ImpresaGo is an accounting software geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses which offers an affordable and easy to use cloud-based solution.
KEY PROJECT FEATURES
|Type||Saas (Software as a Service) web platform + mobile app|
|Industry||Accounting, Finance, Software, Tech||Tools||Photoshop, Slack, Team Viewer|
BitAge Software Solutions decided to develop ImpresaGo as an internal, low budget project, building on the exisiting ERP solution they’ve being marketing for years (see here) and developing a simpler, reduced version which includes just the accounting section.
ImpresaGo was conceived as an entry-level accounting platform developed with a much smaller budget, but with the key-feature of being extremely easy to use.
Given the tight budget (ImpresaGo was developed only with internal resources), no UX team was put together and I was in charge of the whole UX and UI design in a very flexible and dynamic development process, where user research was skipped and user testing was performed directly through the beta version of the product.
Requirements emerging from this phase would then go straight into high fidelity visuals and then code was adapted where possible.
The aforementioned process generated a back and forth dynamic where my role, on top of the UX design itself, consisted of coordinating and managing the comms with the the development team, all while managing the expectations with stakeholders.
I started by researching benchmarks and shortlisting the two main competitors/standards in the field: Quickbooks and Xero.
Next step consisted of testing the interface usability of these two main competitors.
I then identified some differentiation opportunities with regards to the specific functions ImpresaGo already offered (most of the code being already been written). After running two rounds of guerrilla research to identify quick wins to submit to the stakeholders, I ran some independent user testing on the competitors’ platforms to identify the main flaws and developed alternative ideas where the platform would allow me enough freedom (communication with the technical team was essential in this phase).
During the process I developed lo-fi paper sketches and finally I deployed all my paper sketches into a hi-fidelity prototype through Sketch for sending them to the developers who took care to build the final user interface.
Using design to prevent errors or lessen their cost resulted in a 37% decrease in time needed to accomplish monitored key tasks and in 53% reduction of calls for help.
BitAge was able to launch ImpresaGo as a minimum viable product (mainly based on the web version) and is currently serving it to more than 250 customers.
Overall this turned out to be the typical real life, low budget, limited resources scenario, as opposed to the typical dream scenario from the book of UX design, where every step is carefully planned and efficently executed by a super specialized team where every member takes care of his/her phase of the process.
As it’s always the case when dealing with sub-optimal circumstances, this required a high level of improvisation and adaptation mixed with a fair amount of flexibility, which was required to both the design side and the development side to carry out the development in an effective way.