Emerson technologists developed a technology that would reduce the number of wiring connections in large process management installations by half. The benefits to their customers were potentially huge, however the market is extremely conservative and resistant to change, and with good reason. What refinery plant manager wants to take the risk of having their plant shut down because of bugs in new technology? On top of that, Emerson’s customers were also facing an aging workforce creeping closer to retirement with their replacements not being nearly as skilled. Emerson engaged M3 to uncover and deliver a solution for the next generation DeltaV system that would address these challenges so that the benefits of this new technology would be embraced by their customers.
M3 immediately realized that the key to solving the challenge would be the application of HCD to the new DeltaV. A product life-cycle / stakeholder matrix was created to ensure that key product interactions were clearly identified. Extensive stakeholder interviews and field research was performed to uncover insights and recommendations for the new customer experience at each stage of the product life-cycle, from pre-sales through decommissioning. This information was then used to craft a Design Language and user experience designed to both ensure product acceptance with superior usability and strengthen Emerson’s brand recognition. The resulting DeltaV S-Series was familiar yet technologically advanced as well as extremely intuitive to install, operate, and service.
The DeltaV S-series dramatically increases revenue and maximizes plant uptime for Emerson’s customers by reducing the time it takes to go from start to commissioning and drastically cutting downtime required for maintenance. The design language showcases the DeltaV’s functional improvements by communicating the attributes of reliability, simplicity and ease of use which reinforces Emerson’s position as a market leader. HCD principles were applied to reduce interaction errors and deliver a system that is simple to operate and maintain. The result is an award-winning, revolutionary system that leads the market by providing its clear, fundamental advantages in a user-centric, intuitive way to all of the stakeholders in the chain including Emerson sales teams, channel partners, plant process engineers, and plant maintenance teams.
STRATEGY: M3 Design used a broad range of research tools that revealed opportunities and identified unmet needs and desires of stakeholders across the entire DeltaV product journey. These findings informed the strategy that helped develop an entirely new approach to making process control more effective and intuitive.
CONCEPT: Through a rigorous ideation process, the M3 team transformed research findings into compelling and innovative solutions. Together they addressed user needs, market needs and integrated new technology into a design language that strengthened brand recognition, while improving aesthetics and usability.
DEVELOPMENT: M3’s engineers successfully integrated the envisioned concepts into feasible solutions. We closely dealt with rapid prototypers, tool makers, and mold vendors to maintain the integrity of the design intent all the way to the product launch. To this day, M3 continues to support DeltaV products and future developments.