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Railroad metrics for executives on the go.


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Railroads offer the most dependable and lowest carbon footprint for bulk shipping on land. As freight volumes surge, timely responses to operational issues are critical to preventing late shipments and spoiled goods. In the current fast-paced business landscape, railroad owners must navigate the challenges with real-time data, particularly when on-the-go. This case study delves into the UX process for solving these pressing needs from concept to delivered prototype.



User Interviews

User Research

Workshop Facilitation



June - August





Adobe Creative Suite






Railroad owners need to know the operational and financial health of their fleets. Fleet metrics play a pivotal role in providing valuable information that helps identify potential issues and steer strategic improvements. However, the demanding nature of their roles often finds railroad executives constantly on the move. Without the luxury to sit down with a laptop and delve into the intricacies of railroad analytics, executives need a simpler way to view their operations.



Introducing DASH, a mobile app that simplifies the complexities of railroad metrics by transforming them into meaningful and actionable widgets.  DASH allows users to build a dashboard from scratch or utilize an onboarding tool to generate a meaningful layout.


The app empowers users with drill-down capabilities allowing them to delve into specific metrics and gain deeper insights into their fleet's performance. Furthermore, DASH's seamless sharing functionalities enable users to communicate problem areas via email or text. Pairing these railroad metrics with an alerting system provide railroad owners a powerful tool for managing their fleets wherever they go. 

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The project started with myself & a UX researcher receiving secondary information detailing the workflow of a yardmaster - the key figure in charge of a railroad yard. We recognized that we didn't have enough information for effective product development, and undertook a series of phone calls and a site visit to learn more about our users. This concerted effort allowed us to gather nuanced data around various personas, establishing the foundation for subsequent design phases. 

Next, we interviewed Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) within our organization. These insightful conversations offered a deeper understanding of the potential users who stood to benefit from a mobile dashboard tool and formed the basis for creating personas, below.

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The primary persona represents an executive C-suite individual tasked with making strategic decisions for their company. This person navigates a dynamic schedule, constantly moving between meetings and requiring real-time awareness of their company's challenges and opportunities for growth.

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The secondary persona depicts a mid-level manager dedicated to monitoring operational metrics for a specific segment of the company's fleet. Frequently on the road, this individual travels to various railroad yards, ensuring optimal operations within their assigned scope.




To kick off the ideation phase, I organized a workshop, enlisting internal employees from various product teams. During the session, I facilitated activities aimed at conceptualizing the ways a mobile dashboard could deliver value. We leveraged the personas I had crafted, extracting additional insights into goals, responsibilities, and pain points through real-world examples. Afterward, I led an affinity activity to prioritize the relevant metrics to be displayed upon login. 

To wrap up the workshop, I introduced a round-robin activity. Participants sketched potential solutions, traded with a neighbor, and iteratively enhanced each other's ideas. Through several rounds, we generated a substantial number of pressure-tested concepts, laying the groundwork for the subsequent design phase. Armed with a prioritized list of metrics and ideas for how to display mobile data, I was ready to begin the design process. 


Utilizing the Design Sprint Methodology, I began working on a prototype. Each week, I focused on a distinct design goal: constructing a robust login process, refining a streamlined onboarding methodology, crafting Key Performance Indicator (KPI) widgets, and more. To align with product strategy, I integrated typography and color patterns from the existing portfolio. During this phase, the product earned the name "DASH," reflecting its essence as a mobile dashboard accessible to users on the go, dashing from one meeting to another.

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Through the design process, I solicited internal feedback and conducted customer interviews. I found that users wanted to see more data than could be readily displayed on a mobile device. Additionally, users expressed a need to share pertinent data with their team members or personalize the dashboard layout.

Addressing these requirements, I integrated drill-down functionality into specific KPIs. I also created a process that allowed users to share widgets via email or text. Users that wanted a custom layout could create a unique view by rearranging the dashboard via drag-and-drop behavior. 



1. First-time users go through an onboarding workflow

The user is prompted to select which types of metrics are most important for their decision making process. These selections act as filters, allowing users to tailor their dashboard by adding the specific metrics that matter most to them.

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2. The app generates a dashboard with drillable widgets. 

Users have the ability to swiftly search for additional widgets to add or swap on their page. Each widget can be opened individually, providing users with specific information and the option to specify details such as region, commodity, or fleet.

3. The app provides alerts the user of any abnormalities in operations. 

Based on settings dictated by the user's organization, the user can opt to receive warnings if particular metrics fall out of a specified threshold. 

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4. Users can act on any widgets by sharing via text or email.

Users can take immediate action on any widgets of interest. This functionality not only enhances collaboration but also ensures that key information reaches the right individuals at the click of a button.

Final Look


The final design of the mobile dashboard received positive feedback from both users and internal stakeholders. Despite its well-received reception, conflicting timelines with other ongoing projects and constraints on development resources led decision-makers to postpone the development of DASH for the time being. While the project itself hasn't been officially launched, its impact is tangible. The insights generated have proven invaluable, shaping and influencing other dashboard-related initiatives within the company.

This project offered me an opportunity to own the entire UX process, from conception to design. I found a lot of joy and pride being able to clearly articulate well-informed design decisions and observing users intuit the intended design patterns and project app objectives. I owe a special thanks to the talented UX researchers at my company, namely Eva Abella, Sam Rendon, and Kunwar Walia. Their deep industry knowledge and guidance played a pivotal role in conducting meaningful interviews and gathering crucial insights.



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