Senior UX Designer; 2016 - 2018
Worldwide scope, hyperlocal delivery. I was the user experience lead for the international expansion of Last Mile, meaning I worked to understand the reality of getting a package from Amazon's facilities to a customer's doorstep, whether that's New Delhi, India or Northleach with Eastington in Gloucestershire, UK and designed experiences accordingly.
This makes for a great challenge! I used design thinking and principles to uphold Amazon delivery standards the world over, and helped thousands of drivers every day perform the complex, stressful, and time-sensitive nature of on-time delivery.
I worked on the Rabbit app, which has a worldwide code base serving a myriad of users, many of whom are not Amazon employees or contractors and need to be up to speed and on target from Day One.
Each locality has its own peculiarities that need to be taken into account when crafting the mobile app and delivery station design experience that helps millions of deliveries, to the hour.
In the UK, most delivery drivers are from many other places and languages: Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Punjabi, Brazilian Portuguese, and others. In Germany, most drivers are Syrian or Turkish. And India, which has around 1600 languages and 22 officially recognized languages, has no standardized addresses and no one knows their PIN (postal) code.
I immersed myself in the complex processes by working with drivers, dispatchers, station personnel, and customers, and find the commonalities. More importantly, I strove to create a system that was robust and flexible enough to accommodate the differences between geospatial arrangements, urban and rural geographies, and (most fun of all) cultural differences.
Making sense of chaos
I didn’t do much UI work as the app was already built. I did work to change the internal thinking from Seattle-centric to global, which took a lot of education and stakeholder cross-review. I worked closely with Delhi and London as their onsite advocate. I had many whiteboard sessions, executive reviews, and product management calibration sessions. I worked closely with our user research team to capture all of the local realities and manual station tools and translate that into a truly transnational experience.
My favorite thing to say in meetings was “You’re forgetting people again!” Amazon has a bias towards metrics and it was crucial that stakeholders and senior management understand at a personal and visceral level that humans and the physical world efficiencies and experience were the keystone to a successful delivery machine. After all, our station personnel are customers too.