INNOVATION

InspectRealEstate - Using the Way of Working to re-de­sign soft­ware

InspectRealEstate is Australia’s lead­ing prop­erty man­age­ment soft­ware. It en­ables the au­toma­tion of day-to-day tasks that prop­erty man­agers, leas­ing agents and agency prin­ci­pals would nor­mally have to com­plete man­u­ally. By au­tomat­ing these tasks, InspectRealEstate em­pow­ers its clients and their teams to fo­cus time on the ar­eas of the busi­ness that mat­ter most, rather than the rou­tine tasks that take up pre­cious time.

Backstory

Andrew, one of the founders of InspectRealEstate started his ca­reer as an ac­coun­tant be­fore co-found­ing a prop­erty man­age­ment firm, prorentals.com.au. After sell­ing prorentals.com.au, Andrew took the vast knowl­edge gained from that busi­ness to start InspectRealEstate with fel­low co-founder Mike. The com­pany quickly be­came Australia’s lead­ing prop­erty man­age­ment soft­ware, with its flag­ship prod­uct, ROL Rentals, be­ing used in more than 2,000 agen­cies na­tion­wide.

Our Approach

InspectRealEstate reached out to WorkingMouse to as­sist them with im­prov­ing the look and feel of their flag­ship prod­uct, ROL Rentals, which had­n’t seen any changes in its de­sign since its in­cep­tion. This was slightly dif­fer­ent to how we tra­di­tion­ally ap­proach a pro­ject as the fo­cus was on the re-de­sign of their sys­tem, rather than scop­ing to pre­pare for the de­vel­op­ment of the sys­tem. With this in mind, the InspectRealEstate and WorkingMouse teams agreed on a prob­lem state­ment, How do we feel proud about the fu­ture look and feel?” This en­abled the team to fo­cus the scope on cre­at­ing an InspectRealEstate de­sign sys­tem that could be used when up­dat­ing their prod­uct suite or de­vel­op­ing a new so­lu­tion and re-de­sign­ing the core pages of the ROL Rentals plat­form with a new UX/UI.

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The WorkingMouse team worked with the InspectRealEstate team and their cus­tomers to un­der­stand how their clients use the ROL Rentals plat­form us­ing a hu­man-cen­tred de­sign ap­proach. Using our Way of Working, we split the process up into four stages; Understand, Observe, Ideate and Prototyping/Design System.

During the un­der­stand stage, WorkingMouse per­formed a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties to learn more about the prob­lem. Utilising the dis­cov­ery kit, the team de­fined the cri­te­ria of suc­cess for the pro­ject and mapped their users cur­rent flow through ROL Rentals. Once we had an un­der­stand­ing of the prob­lem it was time to ob­serve. We reached out to InspectRealEstate’s users to val­i­date the as­sump­tions made by map­ping out the var­i­ous per­sonas us­ing the plat­form and con­duct­ing dis­cov­ery in­ter­views.

Now that the prob­lem was val­i­dated, we be­gan ideat­ing on po­ten­tial so­lu­tions. We pri­ori­tised the jobs the team needed to com­plete and be­gan rapid sketch­ing of po­ten­tial so­lu­tions that cov­ered the flow of a new and ex­ist­ing user in­ter­act­ing with ROL Rentals. This al­lowed us to cre­ate the ba­sic user ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­plore po­ten­tial so­lu­tions. The fi­nal stage in­volved pro­duc­ing Hi-Fi click through pro­to­types, con­duct­ing user test­ing and re­fin­ing the pro­to­type based on the feed­back to en­sure the de­signs met the needs of the end user. The team then took the com­po­nents cre­ated for the pro­to­type to flesh out the de­sign sys­tem.

What was de­liv­ered

Utilising our Way of Working, the WorkingMouse team at the con­clu­sion of the scope de­liv­ered a de­sign sys­tem, HiFi pro­to­types and data­base schema model that would en­able InspectRealEstate to be­gin the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the up­dated look and feel of ROL Rentals. A de­sign sys­tem is a col­lec­tion of reusable com­po­nents, guided by clear stan­dards, that can be as­sem­bled to build any num­ber of prod­ucts.

The de­sign sys­tem pro­duced by WorkingMouse will en­able the InspectRealEstate team to ap­ply the var­i­ous com­po­nents cre­ated to up­date the look and feel of ROL Rentals. Further, the de­sign sys­tem will also en­able InspectRealEstate to ap­ply the com­po­nents to their other prod­ucts. The pro­to­types pro­duced de­scribe the key screens the team were tasked to re­designed. These pro­to­types out­line the new user flow for the re­designed pages that the InspectRealEstate team can utilise along­side the de­sign sys­tem when up­dat­ing the ROL Rentals look and feel. Finally, the WorkingMouse team us­ing the ROL Rentals data­base schema, recre­ated a MVP (minimum vi­able prod­uct) of ROL Rentals us­ing the Codebots plat­form.

The Future

Having de­liv­ered the scope, the InspectRealEstate team is in the process of plan­ning how to im­ple­ment the arte­facts cre­ated and be­gin the de­vel­op­ment of the new look and feel of ROL Rentals us­ing their in­ter­nal de­vel­op­ment team.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Oliver Armstrong

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