BACKGROUND

Cintac is one of the leading companies in the manufacturing of steel construction systems with a presence in Chile, Per├║, and most of Latin America.

Cintac wants to speed-up the quotation and sales process of their steel products such as warehouses, steel tubing, and other structural elements through a web application focused on sales teams.

SCOPE

Build a web-based application where sales representatives can manage projects separately and perform the necessary structural calculations for their prospects or existing customers.

IMPACT

Technical sales representatives adopted the platform for their daily work on 4 different CINTAC branches across Chile

Quotation response times improved from an average of 24 hours down to only 4 hours

Projects are calculated and left available on the cloud improving information centralization

THE PROBLEM

Sales representatives were using legacy Windows-only software that was slow and unintuitive to perform structural calculations and quote customers. They were losing sales due to high response times.

Cintac wanted to build a web application that would allow them to achieve the following:

RESEARCH PHASE

In two days I was able to run usability testing sessions using their current software with a total of 7 sales reps. Most of them did not use the legacy application on a daily basis or had a superficial knowledge of it. I asked them to do 3 basic tasks:

  1. Create a new construction project.
  2. Export the structural calculations spreadsheet (crucial element when quoting a project).
  3. Modify an existing project by changing the type of structure to be calculated.

PAIN POINTS

The biggest pain points found had to do with the order in which the information is entered during the process, and a confusing iteration process when using different parameters to get a correct structural calculation.

DESIGN PROCESS

After reviewing each participant’s experience with the application, I started to map the user flow of the legacy app during a calculation process to get a better idea of where the problems are and to see if there was a relationship between them:

With the usability tests results, I was able to group the biggest frustrations into themes and tasks. I broke down the “Export structural calculations spreadsheet” process into 3 parts: Project Creation, Data Entry, Calculations Export.

I then started to plot out the themes on a 2×2 to prioritize between user needs and business goals, while also highlighting a few low hanging fruits that would seemed to require relatively simple modifications.

INTERACTIVE PROTOTYPE

With this prototype I was able to validate that the proposed user flows effectively solved the main problems that sales reps had. This allowed us to move forward with the development of the actual application.

SOLUTION

The calculation process was divided into clear steps that allowed the user to know exactly where he/she is. In addition, the possibility of saving unfinished calculations (projects) was added as well as a “Project Manager” to organize work previously done. These are real videos of the implemented solution.

BETTER PROJECT CREATION AND MANAGEMENT

The legacy app had no option to save ongoing or past calculations. To address this I introduced the concept of “Projects” and the ability to organize them in a file structure.

SIMPLIFIED STEP-BY-STEP NAVIGATION

Before, users had no visual cues to intuitively start a calculation process. To solve this I grouped the data entry into clear categories and steps.

DYNAMIC STRUCTURE PREVIEWS

In the legacy app, static diagrams were used to guide the user on how to input data. I used those inputs to generate a real-time structural preview to provide a better visualization of the process.

BETTER TASK FOCUS

Before many pop-up windows fragmented the calculation process while also distracting users from their main task. This was replaced with modal windows to maintain focus on each step of the process.