Ferntech

Role: Freelance UI/UX Designer

Description: Ferntech is a web-based product that helps it's customers monitor and control off-grid power systems. By collecting data about a mini solar grid on site and publishing it to the web, customers can fix problems as they happen without wasting any time.

Ferntech brought me on as a Freelance UI/UX designer to help them re-design their platform to make it easier to use for their customers. Our engagement lasted four months, and in that time, we did a complete UX overhaul of how users interact with the product. As well as a visual update to make Ferntech a custom but approachable product to interact with.

I was the first designer they worked with and owned the entire process from synthesizing feedback and requests to delivering a high fidelity prototype and style guide for the engineering team to start building.

Process

When I first started on this project, we did a deep dive into the current product. I used it on my own, received a demo, learned about all the different use cases, the priorities for their business, team structure, and resources. I believe this is an essential first step when starting with a new client or project. All of the above information is important when making design decisions.

Problems

Below are a few Qualitative feedback items that were identified as important. These problems were collected from talking with current and potential customers.

  • Left navigation is too crowded with too many options. This makes the user feel overwhelmed and unsure of where they should be taking action
  • There are too many segmented parts of the application. Is there a way to make the experience more uniform?
  • The map isn't useful and the systems list could display better information.
  • Theres a lot of layers to the dashboard. It is difficult to understand where you are at any time.
  • The system dashboards blend into the homepage. Without many visual differences it isn’t super clear when I’m viewing a specific system.
  • There isn’t enough context as to which system I’m looking at.
  • It’s difficult to find extra details once you are in a system dashboard. If I wanted to see site contact, notes, company etc. I’d need to exit the dashboard which makes me loose context of where I’m at.
  • Everything is grey, which makes the product feel generic


Because of budgets and resourcing, a full customer interview study wasn't able to be completed. Instead, we took feedback that the founders had been hearing and worked on implementing that right away. I worked at providing Ferntech design solutions that could be implemented quickly, so they could continue adapting to customer feedback as it came in.

Main Goal

Customers need to be able to find out when errors occur on their systems as soon as possible to minimize the downtime and need for an onsite operator.

Customers need a way to quickly see all their systems in operation and the status of each.

The focus of the homepage is to get a birds-eye view of what is happening with all of the customers systems. Users can quickly see which systems have errors and drill down into what is causing it with one click.

System Dashboard

The system dashboard is one of the most important areas of the product. It must show clear data on what is currently happening while having easy access to the tools that help with debugging.

Our less tech-savvy customers need a way to see how a system works together, so they know how to proceed if there is an error.

This view shows how a system works together at a glance. This allows techs to see how components are connected and quickly see if there is a real issue or if something has just become unplugged. Users can drill down additionally to see specific data to help them understand problems.

Events tell you when and what type of errors have occurred on your system.

Events are important when figuring out what is going wrong and how to get things back in working order. This design makes it easy to filter times, isolate components and drill down to what is actually happening.

Up Next
Product Designer / Founder / Maker
I’m currently freelancing full-time and am available for work! Originally from Vancouver, BC Canada, I now live in Longmont, Colorado with @jakedahn and @goldenqueso.
Get In Touch
Email me@jessicagillis.com for a
FREE 30-minute discovery call.
Work
Nov 2019 - Feb 2020

Freelance Product Designer @Ferntech

Sept 2019 - Dec 2019

Freelance UX Designer @Healthgrades

2016 — Present

Freelance Product Designer @ Jessica Gillis Design

2018 — 2019

Freelance Product Designer @mTAB

2017 — 2018

Freelance Product Designer @Odyssey

2016 — 2017

Freelance Product Designer @Welltok

2013 — 2016

Product Designer @Yard Club (Acquired by Caterpillar)

Education
Art Institute of California — San Francisco
Bachelor of Science — Graphic Design
Skills
Product Design
User Experience
Visual Design
Web Applications
Mobile Applications