I get to work on user testing to help determine what is needed in future versions of the driver handheld devices, called DIAD (Delivery Information Acquisition Device.) And to do this we ask the experts, UPS drivers: In January 2008 a driver survey was conducted requesting user feedback, pros and cons, concerning the DIAD IV. The results indicated three areas of concern: 1) the placement of the signature key, due to customers inadvertently hitting this key; 2) the shifted keypad, which requires the driver to toggle between alpha and numeric characters; and 3) the size of the device, too big and too heavy.
The next question that needed to be addressed was: does the DIAD V need to be a “custom” device or can the DIAD V be a standard off-the-shelf product? In the past, standard products did not meet the needs of UPS, which resulted in the need (and expense) of developing a “custom” device. Customization also requires country and regulatory certifications for the device and accessories for each country in which the equipment will be used. Today standard products have all the components of a DIAD device plus a few newer innovations. So, once again, the experts were consulted! Four standard off-the-shelf devices were tested on-road by drivers at nine different locations. The test results indicated that two of the devices tested were acceptable (and actually preferred over the DIAD IV) and two of the devices tested were not suited for the operational environment (too small with QWERTY or computer keypads).
Based on the information provided by our drivers (the real experts), UPS contacted three major companies in the handheld device market which then responded with proposals of their standard ruggedized product(s). In late 2009, after clarifying and negotiating changes in the proposals, the product and the vendor were selected. Drum roll please…The DIAD V will be a standard product built by Honeywell. The device will have a full color VGA screen and expanded radio communication coverage. The DIAD V will be smaller and lighter than the DIAD IV, which will alleviate issues with the signature key (due to the device size, the customer’s grasp while signing the device will be different) and the DIAD V will have a full alpha numeric keypad, eliminating the shift key.
The UPS and the Honeywell project teams are currently engaged and forging ahead to begin deployment in August 2011.
|Tags:||DIAD, driver, drivers, handheld device, technology|