Plant Operations and Point of Sale for Tide Cleaner’s
Design and develop a new platform that will replace existing industry leading software to enable Tide Cleaner’s to grow and scale their operations at their stores and plants.
A store would be able to fully process and track garments, manage guest accounts, and process payments using Tide Cleaner’s own proprietary software.
Principle Designer, UX/UI, Design System, Prototyping, User Acceptance Testing, Information Architecture
Sketch, InVision, Figma, Abstract, Zeplin, Jira, Miro, Story Boards, Maze
I joined the Solvent team to embark an something very ambitious. We were on a mission to build custom software solutions that would allow Tide Cleaners to run there daily operations, support guest care, and provide guest with an app that would allow them to request laundry services at a tap of a button.
The cleaning industry has been running on software that is decades old. There are some new players in the game, but nothing that truly worked seamlessly across markets and business modals and adapted to the specific needs of Tide.
We began with conversations. Our team sat down with key stakeholders around a big table and for hours, days, weeks, and months we listened. We ask them questions. Learned how they did handled operations. What were the pain points?
These sessions involved lots of snacks, coffee, and whiteboards filled with stickies. Running with our version of Google Sprints we captured all the needed research to map out Information Architecture needed to guide the scope of our work.
03. Validate Assumptions
Watch and Learn
We quickly built a prototype and begin our research. We invited people who have professional laundry experience to demo our ideas and provide feedback. In the context of a mocked up environment, laundry experts were asked a series of questions to process garments.
These sessions were critical for laying a foundation that our team would build upon. We recorded, observed, and reviewed each session. Carefully taking note of patterns that went well and didn’t go so well.
These learnings were prioritize for improvements and iterations.
Our next phase was to use the information architecture and scope of work to strategically begin to solve specific phases of the experience. Starting with checking in a guest, detailing a guest order, assembly items, racking completed items for storage, and with the final step checking out and returning cleaned items back to the guest.
Sketch & Prototype
Each flow was mapped out. Story maps would then inform sketches. The sketches would be mocked up into hi-fidelity views. Prototypes would be built and presented. Once usability and functionality was approved the team would gather to break down the work into workable tickets.
We rinse and repeated this steps until we got things right. The app begin to take shape with every completion of a step.
05. User Acceptance Testing
In Store Demos
Finally we had the basic skeleton of our app that could begin and finish the complete experience, it became time to conduct in person test of our application. The team would make many trips on what we called "missions" to conduct in person user acceptance test with stakeholders and users.
This meant full installation of hardware and networks in a designated area in the store. We could then conduct a series of real world scenarios that would validate or provide learnings we could use to make improvements.
For months we drilled and ran these test. Each time being careful to watch and observe. We took detailed notes and made strategic improvements.
A few months of these missions would pass. All of them leading up to our first real cutover. In one night, our team went into a Tide Cleaners, removed all the existing hardware and replaced with with our application and hardware. We stayed up late into the early morning, crashed at the hotel for a few hours before returning to be there when the store opened up.
Right out the gate we were working with the staff to check in guest, help them process the items. It was crazy, fast, and exhilarating. These were special times that were often chaotic. But they were fun, and we saw first hand what was working and what wasn't. Often times, we were able to trouble shoot and fix issues as they appeared. We kept at this for a couple of days until things were stable.
It's also at this phase that our team introduced a new function of our team, support. So now we were learning, discovering features, designing, building, and supporting our work. A tall order for a small team, but we never gave up and always found a way forward.
07. Continued Design & Development
Expanding reach & market
We are live 16 markets and counting. The product has matured as well as our team. We are continuing to add features that drive toward the goals of the business to improve operations and support a quality guest experience.