3M Connected Safety
Enterprise IoT Systems // Stakeholder Interviews // Comparative Analysis // Product Audits // Contextual Observation// Design Strategy // Design System Management // Responsive Web, Android, and iOS Design // Interactive Prototyping
What is connected safety?
3M has a strong foothold in the personal protective equipment (PPE) market and is working to enhance their existing products with IoT technology. The Connected Safety platform, in 3M’s words, is “Bringing the benefits of a connected world to industrial workplace safety.”
This platform is made up of several cloud-based applications that help safety professionals manage workers, equipment, and a laundry list of compliance requirements inherent to the field. These applications include a responsive web portal, multiple iOS and Android apps, and a Windows tablet application. Hardware technologies we work with include Bluetooth, RFID, NFC, and point-based beacons.
As a Senior UX Designer, my day to day responsibilities range from recommending smart information architecture and user workflows to designing for web, iOS, and Android. I work with a small team of other designers and researchers to support the individual applications making up this larger platform. We advocate for the user while taking into account legacy challenges and varying business objectives.
I am also one of two visual designers for this platform, so the remainder of my time is spent—you guessed it—designing. I work with UX researchers to create prototypes for user testing, design proof-of-concepts to share ideas with business partners, and output final designs and specifications for our development teams.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Activities & Deliverables
The Connected Safety team is large, with many stakeholders including multiple product owners, business and marketing managers, IT analysts, and technical leads. Our team hosts regular workshops and alignment meetings to ensure stakeholders are aware of how decisions affect other parts of the platform and what that means for the user journey.
I often conduct comparative research to uncover best practices and inform workflow recommendations. Topics include login/password recovery, user roles/permissions, IoT onboarding, and installation guidance.
The Connected Safety platform is made up of numerous applications in various stages of development. Two products are currently live with users but were created prior to the formation of our design time, so I conducted audits in an effort to make the platform more unified. My audit method of choice is a heuristic analysis, though there is often a need for content inventory, sitemaps, and other methods.
Working on this product has been particularly eye-opening, since our users face many environmental and regulatory challenges. Going to visit worksites has been the best way to develop empathy for these users and ensure we keep these in mind with designing solutions.
The biggest challenge in this role has been managing so many separate applications while working towards unification. While our stakeholders easily bought into unifying the look and feel of these applications, much of my work has been to help strategize what the ecosystem needs to look like from the user’s perspective.
Design System Management
I have been working with the Lead Interaction Designer on my team to create and manage a design system for use across our team. This includes a Sketch library each for responsive web, iOS, and Android, built on a shared library of text styles, colors, elevation, and iconography. We are also working with our Prototype Designer to launch the design system so our developers and outside resources can take advantage of it.
I am also working to create an illustration style for use across the product.
Responsive Web, Android, and iOS Design
Using our design system, I have created designs for the responsive web portal, an iOS app, and and Android app.
I use Sketch and Invision to prototype designs to share with business partners.
I am also in the process of learning animation prototyping to better convey interaction design ideas to our development team.