Crown Smart Manager user interface on tablet and phone

Data-driven design for user experience.

Crown | Digital Operations Solution


  • Technology


  • Design Language System
  • Design Visualization & Storytelling
  • Documentation & Specification
  • Experience Journey Mapping
  • Prototyping & Simulation
  • User & Stakeholder Interviews
  • User Interface Design

To evolve their offering, Crown partnered with Teague to help design, prototype, and develop an industry-first digital solution ecosystem for warehouse operations.


A new opportunity.

Crown’s lift trucks—more colloquially “forklifts”—are used worldwide. For decades, their iconic vehicles have garnered design awards for their focus on safety with a rugged-yet-approachable aesthetic.

With a history of clever pivots in their offering, Crown was interested in a transition from selling and maintaining lift trucks to providing solutions for warehouse operations. They partnered with Teague to help them better understand and provide the fundamental design for this opportunity space.

Warehouse crowded with boxes


Focusing on the factory floor.

Teague took an approach that focused first and foremost on the factory floor. We spent days in the field shadowing lift truck operators to understand their needs, behaviors, and perceptions of warehouse operations. We also spent time with supervisors and managers to identify and prioritize the actionable insights they need to ensure productivity and safety of their teams. Our designers were able to map the needs of various roles and operational stakeholders and the relationships between them. Furthermore, we identified the data that could be generated and captured by Crown’s vehicles and prioritized them according to user needs.

User personas representing warehouse workers
Brand diagram featuring design pillars


Safe and smart.

Based on the research, Teague identified the need to extend Crown’s brand and design language to account for connected products and graphical user interfaces. We saw this as an important opportunity to reposition Crown’s brand from “safe”—its previous promise about the reliability of the trucks themselves—to “smart”—a different and more compelling promise about how connected trucks can help businesses perform more efficiently and intelligently.

User interface truck camera view

Super power status.

We observed that users users on the floor—drivers and operators of lift trucks—would resist devices and interfaces if they were perceived to be about monitoring their performance. As a result, we focused our solutions that would give drivers and operators “super powers”.

We used real-time camera and data feeds about their equipment and the warehouse floor to provide them a more accurate and safer sense of their maneuvers and status.

User interface supervisor view

Unprecedented insights.

As Crown’s lift trucks become increasingly connected, supervisors gain an unprecedented understanding of their minute-to-minute operations. For example, prior to their connected system, drivers complained that collision alarms on their vehicles were incapable of discerning between driving over fractures in the warehouse floors, and actual collisions.

Through their new software, however, managers were able to see that many of these phantom collisions were concentrated at a space with a large crack on the floor, relieving drivers of accusations and allowing for a fix to prevent future false alarms.


Creating connections.

By offering smart and fully-connected fleets, the selling proposition for Crown changes dramatically. With every warehouse vehicle generating valuable data, it no longer makes sense for customers to have mixed brand fleets.

Instead, the proposition becomes about a business’ ability to create connections and collect invaluable across its entire operation, enabling efficiency and boosting employee morale.

Today, Crown continues to offer the industry a fully integrated platform that other warehouse machine manufacturers simply can’t.

Biege crown forklift