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CASESTUDY

Consumer-grade UX for enterprise SaaS application

How we performed UX research and designed for an Enterprise SaaS application that would compete with the best ERPs like SAP and Salesforce

Industry

Enterprise SaaS
ERP

Duration

6 months

Service

User research
Competitor analysis
UX UI design
Design system

Devices

Web & Mobile

The product aims to solve the problems the heavy industry companies face while configuring and managing their product quotations. Companies like Caterpillar, Komatsu, Volvo, JCB etc mainly use ERP systems by SAP and Salesforce. The core issues with SAP and Salesforce were the difficulty in managing quotations for the large industrial products and the lack of collaborative tools to build the quotations.

We started with the research phase and basis our observations from it, we aimed to design a product with a consumer-grade UX, context-oriented data representation, collaborative tools and multiple exit points during tasks. By the end of the project, in addition to accomplishing the client’s design requirements, we had created a design system that would help launch the enterprise software faster and save time and money during the development phase.

Design objectives

Post the research phase, we had a good idea about what we would have to do to help our client meet their goals. We outlined the design objectives to make sure everyone was on the same page. We aimed to:

  • Provide a consumer-grade UX
  • Represent data according to the context
  • Allow users multiple points of exit when performing important tasks
  • A scalable design system to support future product development operations

Enterprise design services

We worked with the client in a highly collaborative environment to carry out various UX research activities and design a superior user experience. Here is the list of services we offered to the client:

Mobile view of the dashboard
UX Research

Domain research

We spent a good amount of time studying the offline and online processes that CPQ applications adhere to. We learned their existing procedures to manage product configuration, build solutions, and deliver a quote.

During our research, we found a few operational and tooling problems in popular enterprise software. We observed that users had to rely on different tools for activities like:

  • Retrieving sales opportunities through CRMs
  • Communicating with customers and internal staff
  • Building repair and maintenance contracts and
  • Iterating over final quotations with customers

This made it difficult for the users to have a consistent process that is efficient, scalable and reproducible.

We tried to understand our client’s CPQ application idea and the problems it was going to solve. This helped us make a strategy for User Research where we would validate problems, find new ones, gain more granularity.

Stakeholder interactions

We held multiple interactions with the stakeholders to define the product, learn about the user, know the competitors and set the design goals.

User research

In order to validate the assumptions related to the problems faced by the users, we decided to go for qualitative user research.

We conducted 8 user interviews with users from different countries that used different tools and had different products.

These users had diverse job roles. They were important in helping us understand the different personas that would be using the product. These roles were:

  • Sales representative
  • Sales manager
  • Product expert
  • Pricing expert
  • Solution expert
  • Maintenance expert

As a last step of the research, we compiled a report with insights that we gained from user interviews and secondary research. It helped us understand the breadth and depth of the problems with the competitor products being used. It also helped us ideate what the ideal enterprise software product would be like.

Research synthesis

Persona building

We focused on creating goal-directed user personas that would help us identify design problems and devise product strategies. It provided a clear understanding of the user behaviour and who the product was being created for.

Empathy mapping

Empathy mapping was used to help us synthesise our observations from the research phase. It enabled us to draw out unexpected insights into the user’s needs. Understanding the users’ mentality, helped us to identify genuine issues, problems or concerns that the users may have.

Assumption mapping

The purpose of Assumption mapping was to develop better products by understanding the assumptions being made about the feasibility, viability, and desirability of new ideas.

Experience mapping

The experience of each role was analysed and mapped out to identify their specific limitations and issues, and What features can be introduced or revamped to enhance their journey.

Auxentios Technology
"The workflow between our teams was seamless. I found the team at Tcules to be knowledgeable, friendly and research oriented."
Ashok Mohanty

Founder

Features

Based on the problems found during user interviews and the clients’ requirements, we identified the list of features that we’d need to design. This activity was carried out at the beginning of the Information Design phase. The features we found missing were:

Component based design approach

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We knew that the system we were designing was going to have more than 200 screens owing to multiple use cases across the SaaS application. Thus, we decided to follow a component-based approach after the core experience was designed.

Our goal was to create detailed, well-documented design components that developers can use to generate new screens based on documented layout rules.

We identified these components by mapping all the use cases to screens, then extracting the list of design features out of those screens and designing for those features first using design components.

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This design approach helped us reduce the cost of design while delaying the repetitive work during the technical development phase.

For the delivered UI components, this is how we visualized different design decisions:

  • Information Design (Data)
  • Design components and variants (Figma components)
  • Design tokens (Visual design decisions
  • Layout rules
  • Design guidelines

By the end of the design process, we had a design system that covered all the different variations of design components across the CPQ application. We also had designed the key screens and in-detail use cases.

These screens along with their document layout rules served as examples for developers on how to build new screens.

Auxentios Technology
"We validated their work with our potential users and a few colleagues working at other big enterprise software companies. Everyone liked the UX."
Ashok Mohanty

Founder

#tcules #erp #design #enterprise #casestudy #ux #uxdesign #erpsoftware
Final Outcome

  1. Towards the end of the design project, we had created a design system with detailed guidelines for the enterprise software that would act as a source of truth for stakeholders, and product teams.
  2. We created design deliverables that could be easily implemented in code using the appropriate Figma plugins.
  3. And we laid a foundation for faster product launches and saving time and money in the development process.

We can be a reliable partner for all your ERP software design needs

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