Emerson's flagship product, DeltaV, is a distributed control system (DCS) that automates the process from oil refinement to pharmaceutical manufacturing. Most notably, DeltaV was used to produce the over 40 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. My role as a UX consultant is creating a streamlined and easy user experience to minimize plant downtime and increase user safety by developing prototypes, conducting user tests, and facilitating UX workshops with developers. The following highlights the process which we follow to create this application.
Collaborative prototyping is one of the most useful tools we have when creating a new product as it allows us to generate ideas outside of a design vacuum and gives agency to SMEs who are encouraged to take ownership of designs. Typically, on-the-fly prototyping is done at a low fidelity level and on a platform such as Mural so that participants are an active part of the creation process.
The Design Process
We generate ideas for solutions based upon newly framed problems, the limitations of the software, and the time commitment from the development teams. Finding solutions often feels like a puzzle. However, clear organization, design thinking strategies, and collaborative working environments create answers that meet the needs of our users.
Mapping out the flow of our application gives us an opportunity to ensure we address pain points, design challenges, and areas of improvement in our design. This collaborative effort is used to inform features for upcoming products and improvements to existing ones. These maps typically consist of "swim lanes" that are used for documenting the problems addressed, design opportunities, quotes from the user, screenshots of prototypes, and illustrations of the narrative's scenes. In the example below, we use customer journey mapping to plan the flow of an in-person demonstration of the future DeltaV concept product for the annual Emerson Exchange conference.
When full-scale mockups are required, we help by providing modern designs that adhere to brand standards. Our preferred tool is Adobe XD for hi-fi prototyping; however, we do also rely on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for some design work.