Like many established organizations, The Houston Area Safety Council (HASC) has to contend with an evolving landscape. Bigger is better no longer held true in the market of providing training and clinical services to oil workers. New, scrappy players were entering the space and threatening to take away marketshare.
HASC came to Praxent to redesign its Adobe Flash-based software that had become wildly outdated. The product was disambiguated, complex, and had a stale UI. Their service required many touch points between on and offline interaction where there was tons of room to improve. Together, Praxent and HASC aimed to increase efficiency in tasks, rethink the customer experience, and provide HASC with the top tech in the market.
The work below reflects my time as the Product Designer on the project.
HASC's software aimed to do a lot. Contracting companies who hire out their talent to refineries needed to book OSHA-qualified training for their employees. The employees had to hold certain qualifications and prove they were healthy enough to be in the dangerous work areas that are oil refineries and rigs. For some contractors, their employee count could be in the hundreds while others had a few dozen. The breadth of user types was wide and had to be accounted for.
Ascertaining domain knowledge in a vertical I had no experience in was key. I poured into the previous app and met frequently with the HASC team and toured their Houston campus to deeply understand their offering and mission.
We conducted many exercises with the HASC team to better understand the improvements needed to make the product win. One was cardsorting. We led the HASC team in an on-site exercise to discover what the most crucial parts of the app are. It enabled us to see what components of the app are crucial to user success.
Now that we had the main components of the app in play, we needed to drill down further into each to identify what the user needs to accomplish to execute their tasks. From previous conversations, we had a list of user goals that we printed and cut out to have the HASC team sort into common buckets. This allowed us to start visualizing the information architecture.
With our clearer understanding of the tool, we were able to audit it and uncover what was working and what wasn't.
Here's what it looked like before we got to it.
The first screen you're greeted by has a weirdly ominous headline completely unrelated to training and clinical services, plus had no immediate utility to the user. That had to change.
Within the audit, one of the few working aspects was the left-fixed navigation as it allowed a constant ability to toggle between tasks without impeding vertical real estate. There would be no need to scroll up to reveal the nav bar. It would be perennial and give the user an out at any time.
With our confidence in understanding the needs of the users and the business, I began on wire frames so we could validate our early findings and initial information architecture.
With an early understanding of UI elements that would serve as the majority of the app and delving further into the wire frames, I created working UI kits to envision the interface. I created multiple versions to collaborate on with the client, but the below took the cake.
The materialization of the the wire frames and he UI direction gave way to high fidelity work with dummy data to begin user testing and validation on the new app.
The Houston Area Safety Council now has a capable app that is competitive and delightful to use. After my time on the project, HASC signed on for three additional scopes of work that have allowed Praxent to maintain a quality client while providing HASC even more value with its knowledgeable team.