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Driver Safety Monitoring

Crafted + Samba Safety


Let's increase professional driver safety!


Samba Safety is an industry leader in driver risk management with their B2B solution helping companies manage and assess the risk of their driving fleet through the monitoring of driving records and algorithmic insights.

How can Samba Safety surface insights on professional driver records that can be used to reduce risk and improve road safety?

  • Give Samba users a tool to combine data that was previously stored in multiple places to streamline and customize their driver review and scoring workflow. 

  • Use Samba's unique Driver Risk Score to provide a quick view for customers take action to manage risk and reward safe drivers.

  • Introduce the Balanced Team approach to Samba Safety and establish a more refined design process.

Challenges & Constraints
Learnings & My Experience
  • Product adoption relied on users changing their established workflow so we had to prove to them the outcomes would be worth it

  • This project was the foundation for a more ambitious product launch that stakeholders were counting on for company growth

  • Limited access to users for research and testing

  • Not reinventing the wheel on features that are common in the market, instead focusing the team on creating unique value

  • Ramping up on a complex domain very quickly to understand the user and showing outcomes for the client from kickoff

  • Enabling junior team members to learn and deliver in a process new to them

My Role
Team Members
Stakeholders & Departments

Lead Designer

  • Conducting user research & testing

  • Creating design assets

  • Implementing UCD strategy & practices for Balanced Team

  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams on launch strategy

  • Directing & mentoring junior designers

Crafted Balanced Team:

  • Product Manager

  • Designer

  • Engineers

  • Paired with the client Balanced Team (~10 total) 

  • CEO

  • CTO

  • EVP of Product

  • Director of Product

  • Director of Sales

  • Marketing team

  • Data team

How Did We Do It?

Prototype & Test
Build & Launch

Our research process involves multiple methods to understand the industry, users and the client's goals. We engaged stakeholders to align objectives and processes, vital as consultants entering a new industry. Additionally, interviews with subject matter experts (SMEs) expedited our understanding of the complex industry and product line. SMEs provided valuable insights for preparing user interviews, ensuring relevant questions and terminology. We also worked closely tiwht Account Management and Sales teams to gain access to existing customers as well as a few prospective ones.

Our first customer outreach was using Survey Monkey and Pendo to conduct a short survey among our customers, specifically focusing on their driver incident claims data. By gathering insights directly from the customers who have experienced such incidents, we gained a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and identify opportunities to enhance the product to support claims data. The survey results gave us the quantitative data we needed to validate our assumptions and risks which led to our next experiments and more qualitative questions we asked during 1-on-1 interviews. 

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Surveys are an excellent Discovery tool for fast qualitative data.

Important Takeaways from Samba Safety Customers: 

  • Users swivel-chair to a lot of software programs so a one-stop-shop would make their jobs easier and less info falls through the cracks

  • Data on Incident Claims was living in different places causing users to do extra work to understand driver risk

  • MVR data alone wasn't helping them reach their goals for improving driver safety and reducing risk

  • Combining these two sources of data into the Samba platform would greatly reduce friction in users' day-to-day workflow

  • Being able to adjust the MVR score based on company policy and rules would remove the need for mental calculations and opportunities for error in driver evaluation

  • A robust Driver Risk Score created by Samba Safety would give users more insight to the real risk of a driver and the driver fleet overall

The development of personas played a crucial role in our project. Considering the wide range of opinions about the users, we focused on validating proto-personas and identifying the most critical goals and pain points we aimed to address. These personas served as a guiding beacon for our team throughout the entire project

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Original proto-personas to be validated

Research takeaways for validated persona


Our team gathered in a design studio with key stakeholders to creatively generate a range of features and user flows. Through sketching and collaboration with engineers, we facilitated quick exploration and iteration, ensuring a dynamic design process. Throughout this project we evaluated the risks and assumptions in our ideas, implementing experiments and validation methods to address and mitigate these factors in subsequent phases. These steps resulted in innovative ideas, an approach centered around user needs, and early integration of technical considerations into design and product decisions.

Design Studio 

A design studio is more effective if it is structured around a clear and contained prompt especially when the project scope is known to be quite limited. Otherwise a free-for-all design session can result in solutions that are too broad which makes it harder for the Balanced Team to determine what has to be user validated for a realistic MLP (Minimum Lovable Product). From the initial project kickoff, we made it a priority to include key stakeholders and product advocates in collaborative sessions. We wanted to ensure that the teams who would be using, marketing and selling the product felt that their opinions were heard and were confident in the work we were doing.

