C.H. Robinson & Microsoft
Logistics Simulation Tool
The American multimodal transportation logistics company C.H. Robinson is a trusted partner of Microsoft and together the two companies wanted to showcase C.H. Robinson's offering and solutions in a new and exciting way. Together they approached Block Zero to ask us to design and develop an engaging simulation tool that not only made the solution and the complex context justice, but also invited the audience to experience international transportation challenges and C.H. Robinson's solutions for themselves.
In partnership with Microsoft, the experience is now on display at Microsoft experience centers around the world.
Areas of Expertise
- UX/UI Design
- Narrative Design
- Software Development
- Interaction Design
From the very beginning the aim was to create an experience that people could interact and play with – a way to not only understand C.H. Robinson's offering, but enjoy it.
We started by developing the story with the user at the center of it. We wanted each person that interacted with the table to feel like a logistics pro – from placing product orders, planning routes, handling issues along the way and much more.
The interface uses Presentation Engine™ – a digital interactive table platform that enables the audience to connect and take part of the story themselves. It consists of the screen, 3D printed pucks that can be placed on the screen and secondary screens that react based on input and events from the main interface. The interactive experience is centered on users placing vessels and cargos on the world map, prompting feedback and updates on all screens. This makes for a smooth, enjoyable and informative interaction with plenty of visuals and engaging experience.
Users start off by tapping the table and choosing the origin of the shipment, vessel or a product. If users proceed with the first option, the next step is to choose among the products that are available to ship from the selected starting point. Based on the routes offered they can now place down the vessel puck and select the route.
Users are able to choose from products such as healthcare material, food, electronics and more. The vessels available to carry the loads are airplanes, trains, trucks and boats.
When the shipment has taken off the user needs to make sure everything goes according to plan. Just like in the real world of logistics, unexpected events present themselves more often than not. The user needs to deal with shortage of products, delays, rough weather conditions, routes being shifted, and more.
The table offers a whopping 2000 unique scenarios and routes to interact with.
All Screens – Yes, Please
Even though the interactive table first and foremost is a physical experience, we additionally designed and developed a version that would work for remote usage as this was created in the height of the pandemic. The presenter can create a session on either a desktop or on a tablet that participants can join to get a demo of the amazing C.H. Robinson's offering from a far.
This version doesn't require any physical pucks, but is instead navigated either through touch or with a mouse. It's safe, easy, simple and fun!
With this interactive table platform C.H. Robinson can showcase the benefits of its digital and smart systems and also let the audience get a glimpse into the future of logistics. By making the interface responsive, we ensured that the simulation can be experienced in every context and on any device.
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