User Interface   /   User Experience   /  Digital Design   /   Interactive Design   /  Creative Direction

© 2020 by Gayle Barton. 

Case Study
EchoStorm's web apps.

Problem

EchoStorm was a software startup that got its start by having an experimental contract with the military to find a solution for the technical and latency issues the military were having with the new emerging Drone technology. Drones are used by the military for reconnaissance and surveillance in areas and terrains where troops were unable to safely go. The operations took place in a dark command center on a military base in Las Vegas, Nevada and they flew flights in Afghanistan and Iraq in real time. The biggest problem was that they were not giving their reports and information to the ground troops in time and it was too late for them to make any significant decisions. This new technology was not being used successfully.

 

There were two sets of unique users: USAF pilots and Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) professionals. The plots flew their missions in real time and had to accomplish tasks that were directed by mission leads. The reconnaissance/analyst professionals used the archived video and data to observe any obstacles or upcoming potential threat. They both were using multiple “primitive" tools to do their job. (powerpoint, google maps, web conferencing software, handwritten sticky notes). 

Action Requirments

We ( me as the UX/UI designer, a software architect and a business development professional ) observed the two users and came up with a web based solution that:

  • Captured live video
     

  • Standardized the video format
     

  • Processed the sensor data into user friendly content types (total of 14 streams of data that was time sensitive to the video)
     

  • Fused all their hand written time-consuming tasks
     

  • Recorded flight paths and observation path on a google map interface
     

  • Managed live video and archived video in a user-friendly viewport.
     

  • Added features like, live conferencing ( up to 8 people ) in view of the live flight in progress
     

  • Added features like, drawing and notation tools that was added as an overlay on to the video and map view

My roll

Using my design skills, I prepared the user research presentations to stakeholders, investors and C level types. White boarded user map customer journeys; develop use case studies for every possible scenario for this complex web application. Set up user testing. Created assets for the software development team and guided them with a grid layout and designed interchangeable, atomic level, design system to fit that grid layout. Was the visual lead and was a resource for the developers on staff.

Result

Reduced lag time for information to real-time from flight to ground troops. The ground troops could use the software on their ruggedized ipads and saw the information from the ISR professionals in realtime. The software helped to saved lives. It was very successful at the time.

 

The company is not in business because it was sold in 2010 for $32 million.