A complex industrial tool that feelsas easy as a consumer app.
Honeywell Process Solutions helps industrial customers around the world operate safe, sustainable, and more profitable facilities. Honeywell developed a new product—the SmartLine Level Transmitter—to detect and report liquid levels within a wide range of industrial tanks used by the oil and gas, agriculture, and manufacturing industries.
Honeywell was building a product that transformed customers businesses through reduced maintenance, smart integration, and easy implementation. We helped them stand out in a crowded marketing industry of similar product offerings by creating the best possible digital experience for configuring and validating their new SmartLine device.
The ordering process was confusing.
The product—Honeywell’s SmartLine Level Transmitter—was sophisticated, but the process of actually configuring and placing an order wasn’t. Customers had to use a tedious, industry-standard process of spreadsheets and lookup tables to find their model number. On average people spent 140 minutes for each device.
Sometimes ordering required a site visit.
For more complicated orders Honeywell sales reps had to fly to the client’s site, further eroding the sustainability and profitability of the product.
Best practices weren’t responsive.
The standard mathematical modelling and simulation tools ideal for obstacle interference and collision detection did not integrate well with the required responsive web design.
The software didn’t exist yet.
Normally, performance specifications for a product would be finalized before building the product’s ordering tool. But not in this case. We needed to work alongside the product team to built a system that adapted to product development changes, constantly iterating our tool along with the Honeywell’s development team.
How to make a complex industrial ordering process feel easy
Make user experience a priority.
We talked to Honeywell customers in the field—both distributors and direct buyers—and used that research to identify what was essential to them and what wasn’t. Through comparative and competitive research, technology prototyping, and user interviews, we were able to uncover insights that further informed the design and development of the tool.
By working closely with the Honeywell engineers in an Agile framework, we were able to respond to challenges and changes as they arose, while always moving closer towards the features that users needed and wanted.
What it means to be best-in-class
Responsive and seamless
The configuration tool leverages modern web technologies and techniques—including WebGL and Responsive Design—to deliver a seamless, easy-feeling experience across multiple screens and devices while reducing customer error.
Easy to use.
We used visual design to make the complex understandable. The user interface was designed to keep distractions to a minimum, not overwhelming the customer with the sheer number of options. We injected some delight into the process with subtle animations, fast response times, and clean design elements.
Real-time remote collaboration.
Thanks to the lean technology choices made during development, the configuration tool also connects customers and agents in synchronous, real-time sessions over the internet. They can collaborate on schematics, view changes in real-time, and solve problems together.
3.6x faster with fewer errors.
When we began the project, customers needed an average of 140 minutes to use the manual method of product specification, using tedious look-up tables and spreadsheets. Honeywell’s goal for the new process was 70 minutes. Our online ordering tool did it in just 30. Using solid user experience principles and some smart development thinking, we helped Honeywell and their customers save time and eliminate frustration, while truly differentiating Honeywell from their competitors.