A Case Study for Crafting a Future-Ready Tool for Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ) in Field Operations



Product Design

Adobe XD


Imagine a field technician, equipped with nothing but a mobile device, being able to swiftly navigate through a myriad of contracts, conduct meticulous inspections under the sweltering sun or against the howling wind, all while ensuring compliance with stringent safety standards. This isn’t a page from a science fiction novel; it’s the transformative vision that Enel aspired to realize for their field operations.

At Enel, a leader in the global energy sector, field inspections are a critical component of everyday operations, requiring precision and efficiency to maintain the integrity of services and ensure safety. However, the existing mobile application, HSQE4U, was fraught with complexities and inefficiencies that turned this vital process into a laborious task.

Enter the realm of User Experience Design, where my role was to architect a solution that is not just a tool, but a field companion for Enel's dedicated workforce. With a focus on user-centric design principles, the objective was to revamp the cumbersome process into a seamless and intuitive experience. This case study chronicles the metamorphosis of an essential business tool from its chrysalis — a state of inefficacy and frustration — to its emergence as a streamlined, user-friendly application that empowers Enel's field technicians to perform at their very best.


My Role

Within our collaborative design team, my position as Senior UX Designer put me at the forefront of revitalizing the HSEQ4you application. I worked closely with service designer Ana Maria Diaz, who provided additional UX support, UI designer Riccardo Pace, UX copywriter Fabio Bergamini, accessibility expert Serena, and our Lead Designer Daniele Antonio, to deliver an experience that would redefine user interaction with the application.

Cross-functional Collaboration: Collaboration with developers, product managers, and stakeholders was pivotal. My role required me to be the conduit between the user's voice and the technical execution, ensuring that the designs were feasible and aligned with technical constraints and business strategies.

Cross-functional Collaboration: Before diving deep, I must mention that to adhere to my confidentiality obligations, certain details in this case study have been omitted. All opinions and interpretations are personal and do not necessarily represent Unicredit's views.

Disclaimer: Before diving deep, I must mention that to adhere to my confidentiality obligations, certain details in this case study have been omitted. All opinions and interpretations are personal and do not necessarily represent Unicredit's views.


The Origin, Evolution and the Current State of HSEQ4you

In the ever-evolving landscape of energy provision, field services stand as the bedrock of operational excellence for Enel, a name synonymous with innovation and sustainability in the energy sector. Field inspections, a key component of Enel's service assurance, are not just about regulatory compliance, but also about upholding the company’s commitment to reliability and safety standards that protect communities and ecosystems.

Traditionally, these field operations involved cumbersome processes burdened by paper trails and manual data entry, often leading to inefficiencies and errors. The digital era beckoned for a transformation, a shift from the analog to the digital, from the clunky and cluttered to the streamlined and simple.

The central piece of this transformation was the mobile application HSQE4U, designed as a tool to bridge the gap between on-site inspections and back-office analysis. The Health & Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ) application, HSEQ4you, stands as a pivotal tool utilized by ENEL. Designed to ensure that field operations adhere to the highest standards of safety, environmental stewardship, and quality management, HSEQ4you represents the synergy between operational diligence and technological enablement, with its services reaching across the worldwide operations of the unit.

Originally developed to serve a specific scope of needs, HSEQ4you has matured over the years, paralleling the growth of the user base and the expansion of its functionality. However, with evolution comes the realization that the application's aging architecture is no longer adequate to support the complexity of today’s demands. The app, available on both Android and iOS, as well as a corresponding web platform has reached a point where incremental updates can no longer sustain the new surge in functionalities and the scale of its audience.
The strategic value of HSEQ4you cannot be understated, given its extensive usage by field technicians who rely on its robustness to carry out critical inspections and maintain compliance with rigorous industry standards. Recognizing this, there is a clear and present necessity to undertake a complete overhaul of the application. The aim is to align it with modern architectural standards that promise scalability and reliability, and to refine the user experience (UX) to be more intuitive and engaging.

In this revisioning process, our focus is on transforming HSEQ4you into a platform that not only meets the current demands but is also poised for future challenges and expansions. It is a mission to endow the application with a resilient digital infrastructure, an engaging and accessible interface, and a performance that matches the pace and precision required by the field technicians who are the vanguard of quality and safety in the energy sector.


The Dot Voting methodology for identifying components that has the highest importance for bank to focus on collectively


Navigating Complexity: The UX Overhaul of HSEQ4you

The central challenge in reimagining Enel's HSEQ4you application was to tackle its user experience (UX) inefficiencies head-on. While functionally rich, the app was hindered by a complex and unintuitive navigation system that impeded user efficiency and productivity. Field technicians were particularly vocal about the mobile application, where functionality bottlenecks and performance issues were a constant source of frustration, slowing down their critical inspection work.

