Information architecture & graphic design rework of the backend (CRM) system for a large firm of estate valuators & surveyors in need of a systems update.
↓ Euroval is an international Real Estate Valuation company operating since 1990. Over time, services expanded to tax analysis, energy certifications and valuation of equity, inventories, patents, Art & jewellery, etc.
Operations had far outgrown the capabilities of their backend management system (also acting as CRM), which had been increasingly patched up along the way, with no unified criteria.
↓ Personnel had to cope with ever-increasing system blocks, long lags, inability to cross-process data, etc. This lack of efficiency was becoming a major resource drain, through time-consuming manual data entry & processing, a very steep learning curve, or overall frustration, among many others.
The system, an old school solution, had strong points back in the day, but could not cope any longer. It lived in the local servers only, making it very cumbersome to connect remotely (and securely) for staff on the road, and had no mobile capabilities.
↓ The project scope is massive: innumerable use cases, end points, user types, levels of access, document types, etc. Plus, it needs full scalability to be future-proof. To tackle such challenge, we used a Venture Design methodology, integrating design thinking within an Agile framework.
We started out analysing the structure of the business and its processes, as it was essential to get to know in detail the main workflows and scope of operations. Then came a long series of interviews with the different members of staff interacting with the system at different levels and stages. These conversations were, although loosely following our script, very open. It was critical to get to know the users, their highs & lows along with everything else about their work.
↓ We then filtered through all interview notes to distil all the problem scenarios we could, matching each of them to current alternatives and coming up with possible / ideal solutions (our value proposals).
↓ This resulted in hundreds of Use Cases that we then mapped out by affinity, streamlining where possible. It provided the foundation to build a long list of Epics & User Stories.
↓ It was also critical to understand the details and ramifications of each workflow, analysing and improving each step, in close collaboration with the client.
↓ Only after the main parts had been clarified, higher fidelity prototyping started. Through many iterations, these became increasingly detailed, providing a clearer vision of the future (prototypes by Elad Rodriguez).
↓ Once the critical parts were clear, it was time to start dressing our ideas in proper clothes.
On the Typography front, IBM Plex was chosen as very screen-readable, flexible, versatile and modern. The colour palette was based on a percentage scale, being very intuitive for Developers.
↓ It was time to build a comprehensive design system (from its very atoms & molecules) to style the base library components being coded by the Development team.
↓ All elements had to be created, so bigger modules could be cooked from to their simplest ingredients.
One of the most rewarding side effects of building a Design System from the ground up was gaining a deeper understanding of their parts and how they need to work.
↓ It took some time and it was a fun experience. At times it felt like I was building every component under the sun…
↓ At the initial stage, full screens also needed to be composed for client validation and internal evaluation within the Development team.
↓ A versatile, future-proof solution; a great deal more efficient at all levels.
(As of this writing, project is at Beta stage and only available for internal client use).
Visual design of design system