There was a time when people expected different things from the technology they used at home and the technology they used at work. Consumer tech had to be sleek, sexy and simple to use. Business tech could be clunkier and harder to look at. It just needed to work.
But as technology has continued to invade every part of our lives, the lines between consumer and business have blurred. People now expect software to look good AND work well no matter where they are.
Designing an App Drivers Love
We kept this idea in mind when developing our own driver-facing application, Origin.
To ensure drivers would like and use the app, we knew it needed to look nice and just work. We knew it would never be adopted if it didn’t obviously make life easier. Fewer steps. Less work. No friction or frustration.
To make that a reality, we’ve taken a few steps.
We’ve made getting started with Origin extremely easy. No complicated passwords to remember or usernames to enter.
An admin simply sends a driver a text with a link. Driver clicks the link, confirms their phone number with a 4-digit PIN, and they’re in.
The process is so simple that often no additional onboarding or instruction is required. Not even a phone call.
This is crucial because it helps drivers get immediate value from the app, rather than feeling frustrated.
Getting Origin tightly integrated with leading Transportation Management Systems has been huge because it eliminates the need for drivers to type in load information.
The loads they’re assigned get pushed to their phones, they take pictures and attach documents, and everything flows back to the office already indexed and ready for billing.
For drivers, this means fewer steps, less typing, and less time spent taking care of paperwork.
Machine learning is one way we’re further streamlining the process and removing more frustration for the driver.
With machine learning, our app can tell when an image is blurry and ask the driver to quickly take another. This early detection is important because otherwise the image gets sent to the office, someone at the office opens the image and sees that it can’t be read, and then has to ask the driver to send another. Only by then, the driver is likely already on the road and will have to go out of his way to track down that piece of paper and send it again.
Over time, machine learning can also help figure out document types and extract other valuable information, removing more steps from the process, reducing errors, and making life easier for drivers and office staff.
Finally, one thing that we’re always mindful of is not overwhelming drivers with too many bells and whistles. Instead, we’ve tried to stay focused on what Microdea does best and create an app specifically designed for document imaging and automation.
This focus means that the app is super easy to navigate, even for drivers in their 70s. Image quality is good, file sizes are small, and everything is optimized to make getting paperwork done as effortless as possible.
The result is an app that drivers actually want to use. It looks good and just works.
Steele Roddick is a Content Specialist at Microdea where he creates content that helps transportation companies drive their business forward. He’s endlessly fascinated by technology trends, chess, and discovering new places to travel with his wife.