The strategic significance of the app, due to its extensive use, meant that the overhaul needed to be both comprehensive and sensitive to the daily realities of its users. This meant a deep dive into the user journey to identify and eliminate pain points. Particularly, the mobile app exhibited critical performance issues that hindered field operations — most notably, the absence of offline support and the challenges associated with pre/post connectivity synchronization.

This UX-focused challenge meant rethinking how users interacted with the app. We aimed to streamline workflows, improve touchpoints, and ensure that the mobile experience was as robust and reliable as the desktop version. The goal was to deliver an application that was not just usable but also delightful, thereby improving the day-to-day operations of Enel's field technicians.

Given these issues, our challenge was to transform HSEQ4you into a robust, user-friendly platform that could support the dynamic and sometimes unpredictable environment of field inspections. The task was not just to update, but to future-proof the app, aligning it with contemporary UX practices and Enel’s corporate standards. All of this had to be achieved while seamlessly integrating with the mandatory architectural upgrades and accessibility requirements. This challenge was a test of our ability to innovate within the constraints of existing systems and processes, ensuring the new HSEQ4you was intuitive, efficient, and ready to meet the demands of a modern mobile workforce.


Blueprint to Breakthrough

My engagement with the project began with a deep dive into pre-existing materials, including six initial user interviews that formed the bedrock of our user understanding. From here, the design process unfolded through a series of strategic and methodical steps:

  • User Research: Undertook the analysis of existing user interviews and conducted additional interviews to delve into the users' needs.
  • Expert Evaluation: Carried out expert evaluations of the current HSEQ4you application to identify usability pain points.
  • Backlog Management: Aided in drafting the backlog, ensuring that it accurately reflected the project's scope and priorities.
  • Wireframing: Created detailed wireframes for the mobile and web applications, which laid the groundwork for our design concepts.
  • Prototype Development: Crafted prototypes to visualize the end product and facilitate user testing.
  • User Testing: Orchestrated user testing sessions to validate our designs and gather actionable feedback.


Understanding Technicians and Unearthing Field Realities

At the heart of any successful application redesign lies a thorough understanding of its users, their needs, and the environment in which they operate. This was the guiding principle behind our approach to redesigning the HSEQ4you application for Enel. We embarked on an extensive user research phase, diving deep into the daily realities of the field technicians who are the primary users of this application. Our goal was to move beyond mere functionality and develop a deep empathy for those who would be using HSEQ4you on a daily basis, often in challenging and dynamic environments. This user-centric approach was foundational in shaping the trajectory of our design process.


Understanding Inspections on Field

Our initial step was to deeply understand the intricate workflows and challenges encountered by Enel's field technicians. To achieve this, we not only dedicated ourselves to cultivating profound empathy with the users but also embarked on a thorough analysis of the existing HSEQ4you application and the user journey within it. This approach was crucial in identifying how field technicians interacted with the app in their often challenging environmental conditions and how we could enhance their experience. Our goal was to gain a comprehensive understanding of both the technical and human elements that define the daily use of HSEQ4you.


Conducting a Comprehensive Review: Mapping the HSEQ4ALL Service Blueprint to Understand System Functionality

A part of the Blueprint above in detail


Synthesizing Findings

Each interview was thematically coded to identify recurring challenges and user needs. We constructed user personas, and journey maps to illustrate typical user interactions and friction points users encountered.

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Peeling Back Layers for Deeper Understanding

Armed with emerging questions, we arranged additional interviews with experienced field technicians to deepen our comprehension of user challenges and to validate our early findings.

High Level User Insights

Through interviews with field technicians and stakeholders, following key insights emerged:


Interface Usability Issues

The existing application's interface was not optimized for field use, resulting in frustration and delays.


Sync Inefficiencies

Lack of real-time data synchronization leads to inefficiencies and potential errors in field inspections.


Remote Connectivity Woes

Technicians in remote areas with unreliable internet connections struggled with data submission, which the system did not properly queue for upload once connectivity was restored.


Complex Navigation

The navigation structure was non-intuitive, leading to a steep learning curve for new technicians and a dependency on training materials.


Missed Critical Alerts

Critical alerts and updates were lost in a cluttered interface, causing important safety information to be missed or delayed.


Lack of Integrated Support

The lack of an integrated help or tutorial feature meant that users often resorted to external support channels, increasing the resolution time for common queries.


Lack of Personalization

Field technicians expressed the need for a more personalized experience, as the app did not remember frequently used functions or settings, causing repetitive setup at each use.

