Simwave

Simwave

Building a maritime e-learning platform


Client
Simwave
Role
Lead Designer
Industry
Maritime  ·  E-learning
Timeline
2021 - 2022  ·  1 yr 7 mos
Client Simwave Role Lead Designer Industry Maritime · E-learning Timeline 2021 - 2022 · 1 yr 7 mos

Simwave is an educational leader in the global maritime industry, with clients like Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, and Vroon. Providing training, assessments, and certification solutions using primarily world-leading simulation technology and physical classrooms. However, covid challenged them to strive for a new approach that can be more online-focused if not hybrid.
 
 
 
 

From 0-1 and beyond

I led the design of “Simwave Academy” from 0-1, from analysis to synthesis, designing to prototyping, and preparing documentation for developer handoff. The end-to-end, data to execution is what defined my role as a UX Designer, eventually also onboarding new designers. "Simwave Academy" helps support the learning journeys for both educator and student and indirectly contributes to reducing the risk of unpreparedness and accidents on board.
 
Hybrid education as the future of maritime training
Hybrid education as the future of maritime training

Pivoted to online education

Starting with a team of 7 we had to rapidly define, execute, and iterate on our process of balancing both user needs, business goals, and technical constraints. We delivered a well-received MVP for Simwave’s ‘Learning Management System’ which later grew out to become a full-stack collaboration ranging from web-based application development to branding, and product strategy to internal tools.
 
Architectures maps, graphs for pitches, and flowcharts
Architectures maps, graphs for pitches, and flowcharts

Making design decisions

We created a new E-learning ecosystem from scratch with a diverse set of advanced features; offline compatibility on vessels, content management systems, PDF generators, crew analytics, and flexible roles & permissions to name a few. In order to streamline communication, I visualised and documented a lot of the work within the team to maintain pace, and velocity. A proven continuous implementation process allowed for truly iterative work, enabling future collaborators through unit testing, customer feedback loops, and design guidelines.
 
Monitoring, user management, and administration
Monitoring, user management, and administration

Designed manager-side of LMS

After having conversations with some of Simwave’s clients a big business need arose from the aspiring early adopters of “Simwave Academy”. Because big bucks are spend on ensuring their crew members are capable enough for the job, the crew managers and directors would also like to have some form of grip and monitoring of their human resources. That’s why I spend almost one year on designing for the manager (Insights, Course-, Asessment-, User, and Settings management).
 
Assessment reports, course certificates, and flyers
Assessment reports, course certificates, and flyers

Developed components for print

One of the more early challenges was working with my engineers to translate static HTML-components to PDF’s (i.e. pixels to ink on paper). This included tables, graphs, charts, and visuals, besides headings and paragraphs text. After five fully-fledged iterations of printing and ocular assessment with the brilliant people at Clutch, we defined the canvas and parameters to make anything look good, and readable on paper. A feature that provides flyers, reports, and certificated to all the students.
 
Navigating simple bite-sized lessons and quizzes
Navigating simple bite-sized lessons and quizzes

Used by thousands of users

The final product is used by thousands of monthly users, and not only something to be proud of from a design and technical perspective, but also from a didactical perspective. Simwave’s clients are proud to share their crew members learnt something. Helping contribute to a viable propositions from scratch also meant defining front-office and back-office processes, building teams within the organisation (development, content, design), and implementing feedback loops.

Learnings

What I’ve learned is the importance of defining and scheduling activities and taking ownership while developing digital products from 0-1. In order to balance user needs, business goals, and technical constraints you need to empathise and align with different stakeholders and disciplines. Whether it be through interviews, focus groups, presentations, check-ins or having feedback mechanisms in place. Followed by prioritising the work and allocating time to ensure quality.
 
“In his role as a UX/UI designer, Julong has made a valuable contribution to the development of Simwave Academy. He works with an eye for detail and excels in preserving thoughtful design patterns. He has significantly contributed to translating concepts into well-designed interfaces, enhancing product cohesion, and, above all, achieving an appealing design. …” – Irian Vis, Full-stack Developer & Product Owner at Simwave

Credits

Marcel KindChief Executive Officer • Ralph De SwartChief Operating Officer • Remy LammersCreative Director • Richard van Heuven van StaerelingSenior Front-end Engineer • Armin MehinovićSenior Back-end Engineer • Irian VisFull-stack Developer & Product Owner • Will CorrBack-end Developer • Farideh Bolkhari UX Designer • Zohreh Asgari UX Designer • Ryan VerhagenChief Commercial Officer • Bash Sarkar Chief Technology Officer • Lauren Maxwell Content Lead • Antonio Russo Content Developer • Silvia Herrero Simancas Content Writer • Ali Moghadaszadeh Machine Learning Engineer • Robin van GestelFront-end Engineer • Jesse NijmanFront-end Engineer • Freek VisserSoftware Engineer Intern • Arjan de Vries Communications Intern.

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