DroneDeploy is a drone software solution that helps businesses in construction and agriculture, collect, manage, and interpret drone data. The company wanted to orient the product towards actionable analysis of data over time as well as identify and address usability gaps thru improved user flows.
Key success metrics were as follows:
By extending the focus of the DroneDeploy experience from single map to multiple maps analyzed over time, we were able to create a cohesive and improved customer flow. The team delivered:
“The new Projects feature is fantastic. We need more of these kinds of Enterprise features which makes our executive, value-based conversations so much better!” - DroneDeploy customer
DroneDeploy helps its customers autonomously fly drones, capture imagery, and stitch images together to create a map of a location. As drone hardware became more reliable, the company observed two things:
The problems were that:
As drone usage sky rocketed, an opportunity presented itself for DroneDeploy to support more mature drone operation teams.
We observed how customers were currently using the product.
We analyzed and tested analogous products that customers were using.
We met with customers to observe their on-site operations, project flow and gather qualitative insights.
We heard customers say things like:
“Where is my map?”
“How can I see other maps in this area?”
“Do I need to share each individual flight to my team?”
“Where can I find my flight logs?”
“I wish there was an easier way to re-fly a flown plan.”
Through research, we created proto-personas to represent our main users and clarify their goals and motivation.
Customers with robust drone operations struggle to consistently find, create and share the data they need to do their job with confidence because the product is currently focused on single flights. Sometimes they get things done elsewhere by using competitor products.
How might we provide value for customers who monitor the same location over time and collaborate with other team members on maps while maintaining ease-of-use for customers who fly a location just once?
Product and engineering came together to review research findings, discuss product direction, and brainstorm how we might get to a more useful Enterprise-level offering while still supporting smaller drone operations and considering the platform’s current architecture.
We started by examining the following two flows:
Design activities included:
In Concept A, we explored enabling users to create a Project with the least amount of friction. In testing, we found that although Projects were incredibly easy to create, it wasn’t clear to users what action they had just taken.
In Concept B, we explored a more robust new Project workflow with intentionality around setting location. Although there were technically more steps to create the project, they were painless steps that the user expected to walk through when setting up a new Project. Users felt confident throughout the new Project creation workflow.
We user tested both concepts (pictured below, left) and held a design review (pictured below, right).
In Concept C, we married the best of both worlds; we kept the intentionality of Concept B intact (setting up a location for your project) while also allowing users to go straight to uploading images for a new or existing project. We also began to explore using the screen real estate in a more meaningful way as seen in the second and third mock below while setting a project location.
We followed a similar design process for the New Project flow. More details to come soon. :)
While the core part of this project was restructuring the information architecture to create a more usable experience and better support mature drone operation teams, we were also able to refresh the visual style and define best practices for typography and component usage. Examples include updates to the horizontal navigation, sub navigation, and bottom action bar.
We maintained the dark primary navigation color with a light typeface to highlight active pages. A light UI with strong contrasting colors is crucial for readability for customers out in the field under bright sunlight. We incorporated a blue gradient and larger icons for improved scannability. Below is a selection of design components and their usage.