DAT Hot Market Maps
WHAT IS HOT MARKET MAPs?
Hot Market Map is a research tool for Truckers and Freight Brokers that enables them to use metrics to make market decisions.
Users had no way to visualize trends across different markets except through a choropleth and individual market metrics. It was also a legacy tool that was not updated for a long time and needed a visual refresh to follow the DAT Material style guide.
I co-designed the application with a fellow designer and our UX researcher. We conducted multiple ideation sessions with key stakeholders as well as subject matter experts. We also spoke to multiple existing customers to see what new features would help their businesses.
Kick-off meetings with stakeholders
We held initial meetings with the Hot Market Maps' PM and PO. We understood the history and beginning of analytics at DAT. We also learnt that there was a wealth of data that our freight matching applications had that we could utilize to help the customers make better, informed decisions in their freight business.
We facilitated a set of ideation sessions with multiple people from Engineering, Sales, Support. We talked through wireframes and north-stared What-ifs and Good-to-haves. These cross-department sessions helped gather a lot of knowledge about analytics in the freight industry and also look beyond the requirements.
We accompanied the Sales team on a customer training event where we spoke to brokers to see what features they liked from the older app. This helped see the product in use and how it fits into a user's workflow.
Existing data, new features!
Ability to filter the map by different zones
The previous app could only display State and Market Area. This is not helpful always because a whole state might not be indicative of the trend in some parts of the state. Adding more granulated filters helped look at data on different levels.
Ability to specify an origin
In the case of market areas, users might not know which market area to select to see the capacity in a particular city. By auto-selecting and zooming in to the area when the user specifies a city/town, making it easier for them without additional searching.
While the choropleth map showed the hotness or coolness of a market at a glance, there was no way to look at the data trend throughout the day. By adding a chart, the user can make informed decisions based on the market in addition to the time of day.
Existing App's user flow
Design of the trend graphs
The UI elements were drawn from the DAT Design style guide based on Material Design. The graphs were inspired by Google Finance graphs for stocks. It was a clean way to show trends across a particular day.
The Load to Truck ratio was displayed using a stacked bar graph because while Load count and Truck count are not very useful data points individually, as a ratio, they are indicative of market strength.
Changing the way users look at data but also retaining certain mental models
Customers really enjoyed the direction that the new app was taking. They liked seeing more insights and data for a particular market area. The app was also appreciated for being consistent and in line with the rest of the product suite and looking like it "belonged" in the DAT product suite.