Roadie is a crowd-sourced delivery platform that enables last-mile delivery all across the US. With more than 50k monthly active drivers, Roadie is a trusted delivery partner for many large-scale enterprises as well as small-medium businesses.
Roadie delivers variety of things of different sizes, from small items that can fit in the front seat of a vehicle to big and bulky XL items that would require at least a pickup truck or a trailer.
For the purposes of this project, the focus will be on small items like clothing.
To understand the challenges with same-day delivery further, let's take a look at the current supply chain. Senders typically rely on stores and distribution centers to deliver their orders. The orders are sent from the warehouses to the distribution centres where packaging and sorting takes place and from there, they are delivered to the customers with the help of third-party delivery partners. This leads to the following inefficiencies:
What if we could turn warehouses into sorting and distribution centres? This will allow us to achieve the following:
With this in mind, we begin working with a client who was interested in partnering with Roadie for same-day delivery.
Working with our client, Roadie Engineering defined the below Task Flow. Roadie would enable distribution of packages by creating batches of delivery packages based on their delivery locations. The warehouse employee can sort them accordingly and hand off the packages when a Roadie driver arrives at pickup.
Since the solution aims to help with warehouse operations, the primary user is warehouse employee.
With the requirements in mind, I listed the tasks that the application should allow the warehouse employee to complete.
After defining the checklist of tasks, I designed the following user flow to determine the flow a user would take to complete the tasks.
Additionally, I also designed a set of wireframes to share with the stakeholders and get their feedback.
Based on the userflow and wireframe design, I received feedback from multiple stakeholders including the primary client and Roadie's Engineering team.
The primary feedback that I received was related to sorting process of delivery packages. Based on the initial inputs, I had designed the user flow in which the packages are pre-assigned to a bin. However, after sharing the flow with the client, they pointed out that the user should be able to select and assign the bin in which to place the package.
Additionally, in order to avoid accidental taps or misuse of the handoff button, it was suggested that the button should be removed from the handoff screen. Instead, when Roadie drivers indicate that they have completed the pickup, the app would update automatically to refelct the handoff. This improved the overall security of the app.
Once the flow was finalized, I created the following high-fidelity design of the application.
To sort the packages using the SmartSort application, the user needs to first log in to the application. Once logged in, they can start the sorting of packages. The user needs to first scan a package. If the package is not assigned to a bin, the user can select any bin and assign that bin to the package. After this, the user can place the package in the bin and repeat the process for all remaining packages.
As the user sorts packages into different bins, the app updates the status of each package and the bins. The user can view all the packages in a given bin by tapping into it. This allows them to view whether packages in a bin have been scanned and also view their tracking number. Furthermore, the driver can tap on the Hand-off tab to view the information of Roadie drivers that have been assigned for pickup.
Additionally, to ensure that users place packages into the right bins, I designed different error states that could help guide the user in case they make any mistakes while sorting the packages.
After the app was deployed, I had the opportunity to visit the warehouses along with my teammates and view users interacting with the app.
It was great to see the application in action and how effortlessly it helped the warehouse employees in sorting the packages. They mentioned that the app was easy to use. Whenever they ran into any issues, the app provided appropriate feedback which allowed them to correct their action. That being said, the employees also mentioned things that can be improved to make the app even better.
Based on the feedback provided by users and through observations during our site visit, we made the following improvements to the app.
The users mentioned that it takes a long time to load all of the bins on opening the app. I brought this feedback back to the engineering team and proposed the idea to have lazy loading in the app. This would prevent us from fetching unnecessary bin information thus helping us reduce the loading time.
The warehouse employees also shared that they use bins of different sizes. Unaware of how many packages belong in a bin, they lacked information to assign bin of the right size causing packages to overflow. As a result, I made changes to the design to show the total number of packages to help them select the right size of the bin.
The SmartSort app has been an exciting project to work on for many of us at Roadie. The CEO of Roadie, Mr. Marc Gorlin, called SmartSort to be one of the most innovative product the company has developed in recent years. It has opened up potential to scale the business exponentially.
Since it's inception, Roadie Support has experienced a significant drop in call volume as the drivers that deliver for warehouses have to deal with fewer number of pickups and are extremely professional. Roadie drivers that deliver for warehouses also love the long delivery routes as this helps them achieve their earning targets much more easily.
None of this would have been possible without my amazing team. From the Engineering masterminds, a Frontend wizard, to a meticuluous QA Lead, we all came together to turn this idea into reality. I also want to thank the Leaders at Roadie that truly trusted me with my design thinking and take ownership of the entire experience.