Making software for luxury yachts more efficient

Joined De Keizer Marine Engineering to help improving the usability, accessibility and user experience of their onboard systems of luxury superyachts. My focus involved:

  • Conducting field research, and other research methods like surveys, polls, interviews involving yacht crews to understand their needs, pain points and expectations

  • Improving the user journeys through the product features and simplifying processes

  • Designing wireframes, mockups and examples of high-fidelity interfaces

  • Writing action plans and proposals for issues and recommendations for the product & development teams

  • Creating a design system to ensure consistency and scalability across the product line

De Keizer Marine Engineering

De Keizer Marine Engineering is a company that specializes in designing and installing electrical systems for luxury yachts. They offer a range of products and services, such as alarm, monitoring and safety systems, audio-video, network systems, including lighting and climate controls.

The process

To tackle these challenges, I collaborated with researchers & analysts, and followed a user-centered design process that involved the following steps:

Challenges

The main challenges I faced during this project were:

  • The products were cluttered, the functionalities were not straightforward and in many cases they caused delay in action by the crew

  • UIs were overpopulated, and reported to be struggle to use

  • The comfort features were confusing, there were several weak points in the user journey

  • Due to mostly unique orders, there was no consistency in the combination of different systems, nor the control panels

Resolutions

To overcome these challenges, I proposed and implemented the following solutions:

  • Simplifying processes and user journeys to bring less headaches for the crews. I used MindManager to create user journeys, mind maps, flows and processes based on feedback.

  • Providing consistency & modularity through the product line to help the user recognize a situation and be able to act accordingly

  • Finding the real difficulties of the users to point out the real issues and fix them

  • Creating De Keizer Design System to make all products scalable

  • Conducting continuous usability testing to identify the weak points and what functions needed to be improved

  • I used Sketch to create wireframes and mockups, and InVision to create high-fidelity interfaces & prototypes, & to conduct usability testing on and collect feedback from the users.

Takeaways

Through this project, I grew as an independent UX advisor & researcher. 
Field research advised
Field research is essential to understand the context and environment of the users
Usability testing is important
Usability testing is crucial to validate the design solutions and collect feedback from the users
Validation, validation, validation
Validation with prototypes is a powerful tool to map out expectations and avoid expensive mistakes
Design system to support scalability
Design systems are a great way to ensure consistency, scalability and maintainability of the products

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