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I love the generative and clarifying discussions that occur during design studios.

Sketching & Collaborating with Engineers

I always advocate for starting with sketching on paper especially to merge ideas from a design studio into a cohesive user journey to discuss with engineers. It's the fastest way to evaluate the feasibility of implementing features in any specific way and to literally be at the drawing board together as a Balanced Team. Initially keeping designs at a low fidelity prevents anyone from getting too attached to solutions or getting caught up in UI styling details that typically don't need to be decided this early in the process.

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By the time I start creating in Figma the team has already worked through several versions of sketches.

Prototype & Testing

We conducted rigorous testing sessions with representative users, allowing us to observe their interactions and gather valuable feedback. Through structured tasks and scenarios, we assessed the product's ease of use, efficiency, and overall satisfaction. By iteratively testing and iterating, we ensured that the product met the users' needs and expectations, ultimately enhancing its usability and delivering a seamless and intuitive user experience.


The existing Samba Safety product already housed a lot of driver data that customers used on a daily basis. Samba Safety created a new Driver Risk Score that compiled customer data from Incident Claims with the standard MVR Driver Score to create a more robust and informative at-a-glance Driver Risk Score of each driver. The explanation of that process is in this case study but I also wrote more details on the value of integrating this new data as the foundation to the next big launch for Samba Safety, the highly anticipated Risk Insights Dashboard.

Driver MVR Score

A driver MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) score is a numerical representation of an individual's driving history and performance. It is used to assess risk and reliability, based on factors such as traffic violations and accidents. The MVR score influences insurance premiums, employment eligibility, and overall trustworthiness as a driver. A higher MVR score typically indicates a greater number of infractions or incidents, suggesting a higher risk profile. Conversely, a lower MVR score signifies a cleaner driving record and a lower perceived risk.

Samba customers were tracking driver MVR scores in the existing platform and then using other software tools and unreliable ad-hoc systems to manage Incident Claims and other internal driver data to assess the overall risk of a driver. This means important information and actions were prone to falling through the cracks which made it harder for users to reach the goal of making their drivers safer.

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The existing Driver Profile only showed the MVR score.

Incident Claims Data

Through research and a creative "How Might We?" workshop we determined one crucial way we could make our users' jobs easier was to include Incident Claims data in the Samba platform. This would require users to shift their workflow from using other tools to store this data and instead uploading it to Samba. However, as we talked through the risks and assumptions we had about this solution we came up with quick experiments and a communication plan that would ease any friction for users adjusting to a new process. We specifically asked users how we could make this a smooth transition and implemented many of their suggestions. In the end they all agreed the change was worth it for the value of this combined data and the future Risk Insights Dashboard that it would power.

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Customer added data on Incident Claims provides more details on a driver's profile.

Driver Risk Score

By adding Claims data to the existing tool Samba was able to create a more robust and accurate picture of a driver's risk profile and guide users on next steps to improve driver safety. First we created a new driver's Claims Score which is determined by the number and type of incidences they have while driving on the job. As the industry leader Samba has recommended settings for scoring the driver incidences based on researched best practices that are configured by default in the platform. For example, an accident that results personal injury would be scored higher than an accident that resulted in in property damage like hitting someone's mailbox. So the higher the Claims Score overall for a driver the more incidences the driver has been involved in and a lower score means less incidences.

A driver's Risk Score is the total picture of a driver's official MVR driver record plus their company's custom Incidence Claims Score. This score shows the overall risk of the driver and our end user can make very important personnel decisions based on this big picture of a driver. Again, the higher the score the more risk the driver carries and the lower the score the safer the driver has proven to be. For example, a driver with a low MVR score can have a bad Risk Score if they have a lot of Incident Claims. For driver's with high risk our user can alert the driver's direct manager, assign additional training and even flag for dismissal if the infractions are severe enough. They can also take actions to reward driver's with low risk. These scores are the crux of their job managing the driver fleet.

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Examples of how different individual MVR & Claims scores can effect the overall Driver Risk Score.

