Windows, OSX desktop
Concept, Design, Coding
FedEx Desktop represented a move from web-only based tracking systems to more integrated solutions.
The creation of Adobe AIR offered us a great opportunity to offer customers a solution more integrated with their daily environment. The styling was intended to feel at home on either operating system while maintaining its own brand. The app was designed to be a resident application that ran in the background and presented “toast” notifications to users on important events. It shared both design and technology with the web-based Advanced Tracking I had completed only a few months before, but also offered a real opportunity to give customers even more information and access.
The Placard was born
As I designed FedEx Desktop I realized a “light-weight” UX was going to be important. Because of this, some presentation form would be necessary to carry the most desired information in a small, listable format. This design became known as the Placard. Allowing for maximum meaning in the least data was a central theme. I spent a month on metrics from our previous products as well as previous usability studies to filter out all of the un-needed information and focus in on what would be most meaningful. The resulting Placard has been a huge success with our customers and copied by all other carriers as they began to adopt smaller footprint experiences.
Adobe AIR was a natural extension of the Action Script Flex product I had just finished delivering: FedEx Advanced Tracking. The availability of the file system also offered me a chance to construct a local database in SQLite of the user’s data. This served the purpose of query access, as well as gave our more technical customers a way of auto-generating a structured back-up of their shipment history for their own use.
Featured by Adobe
This product was released in early 2008 along with the official release of Adobe AIR runtime and was featured as part of the official release by Adobe. I was asked to present on-stage with Kevin Lynch during the official Adobe release media event in San Francisco.