Expanded List of Pain Points

Beyond these central insights, we uncovered numerous specific pain points. For example:

  • Users need a faster way to filter contracts relevant to their selected sites.
    The requirement of having a physical contract number on-site was impractical and led to delays.
  • The app's search functionality was inadequate, failing to promptly return relevant results, thus slowing down the inspection process.
  • Technicians found the process of updating inspection records cumbersome due to multiple, nested menu layers.
  • Users reported frequent crashes and slow performance during peak operation hours, hinting at scalability issues within the app's architecture.
  • Feedback mechanisms were not prominently featured within the app, leading to a disconnect in the user feedback loop and missed opportunities for iterative improvements.
  • Inadequate offline capabilities meant that technicians had to prepare extensive paperwork as a contingency, counteracting the app's aim to streamline processes


Designing for Clarity and Efficiency

The journey to transform the HSEQ4you application began with a deep dive into the environment of Enel's field technicians. We emerged from our user research phase with a wealth of insights and a clear understanding of the critical pain points that demanded attention. Armed with this knowledge, our design approach was both innovative and grounded, tailored to meet the practical demands of daily operations.


Our wireframing process laid the groundwork for HSEQ4you’s redesigned structure and information architecture. Through wireframes, we began to give form to our conceptual pathways. Wireframes served as the blueprints for our design, outlining the skeletal structure of the HSEQ4you application's interface.

These wireframes were crafted with an emphasis on clarity and simplicity, stripping away any unnecessary elements that could clutter the user's experience. We iterated through various levels of fidelity, starting from basic layouts to higher fidelity designs that included tentative placements for buttons, text, and interactive elements.


A Glimpse into Innovation: A Small Part of the Mobile Wireframes of the HSEQ4you App Redesign.


The Big Picture: Comprehensive Collection of HSEQ4you Mobile App Wireframes. Screenshot from Adobe XD.

Responsive and Adaptive Design

Our wireframing process laid the groundwork for HSEQ4you’s redesigned structure and information architecture. Through wireframes, we began to give form to our conceptual pathways. Wireframes served as the blueprints for our design, outlining the skeletal structure of the HSEQ4you application's interface.

These wireframes were crafted with an emphasis on clarity and simplicity, stripping away any unnecessary elements that could clutter the user's experience. We iterated through various levels of fidelity, starting from basic layouts to higher fidelity designs that included tentative placements for buttons, text, and interactive elements.


Onboarding and Integrated Learning

Recognizing the importance of first impressions and need for user support, we designed an onboarding process that acquaints users with the app's key functionalities and interactions. This foundational step (and accessible on-deman whenever needed) reduces the learning curve for new users and provides immediate assistance, thus fostering greater user independence.

Tailored Homepage Experience

The homepage is the nerve center of the app, where users land upon login. We optimized this space to display content hierarchically, tailored to the user's role. This ensures a clutter-free environment, presenting users with only the tools and sections relevant to their responsibilities.


Enhanced Inspection List

The inspection list is now a model of flexibility, allowing workers to filter by date, status, and scope while also offering a search function for quick access by name or contract number. This feature streamlines the process, saving precious time in the field.

Real-Time Notifications

A revamped notification system keeps users informed of critical updates within HSEQ4you and tracks the progress of their reports. This feature is crucial for staying on top of tasks and managing time-sensitive inspections.


Simplified Checklist Interface

We transformed the questionnaire experience to be straightforward and intuitive, guiding users through the inspection process without confusion or unnecessary complexity.


Streamlined Navigation

We overhauled the navigation system to create an intuitive, streamlined path through the app. A simplified menu structure, coupled with a predictive search functionality, now allows technicians to swiftly find contracts, forms, and critical information with minimal taps. 

Real-Time Sync and Offline Functionality

Recognizing the critical nature of real-time data availability, especially in remote field locations, we integrated a robust sync mechanism that ensures data is queued and automatically updated once connectivity is restored. This feature empowers technicians to focus on their work without worrying about connectivity issues.


Status and Overview Clarity

With a clear indication of online and offline statuses, users are always aware of their update situation. We've made app updates effortless and ensured that support is just a tap away, providing reassurance and assistance whenever needed.


Error Navigation Guidance

I designed an intuitive error navigation feature. Upon completion of an inspection, if any errors or omissions are detected, the user will be seamlessly guided through each issue. A dedicated navigation bar will appear, allowing users to cycle through each error one by one. This feature is designed to streamline the correction process, ensuring that all errors are addressed efficiently.

Consistency Across Devices

A harmonious design language was adopted for both the mobile and web versions, ensuring consistency across devices. This uniformity in design facilitates a seamless transition from desktop to field use, allowing technicians to pick up where they left off, regardless of the device.


The solution presented here is not just an update; it's a transformation, grounded in a deep understanding of our users and their environment, and polished through a collaborative design process. The new HSEQ4you app is poised to become an indispensable ally in Enel's commitment to safety, quality, and efficiency.


