Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)
Leading User Experience for PRODUCTION SYSTEM
I have been leading the user experience design for BAAQMD's Production System since about 2007. The Production System is an online portal which enables Bay Area residents to apply for permits (which they are required to have) to operate equipment which emits air pollution and is regulated by federal, state and local regulations.
“User experience is everything. It always has been, but it’s still undervalued and under-invested in. If you don’t know user-centered design, study it.
Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board.” – Evan Williams
There are several separate areas or wings of the Production System, since there are different types of customers requiring permits. The main activity on the home page is directing traffic the area the customer needs, and giving more information to build confidence with the customer.
Forms & Applications by definition are quite complex at BAAQMD. We must gather technical information about customer's equipment,
and most customers don't necessarily have the technical training required to easily obtain this information. Guiding the user and explaining the process is very important for these complex applications.
BAAQMD Permit Engineers evaluate the customer applications and determine the amount of emissions or air pollution generated by the process and access fees for the permit.
BAAQMD Enforcement staff inspect facilities and can access fines or violation tickets if the permit conditions aren't met. This dashboard design allows an employee to monitor several different areas from one page. We use "Flags" to prioritize and bring attention to important tasks.
Bay Area residents can register a complaint online about different types of air pollution.
Developing high fidelity prototypes allows for A/B testing with the users. Handling confidential documents from customers is a delicate business. It can also be challenging for internal users to find needed documents, so we are A/B testing a few models for our Photo/Document module.