For Veson — whose Veslink software is synonymous with shipping fleet management — it meant an interface that conveyed complex information visually to fuel decision-making and action. We saw in this challenge the need to maintain visual continuity in a complex system with multiple lenses through which to view elaborate navigation and status data. The various users to be designed for — the ship’s captain feeding the system, the shoreside office monitoring progress, fleet owners, brokers — only compounded this challenge.
Our approach migrated away from form-based views toward a map-based view of the world, enabling historical views of each vessel in a fleet, and the ability to migrate to an estimator view that enabled scenario planning on a vessel-by-vessel basis. We added an internal networking tool that would allow these varied stakeholders to share and collaborate within each scenario, delivering a near-real-time fleet management solution. With limited access to stakeholders — many of whom were quite literally at sea — the Veson team served as an extraordinary conduit between the language of design and usability and the language of international logistics. The highly iterative process was as much an exercise in understanding the breadth of the data available to us as it was in information design.
The updated Veslink software was launched in 2014.