Caterpillar Digital Team Fleet Management Software Design • Software Engineering Figma Prototype

Caterpillar Software Design Case Study

The Caterpillar fleet management software development was a user interface and user experience project as part of Caterpillar's World Usability Day contest. The software was conceptualized and prototyped using Figma and utilized Caterpillar’s brand standards and design library. This project was a team effort, which was presented to the Caterpillar headquarters team and my team won first place in the contest. My role as design lead was to create the software archetype, interface, and prototype. Data analytics, journey maps, and personas were provided by Caterpillar to construct the software. After development, the software was tested by three users, who use fleet management software, from Caterpillar's construction company clients.

Problem Statement

Caterpillar assigned this project because they had found information that their customers in the construction industry did not have software to track Caterpillar equipment assets. 
  • Used Excel sheets and equipment would get double booked for projects
  • The desired outcome was to make an Excel-type program to track assets across multiple construction projects
  • The project needs to control asset placement and show maintenance, scheduling, and reassigning assets
Our initial design concept included a calendar view and a spreadsheet-style look since most software operators were used to tracking equipment with Excel. We also took inspiration from Slack and Discord to keep track of the projects. One of the main concerns was being able to filter through the projects to find equipment easily. We implemented Slacks channel features to sort projects. We also used Discord's navigation to allow for several tabs to find certain assets within a specific construction project

Roles & Responsibilities

My role in this project was head software architect. I created the project selection component, the Excel format of the software, and analyzed the data after the user testing. I also researched competitor software to implement key components into our software. My group presented the final prototype and showed off the changes made to the Caterpillar Headquarters team. The team was made of four members from the Bradley University Interactive Media department.


Here are the basic tasks we will want users to complete during usability testing:

  1. You would like to create a new project and request the types of assets needed for the project.
  2. You would like to see what assets are available for assignments and assign assets to that new project.
  3. You would like to view the schedule to see what assets in your fleet are assigned to projects and when maintenance is coming due for those assets.
  4. You would like to edit the assignment of an asset to a project.

User Testing Results

Three users tested the project, and all feedback was recorded. Here is the list of changes made. 
  • Add breadcrumbs to our navigation to prevent user confusion.
  • Make every action available from the project dashboard (reassignment, etc.)
  • Instead of using bulk actions, put in a permanent button to allow the user to add an individual asset. 
  • Include one big action button to assign the assets at the top so that one does not need to scroll down 
  • Fix heading titles to be more descriptive and help with navigation/consistency
  • Edit the usage of the project dashboard
  • Remove the timeline coloring. 
  • Have a dedicated color to see what asset needs maintenance
  • Adjust the naming of the Calendar legend 
After user testing, we were allotted an hour and thirty minutes to make these corrections. We focused mainly on the dashboard. Easing navigation and making sure the user always knew where they were at within the application using breadcrumbs and proper heading titles. We also made every task viable within the dashboard screen. 

User & Audience

The users were project and equipment managers of large construction companies who own Caterpillar Equipment assets. Often these companies have 25,000+ assets to manage in their fleets. 

Scope & Constraints

The software had to be under Caterpillar design constraints and use their UI library. Another constraint was every color and icon had to be from their library and needed a specific purpose. This project took three months to complete.

Outcomes & Results

After these changes were made, our team was selected as the winner to present to the Caterpillar Headquarters as part of their World Usability Day. After we had found out our design won the competition, we reworked more screens according to user feedback. 
  • Rework the Calendar View screen to show an organized table for maintenance while keeping a calendar pop-up for filtering by date range
  • Adjust the flow during the change from asset assignment to the project dashboard
  • Add prototype functionality with the breadcrumbs
  • Remove the expandable/shrink option for the tab bar
  • Increase the readability on the reassignment to project screen (left-alignment of text)
We implemented these changes because users would often get lost in the calendar view since they were used to working on a spreadsheet-style format. So we made the calendar view similar to a spreadsheet. This was one of the main feedback points we had received but did not get the chance to correct during the feedback session.  In the end, we got to present the final prototypes and be featured at their World Usability Day event. We also go to hear from a famous UX expert, Josh Clark, present on machine learning. It was extremely humbling hearing Josh compliment our student work and highlighting our team’s success. Overall, it was a great project and learning experience, and Caterpillar will be implementing features highlighted in our software.