US Postal Service

A service redesign of the package center at the USPS

Goal

To create a more pleasant customer experience around sending packages.

In recent years, the USPS has been struggling to compete with the digital age and other mail providers. Poor experiences left many people with negative perspectives of the post office. 

 

My specific role included taking photography of the concepts, creating the storyboard and experience map, designing the UI wireframes, and building the foam structures. We all collaborated on the design research and design concepts.

Key Skills

Design Research, Prototyping,

UX Design, Service Design

Course Advisor

Chris Risdon (Prototyping)

Project Collaborators

Emily Booth (MDes - IxD)

Lizzie Garrett (MDes - IxD)

Project Role

UX Designer

Project Length

4 weeks

Tools

Illustrator, Invision, Keynote

Final Concept

By opening up the storefront and enabling more self-service kiosks, we wanted to create a friendlier environment.

The new USPS experience includes the following concepts: 

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  • A more open and friendly environment.

  • USPS employees in front to enable a better customer service experience.

  • Faster transactions and new tools through self-service (e.g. address lookup and loyalty program).

  • Placing packages into a secure bin.

Research

The main bottleneck is that people have to stand in line to access a representative at any point in the process (even with self-service). 

We went to a couple of post office locations to observe and learn about the existing services. We interviewed employees and customers about their experiences. Also, we did analgous research at other types of packaging services. From the information we gathered, we determined some major pain points within the system.

To synthesize our research data, we used the "Rose, Bud, and Thorn" methodology to create affinity clusters. From the groupings, we identified a series of "How Might We" statements that listed out areas of interest to persue solutions. 

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From the information gathered on the current state system at the USPS, we developed a customer experience map. We realized that the biggest opportunity was during the process of sending packages. 

Business Origami

By creating an existing model of the USPS store, we could easily identify inefficient routes.

To determine how to best place different components within the post office, we did an exercise called "Business Origami". We tried different configurations to determine the best efficiency, atmosphere, and use of space. 

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Prototype Build

We built part of the USPS store to test such as a kiosk, box station, signage, conveyor belt, and POS system.

We created a physical prototype of the post office. For the POS, the UI had a strong focus on providing information about helping users choose how to send their packages. Information was simplified to display easy selection for shipping, address verification, add-ons, and boxes.

 

The concept of an Eagle Card was introduced as a loyalty program with the USPS that would save addresses and remember frequent selections. 

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Usability Testing

We learned that names of objects and signage were crucial to understanding how to use self-service.

We conducted 4 different user tests to determine how USPS customers would react to the new design of the post office. With each test, we rapidly iterated to fix the experience. We gathered the feedback to incorporate into the final prototype.

Kiosk UI Design

The UI simplified the amount of shipping options and add-ons to better streamline the checkout process.

We made more improvements to the UI based on user feedback by further simplifying shipping information and address selection. We also introduced label printing at the kiosk, so customers would not need to write the address on the box.