Iterate with Balanced Team

Iterating with a balanced team of product designers, product managers, and engineers is a collaborative process that fosters effective problem-solving and continuous improvement. To learn more about the Balanced Team approach watch the talk I gave about the Secret Sauce at Denver Startup Week. Throughout the iterative cycle, each team member brings their unique perspective and expertise to the table. Product designers contribute their creative insights and user-centric design thinking. Product managers provide valuable strategic guidance, prioritizing features and aligning the product roadmap with business objectives. Engineers bring technical expertise for feasible implementation and scalability. Together, this balanced team decreases feedback time and makes informed decisions together that greatly increases efficiency ensuring a successful and user-friendly end result.

Driver Score Adjustments

Once Samba had created the new Driver Risk Score, which combined the Claims data with the driver's MVR score, customers told us they really need to be able to adjust driver scores manually for various reasons. So our next task was to design and build a configuration tool for these score settings. The settings are done on two levels. The first is the score for each type of incident which a company may want to change based on their own driver safety policies (i.e. they may think hitting a mailbox is a sign of potential future risk and want to score it higher than Samba's default score setting).

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The first step to custom scoring is establishing the rules for each type of incident.

The second is the overall Driver Risk Score thresholds which determine the range of scores that fall into each risk category (Clean, Activity, Exception). Some customers expressed during our interviews and testing that they would like more than just the 3 standard categories and so we designed a way for them to create their own categories. They use these groupings for better reporting and trend tracking, also to help them set and enforce internal driver safety policies.

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The second step to custom scoring is setting the company's thresholds for each risk category from low to high.

The final addition we made to custom scoring was giving users the ability to make manual score adjustments for individual drivers. This feature is often used for actions or events that aren't tracked through the MVR or Claims such as completing training or good performance from driver tracking software. 

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In addition to custom scoring, Samba users can make manual adjustments to individual driver scores.

Build & Launch

In the final stages of the process, as the team builds and prepares to launch the new product, we pay meticulous attention to detail and execution. The designers work closely with engineers to transform the finalized design into a fully functional and visually appealing product. Product managers oversee the coordination of efforts, aligning cross-functional teams and managing dependencies. They also strategize the launch plan, considering marketing, sales, and customer support aspects. As the launch date approaches, the team conducts thorough testing and quality assurance to address any remaining issues and ensure a smooth user experience.

New Driver Profile

The custom score adjustments are combined with the MVR and Claims Scores for calculating the overall Driver Risk Score. In addition to this more specific and accurate score the Driver Profile now includes a more thorough list of events in the Activity History and what data source they came from. It's an incredible feeling to put the power in the hands of the customer to tailor the platform to the best use for them.

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Design System

As we increased the fidelity of the designs we leveraged a design system, which provided a structured framework for design and engineering, resulting in increased efficiencies and consistency across the project. By utilizing a design system, we streamlined the development process and maintained a cohesive visual identity.

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Utilizing a design system streamlines the process and saves everyone on the Balanced Team a lot of time.

Design Inclusion

One of the misses on this product from an accessibility perspective is the heavy reliance on the use of color to convey meaning in the data. If you aren't color blind then you have no problem using the colors on the dashboards to understand the information at a quick glance. However, that is not the case for everyone and I wish we'd been able to include better accommodations in our designs. This is a perfect example of how oftentimes accessibility is an afterthought or a "nice-to-have" in a product when there are many competing priorities and demands on the engineers' time.

What Does Samba Safety Have to Say?

Product Manager, Samba Safety

“I had not worked with a UX Designer prior to the Crafted engagement. The designer brought a much-needed perspective to the team. She was always focused on the user, workflows, and validating our assumptions.”

EVP of Product, Samba Safety

"We added a new project on top of existing roadmap commitments, Crafted helped us quickly ramp up a Balanced Team to define the problem, frame the solution and execute on the concept in weeks instead of months."

CTO, Samba Safety

"Working with the team at Crafted gave us a leg up through the definition and execution of some of our new and innovative products."
  • Competitive Analysis

  • User Personas

  • Generative Research Reports

  • User Journey

  • Design System Specs

  • Interactive Prototypes

  • Usability Test Reports

  • High Fidelity Mockups

Tools & Technology
  • Figma

  • Jira

  • Survey Monkey

  • Pendo

  • Miro

  • Zoom

- See more of my work -

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