With countless origin and destination pairings available for any given freight lane, FreightWaves needed a solution that displayed vital, actionable data in a clear and concise view that could also handle a high volume of data sets. The biggest barrier to entry for SONAR users had historically been ease of use, thus it was imperative to craft a user interface that was both intelligent and simple. The hope was that such an accessible application would be rolled out to carriers and freight brokerages, helping the users make at-a-glance decisions and maximize profits.
The brief presented the following goals:
- A layout that can accommodate a minimum of 15 unique data points
- Condensed, expanded, and table layout options that change depending on two settings: 1) a selection of low, median, and high freight rates and 2) 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months
- Data that can be filtered, sorted, and searched
- An easily digestible layout for at-a-glance decision-making
- The ability to upload, validate, and download data
The following were noted constraints:
- Working within the existing FreightWaves SONAR color palette
- The option of possible fluctuation to the number of unique data points displayed
- A production deadline that could reduce the number of features
The process for what would become Lane Scorecard began with a series of meetings with industry veterans; nonnegotiable data points and the history of freight bidding was discussed. From notes and list of ideal unique data points a wireframe was created in Adobe Illustrator, the expanded layout being dubbed "Card View" and the condensed layout "List View." Origin and destination pairings were at the heart of this design, so it felt natural to have them displayed at the far left, knowing that the user reads from left to right. Just below the lane are the zip codes of both the origin and destination, a common identifier in the freight industry. Sparklines were added to show volatility, with added percentage indicators for good measure. The remaining nine data points were listed in no particular order, save the freight rates, which were placed at the far right to bookend the line of data and be at the ready with little searching required.
After the wireframes were approved, the project transitioned to the mockup stage within Adobe XD. Revisions to the original layout were minimal, however, the production deadline required features such as the upload wizard, search function, filtering, table view, and card view to be delayed indefinitely.
Following the successful launch of Lane Scorecard, an updated iteration was released called SONAR SCI (Supply Chain Intelligence). This revised dashboard features more visual components for quicker data interpretation through the use of color and charts.