As with any startup, we embarked on a challenging journey facing the constraints of limited resources and a challenging macro economic climate when Qvinci started operations in 2008. Our objective was to address a pressing need within the small business market by developing a solution to compare the financial health of organic businesses and franchises.
Initially, our focus was on serving Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), however, as we matured and evolved, we redirected our energy to focus on franchises.
As a key member of the startup, I assumed the roles of UX Design lead, Graphic Design Manager, User Researcher, and Marketer. I was responsible for a diverse range of tasks and often had to acquire new competencies and skills in areas outside of my core responsibilities.
One of the challenging concepts I solved at Qvinci was custom filtering. Qvinci primarily used geo-location based filtering which helped compare franchise locations between major metropolitan areas. What we soon realized is there were more "meta data" filter types than we could possibly programmatically include.
We needed to categorize types of user criteria.
Filtering only by geo-location would create confusion as locations vary by population served.
Utilizing competitive analysis I designed a system of categorical properties to scale the ability to compare company locations by custom properties.
One of the identified user pain points was the inability to compare locations based on factors unrelated to location.
From this, we created custom property types for company locations enabling additional filter property criteria enabling advanced filtering.
The Standard Chart of Accounts organizes financial information using a standardized naming system. Comparing financial information from different companies can be difficult because each company may have different naming conventions for even common accounts. We used card sorting to create a simplified navigation system that displays all the accounts on one page and standardizes their names, making it easier for users to access and compare financial information.
Using a card sorting activity, I led efforts to establish a design pattern to display thousands of account names and provided a method of resolving similar conventions.
Through our research we found users did not want to manually map the naming conventions. A recommendation approach was necessary to simplify the process and increase user adoption.
We were able to use this data to create a programmatic method of assigning categories and standardizing charts of accounts automatically documented in Patent 9858624.
Before launching each iteration of the product, I performed user testing to evaluate usability.
We tested for usability and bugs.
Our focus group was existing customers and customer service.
We utilized video conferencing technology to host these testing sessions remotely.
Through the evaluation process we resolved browser support issues and produced user experiences the customers loved.
High Fidelity Mockups were created using a combination of Balsamiq Mockups and Photoshop.
I developed a style guide for Qvinci Software inspired by Bootstrap.
Multi browser, multi device designs were implemented.
The ultimate design heavily considers the outlook and perspective of both franchisees and franchisors on their mutual relationship, as well as how franchises that have developed organically gauge their financial performance as a measure of success.
Qvinci provides the tools these businesses need to succeed built on tools they already use.
I wore multiple hats and experienced the growth challenges and complications of building a Saas product and a company from scratch.
There were constant fears about running out of runway, losing customers, and gaining more customer engagement. We overcame all of these through a hard work ethic and constantly stretching our own skills.
Prior to my tenure at the company, an external agency was hired to establish the brand's first website and logo. Due to a pre-existing agreement with Quickbooks as a third party, the original name, Quickdash, was no longer feasible. As the Graphic Design Manager, it was my responsibility to craft a fresh corporate identity and a new name for the company - Qvinci, inspired by the original product "Q Vinci".
With a keen eye for design and commitment to excellence, I created a new logo and logotype that effectively embodies the company's brand and spirit. Today, my design remains the hallmark of the company, providing a visual representation of its values, vision, and mission.