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Employee Emergency Alerting

Concur Technologies


conTgo is a property purchased by Concur to assist companies with their "duty of care" for their traveling employees. It allows companies to see where their users are in the world at any given time, and to send their employees messages and alerts. These messages may be reminders not to pay for WiFi at their hotel because it is included in their hotel cost, or it may be emergency information regarding a natural disaster or security situation. Companies may send messages to their users via SMS or email using the conTgo service. They wanted to develop a mobile application for end users so that they could incorporate push notifications into their existing messaging system, and provide a way for users to "check in" at their location using GPS or other location-based services. The application needed to include aspects that could be integrated into the Concur mobile app, and also stand alone as a separate application for businesses who are not using the rest of the Concur product suite.

My team was presented with loads of documentation and two sets of preliminary wireframes from the project manager. Based on an initial phone call, it was clear to us that the team needed help around using user-friendly language, and reflecting the primary use cases in the UI. The team was having some trouble prioritizing their use cases and making clear (through the way the app was designed) what the primary purpose of the app was. Key functionality was buried in the "more" menu, and some language and terminology was either too technical for end-users or made more sense in the context of SMS messaging but not within an app. The language around setting up an account was confusing, as was the sign-in process because their sign-in requirements were a bit different than other products in the Concur family. We also had only three days to come up with some designs and recommendations.

The other designer and I split the project into two sections: sign in/account creation, and the application itself. I handled the internal application (everything that happens after sign-in.) The first thing I did was identify the key user needs: checking in at a location, responding to an alert from the user's company, and reading security information relevant to the user's current location or upcoming trips. Secondary tasks included the ability to call their company's emergency line, view an archive of their past check-ins, and access travel information created by their company (such as their office location, or preferred taxi carriers), so I needed to ensure that these tasks had a logical home within the app without detracting from the core scenarios. To accomplish this, I gave the primary scenarios top billing by making them the three main navigation elements, and relegating non-primary tasks into the "more" menu. I made the "check in" page the app landing page because users who were making a self-directed choice to load the application were likely doing so to check in. Users who had received an email, SMS, or push notification would follow a link that would deep link them into the alert in the app, at which point they would be provided with the the ability to check in (or otherwise take action on the alert, if further action was required.) I suggested a prioritization scheme for the alerts so that alerts requiring user action are displayed more prominently than informational (passive) messages, and use of a consistent rating system for messaging the risk level in different geographies. I created a clickable wireframe prototype for the initial reviews with the design team, and applied our new visual branding assets for our web product to the final mobile application prototype presented to the conTgo team. I also created the iconography.

The team was very excited with the designs and ideas presented to them, and was extremely grateful to have some UX thinking applied to their ideas. Our designs energized the project and allowed them to quickly identify an off-shore development team to work on getting the app live. They appreciated the clarity of purpose and language that we introduced into their service offerings, and understood how important it was to create clear hierarchies of action within their application that reinforced the users needs and goals for downloading the application in the first place.

While the app was under development, and my team and I served in a consultative role with the project manager and off-shore development team to help ensure that the new product vision and UX thinking were carried through in the final implementation.

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