DBOT 3.0

Facilitating communication and accountability on the construction site.

Overview

Dbot is the name of an internal application developed by XAM Consulting for Downer Group.

 

Downer approached XAM Consulting with the goal of upgrading the previous Dbot 2.0 application to modern standards. The previous iteration was built without a design vision, and while it was a functional product, its feature-set was limited and it did not address many of the latest challenges Downer faced on its construction sites across Australia.

 

The goals of the project were:

  • Update Dbot 2.0 to 3.0, giving a fresh and modern look.

  • Develop features intended to connect tradesmen and onsite supervisors to tasks set out by engineers and planners

  • Enable event recording features that will allow on-site workers to track notable issues that occur on-site, with categorisation for future use.

  • Smooth out the permit requisition, purchasing and document recording and retrieval process.

  • Must work offline.

  • Both mobile and desktop versions are required, with different feature focus for each version in later iterations.

Figma prototype

Identified issues

Through speaking with stakeholders and contact points at Downer, the primary issues with the previous Dbot iteration were identified:

  • The existing product had an outdated look that was not beholden to any design principals. This was also partially reflected in the underlying architecture.

  • Important and highly desired features were missing from the current product, and it was not feasible to integrate them.

Material design

Material Design was identified as a ready-to-use design system that would provide a vast majority of components required to redesign the system. The technology used to build Dbot 3.0 was Blazor.

A new library of Material Design icons and screen elements was designed using a standard library as its base. The colours and graphics were customised to reflect the Downer brand and organised in an Atomic Design system of Atoms, Molecules and Organisms.

Developers were granted access to the Figma design environment with which to pull all vector assets and final wireframes needed for the development pipeline. As designer, I directly oversaw the Figma design environment and made changes in accordance with stakeholder feedback.

The result

The true results of Dbot 3.0 are confidential to Downer.

However, public information includes significant time and cost savings with new permit and material requisition flows, and an increased level of accountability to stakeholders on construction delays and their root causes.

© 2021 by Daniel Goltsman.