From Prototype to Performance

Our product went through four rounds of user testing, gathering valuable feedback to refine our features. This iterative process was pivotal in ensuring that the prototype not only met the functional requirements but also delivered a user experience that was intuitive and efficient.

Usability Testing

In our commitment to refining the HSEQ4you app, we embarked on a crucial phase of usability testing. Conducted with diverse users from Enel's workforce, these sessions were designed to rigorously evaluate the app's functionality, user interface, and overall experience. Lasting approximately 35 minutes each, the tests were a blend of guided simulations and open explorations, enabling us to observe real-time user interactions and gather candid feedback. This phase was pivotal in identifying usability challenges, validating design decisions, and uncovering areas for improvement.


Interactive Testing Session: Adobe XD Prototype in Action via Microsoft Teams.

Key Insights from Usability Testing and Resolution:


Intuitive Navigation

The '+' symbol for inspection creation was unclear to infrequent users, leading us to include a specific explanation in the onboarding process.


Clarity in Adding Roles

Users initially struggled to associate specific icons with roles like adding a responsible person. We addressed this by reevaluating our iconography to ensure immediate recognition and understanding.


Contract Search and Checklist Efficiency

Positive feedback was received for the simplified contract search process and the organized checklist feature, which were found to streamline the inspection process significantly.


Enhanced Onboarding Experience

The testing highlighted the need for a more coherent onboarding experience. We revised the introductory texts and added explanations for various UI elements to align with subsequent screens, ensuring a smoother user introduction to the app.


Inspection Creation Workflow

Feedback indicated the need for a more user-friendly inspection creation process. We simplified this by eliminating the pre-loading requirement and improving tab navigation.


Better Error Identification

Users appreciated the clarity in error identification during inspection submissions, leading us to enhance this feature further for a more seamless error correction experience.

Measuring Success with Metrics

To accurately measure the success of the HSEQ4you app redesign, we will focus on several specific metrics, each shedding light on different aspects of the app’s performance and user satisfaction.


User Engagement

This metric tracks how frequently and how long users interact with the app. High engagement levels indicate that the app is meeting the users' needs, is easy to use, and provides value in their day-to-day tasks. For HSEQ4you, increased engagement means field technicians find the app helpful and are actively using it to perform inspections and report findings.


Error Rates

Monitoring the frequency of errors encountered by users (like app crashes, failed uploads, or incorrect data entries) is critical. A decrease in error rates post-redesign would indicate a more stable and reliable platform, reflecting the success of our efforts to improve the app's technical robustness and user interface.


Task Completion Efficiency

By analyzing how quickly and successfully users complete tasks (such as submitting an inspection report), we can gauge the app's effectiveness. Improved efficiency in task completion would signal that the app’s new design successfully streamlines workflows and reduces the time and effort required to perform tasks, a key goal of this redesign.


Wrapping Up: Looking Back, Moving Forward

As we reflect on the journey of redesigning the HSEQ4you application, it's clear that our user-centered approach was more than a methodology; it was a commitment to the field technicians who are the lifeblood of Enel's operations. From initial research to the final wireframes, every step was taken with the intention of not just solving usability challenges but enhancing the daily work life of the users.

The collaborative spirit that guided this project was a testament to Enel's dedication to innovation and continuous improvement. By marrying technical feasibility with user needs, we've crafted an application that doesn't just function—it facilitates and empowers.

The redesigned HSEQ4you stands as a beacon of user-centric design, embodying the very principles that drive Enel's mission—safety, efficiency, and quality. But the conclusion of this project is not the end. It's a new beginning, a launching pad for ongoing refinement and iteration based on real-world use and evolving requirements.


As we close this chapter on the HSEQ4you redesign, it's important to pause and express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to this project's success.

Firstly, a special thank you to the field technicians whose candid feedback and insights were invaluable. You are the true heroes on the ground, and this project's success is a tribute to your dedication.

To the design and development teams, thank you for your unwavering commitment and tireless efforts. Your expertise and creativity brought the vision for HSEQ4you to life.

Special recognition goes to our colleagues at Tangity for their constructive critiques and for their participation in our preliminary tests. Your collaborative spirit has been a beacon of support throughout the design journey.
Our gratitude extends to the project managers and stakeholders whose guidance and strategic oversight ensured that the project remained aligned with Enel's objectives.

A profound thank you to the user testing participants—your engagement and honest feedback were crucial in refining the app to meet your needs truly.
We also extend our appreciation to the support and training staff who will take the reins from here, helping users integrate the HSEQ4you app into their daily routines.

Lastly, to you, the reader and viewer of this case study—thank you for taking the time to journey through the process with us.

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