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Asseco Solutions decided to build a cloud-based service for accounting. They did build a robust online accounting software. The business people would not start using it until usability was improved.

After initial testing we decided to redesign the system from the bottom up. We took advantage of the redesign project and conducted a user research that lead us to some innovative ideas about information exchange between business managers and accountants. Eventually we built two different interfaces that shared the same database: a powerful one for the accountants and a simple one for the business people.

Heuristic evaluation & User testing

Some of the usability problems were quite obvious. We evaluated the application with Nielsen’s 10 heuristics to cover all important usability topics including visibility of the system status, help & documentation, user control and freedom, consistency and standards, error prevention, flexibility and efficiency of use. The findings were addressed and the interface was updated.

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To further explore user behaviour on the website we conducted user testing. Even though we significantly improved the interface with Heuristic evaluation, the system interface was commented by respondents as being very heavy and not easy to understand.

User-centered design

The company management decided to redesign the application from the bottom up to fully satisfy the user needs. We started with series of brainstormings to harvest the ideas that have been already cultivated within the company.

We continued with focus groups with the users including accountants and business managers. We mapped out the way they communicate and exchange information. The most important insight was that everything was done twice. The invoices were printed twice, the receipts were scanned twice, the data about account transactions were typed into the system twice. We understood that the double work must be eliminated.

Building the new strategy

The new strategy tackled two important questions:

  1. How do we build the system that is powerful for the accountants but simple enough for the business managers?
  2. How do we eliminate the double work?

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The first problem was first explored by mapping out user requirements of both target groups. We understood that the requirements are completely different thus decided to build two separate interfaces. The accountants interface features excel-like interface with powerful functionality. The business interface features cash flow graphs, simple invoice creation and statistical data on company’s economics.

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By understanding offline behaviour and emulating it online we were able to dismiss duplicity of the work. Once invoice is created by a business manager, it is passed to the accountant. Once the accountant performs a content check, it is saved in the database. No printouts until the end of the month when the law requires it.

Wireframing & Visual design

Once we’ve concluded the ideation phase, our visual designers crafted a brand new interface for the system. We have iterated starting with low-fidelity wireframes up to a final graphical design.

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DASHBOARD Early wireframe with a businessman-to-accountant switching funcionality

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DASHBOARD Design template for the businessmen

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DASHBOARD Design template for the accountants

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NEW INVOICE Design template for the businessmen

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NEW INVOICE Design template for the accountants

Made for Asseco Solutions in 2014.

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