Carol Moran
UX/UI designer
Made with

Site Log

Keep track of what's happening on site in your construction project

Who are the users?The contractor is the construction company, within which there are many roles. There are four main types of suppliers (see above). Currently, Ogun is focusing on material suppliers only, so we decided to explore the relationship between subcontractors and contractor.

Who are the users?


The contractor is the construction company, within which there are many roles. 


There are four main types of suppliers (see above). Currently, Ogun is focusing on material suppliers only, so we decided to explore the relationship between subcontractors and contractor.

The Client

For the final project of the UX/UI Design Bootcamp at Ironhack, Barcelona, I worked with local startup, Ogun, to help tackle the complex problems posed by the construction industry.  

  • Ogun is a software company that aims to connect contractors and suppliers working in the construction industry
  • Ogun's hypothesis was that having all project information managed in just one tool would lead to a more integrated and productive industry

This was the starting point for a 10-day group project. Throughout the project, I was able to draw upon my existing knowledge of the construction industry and professional contacts, and provide strong leadership as project manager of the group.

Discover

Site Log

Interviews

We spoke to people from across the construction industry, including three major offshore, building and infrastructure contractors in the UK, Singapore, and Spain. 

Questions

  • How do suppliers and contractors communicate with each other?
  • What information is exchanged?
  • What problems typically arise?

Competitive Analysis

We found that a lot of construction software already exists, each one with a specific purposes, e.g. project management, document management, snagging. Most of the platforms are desktop only and have very complex user interfaces.

Project management and document management systems were widely used by our interviewees. This prompted us to create a product that complements the existing systems and can be integrated with them, at least initially. 

Insights

Site Log

Define

Clusters of information gathered during research

Clusters of information gathered during research

Synthesising our Findings

Using several tools and techniques, we began to make sense of the insights we had gathered.

How Might We...

  • ...streamline communication between contractor and supplier?
  • ...help stakeholders to prioritise issues on the critical path? 
  • ...ensure that the relevant parties receive the relevant information?
  • ...help contractors and suppliers to keep track of important information?
  • ...record decisions and progress on-site so that accountability is clear?

User Personas

After generating in-depth empathy maps—what the user says, does, thinks, feels—we created our two key user personas and explored many user stories (summarised below).

Site Log

Contractors and suppliers need an integrated communication channel so that they can better predict changes to the project program.

Problem Statement

Develop

Site Log

Findings to features

Next, we unpacked the problem and began to translate our findings into features.

Given that many document sharing systems already exist on the market, we decided to focus on communication.

Site Log

Refocusing

Initially, we gravitated towards creating an informal chat tool (Slack for construction). However, we realised that this could actually make the problem worse.

We backtracked and shifted our focus from informal to recorded communication: essential project information that is usually documented in Microsoft Word or Excel and exchanged via email. Examples:

  • RFI (Request for Information)
  • Change Order
  • Drawing Updates
  • TQ (Technical Query)

Site Log

Site Log

The idea for 'Site Log' started to emerge: a web and tablet app to help facilitate on-site communication.

  • Tablet app focuses on what is happening on the construction site day-to-day
  • The web app focuses on longer form communications (RFI, Change Orders, TQ), which are currently formatted as Word or Excel documents.
  • A document sharing system will be integrated to Site Log, which can be an existing third-party software, or Ogun's proprietary system (to be developed in the future).
  • Both the tablet and web app consolidate communication into one tool, ensuring relevant people are notified, accountability is clear, and emails are reduced.

Site Log
Mid-fidelity tablet prototype

Mid-fidelity tablet prototype

Prototypes and Testing

The first prototype (above) was designed for mobile.

During our first round of user testing, we discovered that mobile phones are often forbidden on construction sites for safety reasons. This prompted us to change to tablet (right), which is already becoming a commonplace tool in construction.

Feedback

  • "I want to be able to export a daily summary"
  • "There should be a way of checking if the site worker has all the required certificates"
  • "Is this a person or a company profile?"
  • "Urgent notifications should be on main screen"
  • "Is this my schedule or site schedule?"
  • "The navigation bar is confusing"
  • "I want to see who created each issue"
  • "If an action is required, I want go straight to it"

Deliver

High-fidelity prototype

Site Log

"This feels like a natural direction to take. There are already many doc control systems, so going down the communication route is ideal."

Steph Cageao — Beaumont Morgan

Reflections

  • Don’t be afraid to backtrack and change things

  • If the problem is big, think big

  • First time designing for tablet