboarding concept you see here.
For this project, I created a visualization of the 'personal' product graph. Slowly and solitary at first, but responding excitedly with each new response from the user. The nodes brighten, multiply, and swirl with exponential intensity. The characteristics of a new life forming and being insatiable for data consumption. Once the user clicks the go button, our Samantha begins to build an even greater and bigger cloud of swirling nodes for the user. The user is emotionally engaged and excited to see what is behind the door.
I capture requirements for each project with stated goals for the stakeholders and for myself. I also write down the clients' design principles (if they have them) and keep this sketch in front of me at all times.
I keep ideas loose and unorganized early on. No idea is crazy. No idea is stupid. No idea is wrong.
When I find it I can have fun with the look and feel. Even playing with 'sound effects' on paper
This was a very rewarding project for me personally. Sometimes ideas work well enough that they almost never need defending. There wasn't a need to add elements, or address the "something's missing." in design reviews. Simplicity was the right tool for this job and - like Theodore, I kind of fell in love with this 'Samantha'.
Supply chain roles are very complex. How can we collect vital functional information for each new user without making it feel like homework? The solution is to return powerful visual feedback to the user and make them feel that they are manifesting their own, personal supply chain. And the best part is they really are.