In 2015 as a UX Designer at Caterpillar, I worked on the redesign of the new drilling application including the in-cab display and the remote station to control 5 concurrent drills completing autonomous mission.

User research

After completing the competition benchmark, survey and heuristic evaluation, I proposed a research plan that included in situ research, expert interview, cognitive task analysis and user journey map.

The rest of the findings were summarized in a short video instead of a detailed report.

Back at the office I conducted a card sorting exercise with SME (subject matter experts) to get the Information Architecture right. I also used dotmocracy (or dot voting) technique to get the team’s opinion on various UI elements. I also organized a user test/usability review conducted by a neutral designer from another office.

“We didn’t know how much we needed UX and UCD before we worked with JP”

– Eric Alarie, Engineering Manager at Caterpillar

An ecosystem of application

The redesign was a global effort for the Terrain product line. For the UI style, I connected with the designer working on “Terrain for Dozing” and I decided to aligned with his work. Consistency was somehow an issue out in the field.

We did quite a great teamwork in getting the usability of the gauge right. It had to be visible at a glance and even in the peripheral vision. But I think the most important was to get a common vocabulary across CAT ecosystem of applications; from alerts & notifications to machine status, job code and progress.

Modern Web App

As a developer I was also involved in the technology and I had to learn, along with the engineering team, how to develop a web app using Google Polymer 0.5, then redo everything when Polymer 1.0 came out – it was really different.

I got the opportunity to fully control the Style Guide through the CSS and integrate all SVG icons and custom components. I took the time to create a fully animated drill bit going through the ground, mimicking the vibration of the machine when in remote situation (because I discovered operator were using sound and vibration on top of pressure gauge). I even had the chance to play with ThreeJS, to integrate a full WebGL component to monitor the drill.

I worked on a few concept for ADS (Autonomous Drill System), a remote station that allow a single operator to control five drills simultaneously.