Watson at Work
Today's airplanes are highly complex machines that require reliable parts and service to fly safely. To keep an airplane in peak operating condition, aircraft mechanics do scheduled maintenance, make repairs, and complete inspections. However, aircraft mechanics currently rely on mountains of paper manuals and their intuition to identify and diagnose problems rather than data and centralized diagnostic tools.
Challenge: Design a digital solution to provide predictive maintenance insights for an airline mechanic. The solution should allow a mechanic to access multiple data sources in real time to predict asset failure or quality issues to avoid costly downtime and reduce maintenance costs.
Skills: Secondary Research, UX/UI (AR), Storytelling
Watson at Work video from IBM
Understanding the Problem Space
The very first step I took before starting to think about what to design and how to design was to immerse myself into the problem space itself and the constraints or needs that must be addressed. Thus, I took notes from both the design document and my own research.
Through secondary research, I really wanted to get to know who the aircraft mechanics are to get a better understanding of the context of problem space. Here are several categories for research:
Defining the Problem
Addressing Pain Points
After studying the problem space and defining several key pain points of aircraft mechanics, I wanted to now understand different ways to address these pain points. Thus, I chose augmented reality headset as the main medium to help them through their maintenance process while their hands are busy performing their tasks. Then, I looked more into the detail of specific scenarios and started to think about how different tools (AR, IoT Sensor, Watson) could mainstream the process.
In the ideation phase, I created a storyboard to begin to imagine how the experiences would look and feel like for the stakeholders (aircraft mechanics and passengers). Storyboarding helped me draw out and understand the experiences of these two groups of people and start thinking about the interactions in their environments.
Wireframes and Sketches
After storyboarding an end-to-end scenario, I explored what the actual screens should look like for the user, how different features should be represented, and how they should all interact and relate to one another.
User Flow and Journey Map
Next, a more finalized user flow/journey map was created as a guide to designing the interfaces. More changes were made after creating a few iterations
This project was really interesting because as I was designing, I had to keep in mind of the implementation of all the features necessary for the users but also think about what the best experience should be despite all these necessary features that need to be addressed. I was challenged to design a solution without much information explicit details, but this ambiguity helped me to explore and think about the best experience aI can think of without the constraints or any bias about existing technologies.
For further work, I want to talk to the actual users, get to know them better, and see if my design solution would help them with their maintenance job. From there, I will gather their feedback and iterate based on their insights.