Lloyd's Register Shipping

A Global Marine Classification Society was looking to replace outdated systems used to support their business, starting the process of transforming their IT capability into a market-leading solution.

The system delivered was a step change for the business and improved critical processes making more intuitive experiences for the users.

Following a User-Centred Design methodology helped us to work in an agile way whilst remaining aligned with the user need. This ultimately produced a successful MVP for this complex problem space.


Lloyds Register Shipping


User Experience Designer




6 months


Costly legacy systems with usability and accessibility failures.

Lloyd's Register's primary service is to help their partners safely manage their ships and offshore assets to their full potential, maintain operational effectiveness and minimise risk to life, property and the environment.

They employ thousands of skilled Marine Surveyors around the world to check and ensure that ships and other marine-based vessels or structures are built and maintained in compliance with an internationally agreed set of standards.

Class Direct.

Lloyd’s Register had multiple disparate systems running on old technology, and with a steep learning curve when onboarding new users due to its flaws in usability and interaction design.

Digital tools such as 'Class Direct' had been in use for over a decade, and users had adjusted their approach to task completion to mitigate its technological limitations.

Class Direct: Fleet Dashboard
Class Direct: Survey Schedule

Multiple codebases had been built and patched to facilitate cross-device access and it was proving costly to maintain. The brand identity also needed a refresh in order to keep pace with its competitors.

We were tasked with initially reviewing the existing technology landscape and beginning several phases of user research that would shape our requirement definition for design.


Adopting UCD to de-risk the project, increase user acceptance, and decrease resistance to change.

In order to manage the complexity of the system, we worked daily with real users of the future solution – actual Marine Surveyors who were seconded from their jobs to support the design and development.

We worked with these users to understand the context of use, and to specify the user requirements. We then continued to work with them as we designed the solution, iterating regularly based on their feedback.

This Human-Centred approach ensured that the solution would be fit for purpose, and would be accepted and well-received by its users.

Design phases.

I was initially tasked with reviewing the existing technology and beginning several phases of user research that would shape our functional requirements and design goals.


Activities and outputs that would form a foundation for design.

Our research would combine observational and attitudinal activities to shine a light on their goals, underlying motivations and frustrations, daily tasks and how they approached their completion.

Heuristic Review.

As part of our initial research, we conducted a heuristic evaluation of existing design ideas. The audit provided recommendations for improvements but most importantly enabled us to share our understanding with the business and ensure we’re all on the same page regarding the UX Principles we wanted to incorporate into the new designs. ​​​​​​​

Heuristic Review: Design Impact vs User Impact.
User Community Map.

The creation of 'proto-personas' and a community map allowed UX to identify knowledge gaps, select activities for further phases of research, and recruit participants.

User Community Map: Class Direct
Work Shadowing & User Interviews.

Four participants from the four primary user groups were selected to understand the ways in which the identified user groups work in their usual environment. We observed the issues they came across and how they interact with others in the organisation, then used the interviews to further probe into this behaviour.

Persona Example: Engineering Superintendant
User Journey Example: View Vessel Data
Experience Mapping.

Using our research and Business Analysts’ knowledge of the ‘as-is’ workflow, we created a customer experience map that detailed the steps of all different user groups interacting with different existing systems and manual processes to complete a full journey.

Not only did this allow the team to understand how the different existing systems and manual processes work together but also elicit interesting opportunities we could bring by integrating them under one single system.

Experience Map Example


Integrating user feedback into our design roadmap.

Having collaborated with key stakeholders to turn our insights into user stories, the design of a future-state experience for Class Direct could now begin.

The UX team collaboratively produced a high-level system flow to display the primary journeys (also known as 'Red Routes') that the interaction model should service, and then progressed to the first iteration of the system sitemap.

Class Direct Sitemap
Wireframes & Prototypes.

This design phase consisted of multiple increments of paper and interactive prototyping, followed by user testing and iteration. As the design progressed and the direction was validated, so did the fidelity of our prototypes.

Fleet Dashboard and Vessel Detail Page

Axure was used to allow for more flexibility within pre-defined user journeys.

Click here and enter the password 'BAE4Lloyds' to view an early version of the MVP prototype.

User Testing.

User testing would be carried out during each increment of design. Early increments used paper prototypes of the Fleet Dashboard and Asset Hub features with semi-structured focus groups.

Our objectives were to:

  • De-risk design process.
  • Continue to validate personas and user journeys.
  • Reduce the future risk of development and design defects.
Early user feedback session on paper prototypes

As the stability of the design increased through multiple stakeholder reviews and user testing sessions, we increased the fidelity of the prototypes in Axure to be interactive.

Task-based sessions, both in-person and remote screen-sharing, were conducted with individual participants.

Examples of the questions we asked, included:

  • How would you find the survey status for this vessel?
  • Using your own words, can you explain the purpose of the page you are looking at?
  • Where would you go to view all the certificates related to this vessel?

Axure was used to allow for more flexibility within pre-defined user journeys.

Click here and enter the password 'BAE4Lloyds' to view an early version of the MVP prototype.

Participant List

Our feedback was collected in Trello to provide the team with a shared view of the learnings and future prioritisation of the associated effort.

Trello Project Board


Design requirements were research-driven and delivered using several phases of usability testing to iterate and improve the solution.

This Human-Centred approach increased our confidence that the design solution was fit for purpose, satisfied the business objectives and would be well-received by its users.

Key Features.

  • The Fleet Dashboard provides a centralised view of all vessels that the user is permissioned to view and manage.
  • Survey schedules for each vessel display a Gantt chart view of its history and timetable of future maintenance requirements (aligning to regulatory needs).
  • Surveys for each vessel can be requested by 'superintendent' users which will trigger notifications and a work order for surveyors.
  • Report and document upload integration provides a content management repository for its users.