User-centered development in ArcGIS Pro

Jelmer Akkerman

Plan a call on this topic with Dominique GoesFor 12 months we have been working at ROSEN in Germany on the development of a new application for data management for the inspection of pipelines. Determining the exact location of objects and irregularities in the pipeline is an important part of this development. Optimal use was made of the power of GIS — and the ArcGIS platform, in particular.

When developing this new solution, user-friendliness was high on the list of requirements. No complicated systems, but a logical interface with as few buttons but with as many standardized actions as possible. Additionally, Rosen wanted to develop the whole interface within the ArcGIS platform — a great challenge that we enthusiastically embraced. The result? Success! In March 2019, we will present this success story together with ROSEN during the Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs, California.

User driven design 

The most important first step in this process was preliminary research. To that end, we completely disregarded the technology. We created a clear picture of the wishes of the users of the application. Subsequently, a User Interface (UI) expert set to work with these wishes to make a graphical representation of the wish list. With the team of developers, we have translated the design into a technical design. This created a user-friendly and technically strong performance solution that could be successfully delivered. We are currently working on continuous optimization based on user feedback.

Working with workflows 

In addition to a user-friendly interface, we also optimized practical use. In the preliminary investigation, we discovered that many processes often follow one another in the same order. Based on that information, we have designed the process steps in such a way that users see only the options on their screen that match the step the user is currently working on. In this way, we naturally guide the user through the entire process and we simplify complex processes with smart software. The result? Less invalid data input and one uniform process. The ultimate result? A uniform data set on which all analyses are then performed.

platform benefits 

When developing the new solution, ROSEN specifically asked to use the standard components that are already available within the ArcGIS platform. This fits in perfectly with Tensing's vision of minimal customization. The main motivation for this choice — of both ROSEN and Tensing — is easy upgrades from the supplier, user familiarity with the general UI of ArcGIS Pro, and faster development because less customization has to be done.

SMART COOPERATION

The responsible project team is very diverse. In addition to users and internal specialists from ROSEN, experts from multiple suppliers were involved. Thanks to the knowledge and experience from the various parties, a lot of attention was paid to user processes, technical implementation and a user-friendly interface. The synergistic effect of a diverse team is certainly an opportunity that multiple utilities can use.

Esri Developer Summit 2019 

TDuring the Esri DevSummit in Palm Springs, California, Otto Huisman and Jelmer Akkerman jointly present the developed solution for ROSEN. They focus on how the workflow works in the application, the benefits of the platform and the benefits for the end user. View the Esri DevSummit 2019 website. 

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