Joe Caron
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A Real-Estate Appraisal Micro App

Extracting a bite-sized workflow for field management


Home screen of the open orders appraisal app.

Problem

Our client, a real estate valuation advisory and appraisal provider, employs appraisers that manage various commercial and residential properties by inspecting and photographing sites. Given that this management required frequent visits to the field, they needed a way to access their property data on the go.

Solution

The home-grown web-based portal was analyzed and consolidated into a mobile application that focused on appraisers’ open orders with quick access to common actions. The resulting app increased processing of appraisal orders significantly.

My Role: UX/UI Designer

Team Members: Joe Caron (just me 😇)

Tools: Sketch, InVision, Principle

Timeline: May 2017 - August 2017


 
 

At Capriza, I helped our customers turn complex and cumbersome enterprise workflows into task-based mobile transactions. These "micro apps" represent single workflows from a web-based enterprise application that only display the relevant information and UI elements needed to complete the task.

 
Capriza’s technology turns complex enterprise workflows into simple mobile experiences.
 

As the sole UX Designer for Customer Success, I taught our customers how to use our technology with mobile design best practices in mind. With unique industries, use cases, source applications, business needs, and users, design challenges were ever-changing.

 
 
 

Defining the Problem

 
 
Design goals include limited information, quick to action, and clear language.

A Customer Success Engineer and I observed a business owner of the system demonstrate the workflows to be mobilized and discussed desired UI elements, technical feasibility, and user goals. As with any Capriza engagement, there are many constraints that need to be accounted for, which include the intricate balance between the limitations of the source application and capabilities of our platform.

I created a rough persona to guide my design approach, based on basic demographic and behavioral data provided by the customer.

 
 
 

Task Analysis

In this micro app, the first page would display a table of open orders that the user is responsible for. In the source application, there were five actions per table row that the user could take, displayed as hyperlinks in cells of the row. Since actions (4) and (5) navigated the user to two steps in the same flow, we combined them, providing a clearer and consolidated set of actions.

The five actions per table row that the user could take.
 
 
 
 
 

Wireframing

Constraints are a good thing! The Capriza platform contains a library of UI elements and design patterns that bring these enterprise workflows to life in a mobile context. Working within these constraints, I sketched up the main pages of the micro app.

 
 
 
 
 

Reducing Cognitive Load

The persona I created necessitated a simple and minimal presentation of information, based on the user’s age, context, and established assumptions. Only after locating the appropriate order in the table would the user then proceed to take action on the item. With these two steps defined, I decided to displace the four actions to a subsequent page presented to the user only after they made a selection.

 
 

Displacing these actions to the subsequent page reduced the user's cognitive load, providing a more clear and straight-forward presentation of information and actions available to them. The added screen real estate (see what I did there?) of the additional page also allowed for more content to be presented.

 

Design Iteration

Validating my design decisions with our internal customer success team ensures that we are all on the same page before presenting to the customer. After I iterated on my designs based on this internal feedback, I presented our mobile solution to the customer and articulated the rationale behind my design approach.

I shared the InVision prototype with the customer business owner and encouraged them to present the prototype to their end users to gather additional feedback.

 
My design process in this project, highlighting the three iteration points based on internal and customer feedback.
 
 
 

Impact & Learnings

The open orders micro app we built for this real estate appraisal company increased processing of appraisal orders significantly. With these workflows now available on their smartphones, appraisers can manage and action their orders on the go.

When Capriza started a new relationship with a company, we designed and built their first few micro apps to teach them best practices for design and development. The drag-and-drop builder allows customers to build subsequent micro apps on their own. I can hope that the open orders micro app acted as a shining example for others to come.