On the move • The housekeeping department in a hotel is always on the move. Whether it's a housekeeper freshening up rooms or a manager assigning tasks, it's arguably the department that would benefit most from a mobile app. Though this app was design with the experience I've gained working on the Agilysys rGuest Stay project, this app is not related. The branding is different, and its use of color and iconography are its own.
Who are we designing for? Housekeepers themselves are often immigrants with little English. They can be seasonal workers who share phones with their family, who are in town for the summer and may be back the next. A manager may need to call extra staff in on short notice and reassign tasks easily on the fly and don't have time to hunt down a computer to do it. Currently, much of the housekeeping work is done with assignments printed on paper and handed out.
What problems is this solving?
• Change assignments and notify housekeepers when they are working without having to track them down.
• Update the hotel's system in real time.
• Better tracking of what has been accomplished and who can help out when something comes up.
• Use of color combined with icons make the typically lower literacy rates less of an issue.
• The language switcher on the login screen allows a manager to work in English and have the contents appear in another language, increasing communication.
What problems is this creating?
• Assigning a mobile device, such as an iPod-like non-phone device can be expensive. They can get lost, stolen, or broken.
• There may be a learning curve when changing from paper to device, though that curve gets reduced as current generations are replaced with more exposed to technology.
The app • This app is meant to be fairly shallow in terms of screens someone has to navigate. There's a log in, a dashboard, and a task list. All tasks can be managed from the task list. If necessary, or if testing suggests it, the dashboard may be moved to the dropdown menu to manage breaks and logging out.
Two user types • Two types of roles would use this. The housekeeper would receive and mark off tasks. The manager would assign and monitor progress.
Most important information • The task list is kept clean by keeping only the most important info easily in sight: the room number, the service needed, if someone is a VIP guest, and if there is more information worth checking out, such as a comment.
Easy workflow • Marking something as done or reassigning it is done in place, at the task, with a minimum number of interactions, and with native gestures such as swiping.