Project Description



About the Project

From 2014 to 2015 I worked with Ziba, a design innovation firm in Portland, OR. During that time I was involved in the early stages of a redesign for the hardware device used by FedEx employees to scan, route, and track packages.

The original device had a monolithic amount of functionality and was introduced more than a decade ago, when mobile devices were rudimentary and cloud-based data was in its infancy. The behaviors of the employees using the device had also evolved significantly. The tool needed to be re-conceptualized from the ground up.


  • Ethnographic field interviews

  • Product requirements definition

  • Collaborative design workshops

  • Interaction design

  • Prototype development

  • MVP concept testing with end users


  • Working closely with the client team, we began by defining the nearly 20 different user roles that actively use the current tool.
  • Conducted workshops to select a primary user profile to focus on for the minimum viable product (MVP).
  • Proposed an MVP strategy, with the goal of getting an initial prototype in the field quickly and “failing early,” rather than waiting what could have been several years to rebuild all of the existing functionality on a new platform.
  • Held collaborative sessions with stakeholders on the agency and client side to build consensus on overall approach.
  • Conducted ethnographic field research to understand the target user’s environment, ecosystem, aspirations, and behavior.
  • Developed the test goals, moderated user interviews, conducted analysis and synthesis with other researchers and observers, and presented findings.
  • Worked with the business owners to tease apart a monolith of functionality that had been built up over many years.
  • Defined a limited scope of functionality to include in the MVP. The goal was to determine a set of functionality that would be valuable to the target user, at the same time as being buildable within a limited time frame.
  • Planned buckets of functionality the would be rolled out in subsequent releases — in years following the initial MVP.
  • Led design workshops with product owners and stakeholders to brainstorm product concepts that would address user needs.
  • Created a new interaction model based on high level requirements, and then field tested with target users. For this stage of field testing, also developed the test goals, was the lead moderator, and led the synthesis and reporting.


At the conclusion of 3 cycles of design and testing, we had alignment on a new interaction model that could go into development.

The next phase of the project involves establishing a visual design language, embedding with the development team to ensure that the design intent is successfully articulated in the ongoing development phase.