Motorola Solutions (MSI) serves over 100,000 public safety and commercial customers worldwide. Unlike their cell phone manufacturing counterparts, MSI provides “mission-critical” services, hardware, software, video and analytics. Their focus is on helping teams like firefighters and police officers better communicate and collaborate, especially in high-pressure situations where success is critical.
Several years ago Motorola released a portal called MyView to solve the problem of consolidating an operating picture. However, the UX/UI of the product was fragmented and difficult to understand.
We engaged with MSI’s internal innovation group to help reimagine MyView from the ground up. While this project was purely conceptual, it helped lay the groundwork for future innovation in MSI.
November 2016 - January 2017
Competitive analysis, landscape analysis
Heuristic Analysis, UX/UI Design
Pen & paper, Sketch, Marvel
Our very first step was to get the deepest grasp of the MyView system as well as to quickly notice patterns of issues within the system. Heuristic analysis was our go-to method to accomplish this.
MyView is complex. It has six different tiers that each gradually grow more complicated in tasks and feature sets. Simply looking at every page would not be sufficient to compare them across tiers, so I printed them out and organized them by tier and structure. I then directly annotated those screens with Sharpie colors that each represented a different heuristic. This allowed me to get a visual sense as to where the product was lacking the most as well to dive deeply as needed.
To understand what trends were happening with MyView, we created a kind of reversed design-thinking-ish activity where we would start with the biggest heuristic issues, drill down into trends within those heuristics, and then drill further down into actual tangible examples of how that heuristic was not being realized. This process allowed us to openly communicate and exactly pinpoint to MSI about where they could focus their energy in an effort to innovate.
The four overarching problems were as follows:
Lack of a match between the system and the real world
Little consistency within the system
Lack of aesthetic and minimal design
Low visibility of user status
To get a grasp of how a system like MyView could work with large amounts of varied data, we examined project management systems that we would use for our own projects. These benchmarks were not competitors, but we knew that taking a deep dive into the UX/UI of these products would allow us to explore deeper in our own iterations. We also specifically chose benchmarks that were not legacy systems (to our knowledge, at least) in order to communicate how MSI could leap into a more modern and updated space.
The color, type, and logo landscape was specifically used to demonstrate how MSI can use very basic visual cues to redefine themselves at a high level.
MSI’s innovation group is largely UX and strategy based. And they work in an enormous bureaucratic corporate system — their relationship with marketing groups was rocky at best, and they felt as though they were working in a brand bubble where they had to concede to certain patterns that they knew were not working.
To support the innovation group, we made sure to include branding in our output. These deliverables would help empower the group and elevate their voices in their own system, but we also wanted to ensure that they knew why certain choices were made. A brand audit in conjunction with heuristic analysis and competitive analysis was an important way to support and educate the group in those decisions.
We dove into various marketing materials, including MSI’s expansive media library. Although the brand was consistent, it felt standard, expected, stagnant, and non-inspirational. The blues lend to a more icy and structured feel, and their homogenous feel (mostly white men) in photography lent to a sense of exclusivity, which is touchy at best when it comes to police work. Overall, the tone was leaning towards fearful action and “powerful peace” instead of safety, which is what they truly wanted to communicate to their customers.
Empowering the innovation group also meant giving them a strong digital strategy that could be backed up by our audits. The easiest way to do so was to first promote a service mindset — nowadays good service at all levels is an expectation, and choosing to view your work as being of service to a group of people creates a shift towards thoughtfulness at micro levels.
All digital offerings needed to shift more towards being customer centric, not Motorola centric. Rather than dictating how businesses should operate with Motorola, Motorola needed to support them. The easiest way to do so would be to simplify their offerings, particularly to slim down MyView’s six tiers to three very differentiated tiers. This would feel more tailored to the business’s needs. Allowing the business to flourish within the system would ultimately bring in more business down the line both for MSI as well their customers.
To communicate this in a succinct and poignant way, we chose to design a happy path through the system that would allow complex stories to be told in Motorola’s linear world. This happy path would be highly conceptual, which was heightened by the use of three fictional users from Game of Thrones that would represent the three tiers of the MyView system: Missandei, Arya Stark, and Daenerys Targaryen.
Using this highly conceptual model also served to tell MSI’s story metaphorically, allowing us to consider all aspects of the Motorola system including the setting, characters involved, history, and processes. However, we would still have the flexibility contextualize their current digital experience strategy to call out where holes are.
Actualizing these strategies into features was important in empowering MSI’s innovation group. These were directly derived from our heuristic analysis, allowing us to root each decision in our thorough research.
The most important features for MyView were:
Single sign-on that allows both customers and MSI administrators to easily move between MSI’s product offerings beyond MyView
A Motorola Solutions homepage that responds to the user’s needs and orders (imagine Amazon’s homepage before and after sign in. After you sign in, it’s highly catered to your past patterns)
Distinguished services by three tiers. We used a hotel metaphor for this: Holiday Inns, Marriotts, and the Four Seasons. Each has a very distinguished level of service and the customer knows that they’re getting what they paid for
Organized communication through more of an email-like system rather than just a chat between coworkers.
24/7 customer support through a chatbot that would vary according to purchased tier
We initially began with very rough wireframes that could communicate the structure and architecture of MyView. Because this project was highly conceptual, we did not conduct user testing with MSI customers. We did however validate our wireframes with the innovation group in order to keep them in the loop with our work and ensure that we were on the same page.
Our next iteration was a very high-fidelity prototype that the innovation group could share.