BOSTONPOSTIn 2015 MRI committed to taking Bostonpost, an acquired Windows software application, and bringing it to web.
I have been leading the design of Bostonpost since the outset of the project in early 2016. This has included efforts to evolve the product and address client pain-points related to common workflows.
Steakholder Insights & Ideation
I have partnered with various steakholders inside and outside of the organization including PM/PO, Support and Client Services, Sales, and clients to uncover insights. These were translated into new features or functionality updates.
Strategy & Vision
I created wireframes and prototypes to share the vision for what taking a Windows product and moving it to web would look like. This helped evangelize ideas, gain alignment, and drive decision making.
Planning & Scope
I helped define the initial release of the product with managers and partners and helped prioritize features. I spoke for balanced client, business, and development goals.
Execution & Validation
I created new design patterns for BPX to built with, improving both existing Web Design and the Bostonpost UI at the same time.
I present works to gain buy‐in from executives, senior stakeholders and many other teams throughout the project lifecycle.
Bostonpost is a property management system (PMS) that deals with affordable and conventional housing with a focus on compliance. Although an “efficient” system, it’s UI is dated and MRI as a company is moving away from supporting Windows products in favor of it’s web-based applications. At the same time, a new Web Design system (WD2) is being built to support all of MRI’s core applications. This project, BPX, will guide the new design patterns for WD2.
My challenge was to evolve with clients and create a familiar but new Bostonpost. Training was a concern of most clients so BPX would need to be intuitive to learn. It had to have design patterns to support extremely complex processes all while keeping in line with compliance standards.
Project BPX was announced at the 2016 MRI International Users Conference. In order to get Bostonpost to web in the estimated time announced to clients, I was tasked with designing BP within the existing framework of MRI. However, with the advent of WD2, BP would be built with an even better UI and more patterns than our existing flagship products. This plan had the lowest risk but required more research on my end.
Feature design and development were broken down by workflow: setup, processing, accounting, etc. going from highest to lowest impact. I did research on the product to understand the area myself and then hosted internal working groups to get feedback from within the organization. I also did client visits to observe users and ask questions on their use of the product.
Once adequate research was done for a segment, I designed several sets of loose wireframes for validation with my team and then the internal working group. Depending, designs would either go back for refinement or be presented in a client working group. These groups can have up to a dozen clients with multiple representatives giving feedback.
If necessary, followup designs will be made from the client working group and then the designs move to engineering team to begin development. This includes sitting in initial decomp meetings to help size work and answer questions for the development team.
While BPX is still an ongoing project, in early testing it has been well received and favored by our clients. It will make the difficult task of staying government compliant simpler for directors and property managers who already have an incredible amount of work to do outside of the system.
BPX has boosted confidence in the direction of our core products through Web Design 2 and has made our product offering for this segment of the market stronger than competitors.