Branding, UX, Ideation
Qvinci Software, a bootstrapped FinTech startup
We embarked on a challenging journey, facing the constraints of limited resources and a challenging economic climate when we initiated our operations in 2008. Our objective was to address a pressing need within the 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 broadened our target market to encompass franchises.
As a key member of the startup and company, I assumed the multifaceted role of UX Design lead, Graphic Design Manager, User Researcher, and Marketer. I was responsible for a diverse range of tasks and often had to employ self-directed learning to acquire new competencies and knowledge in areas outside of my core responsibilities.
Prior to my tenure at the company, an external agency was engaged 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.
Advanced Problem Solving: Company Filters
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 first needed to identify types user criteria.
Early on, we realized filtering only by geo-location would create disparity as many franchises are not apple to apple when it comes to size.
We searched for a solution using competitive analysis of Amazon, Ebay, and Google.
The main pain points for the user was inability to compare franchise locations based on factors unrelated to location.
From this, we created custom property types for franchise locations allowing both existing customers and new customers the ability to assign their own additional filter property criteria which allowed us to filter based on that information.
Card Sorting: Standard Chart of Accounts
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.
We established a pattern to display thousands of account names and provided a method of resolving similar conventions. Navigation was critical for the data set.
We used a closed card sort using established categories.
Through our research we found users did not want to manually deal with mapping the naming conventions. A recommendation approach was necessary to increase 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 were existing customers and customer service.
We utilized technology to host these testing sessions remotely.
Often responsive design bugs were found during this stage. Inevitably we would find issues with using Internet Explorer as well.
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 learned a great deal from my time with Qvinci Software
I had to wear a lot of hats and experience the challenges and complications of building an Saas application and a company from scratch.
There were constant fears about running out of runway, losing customers, gaining more customer engagement. We overcame all of these through a hard work ethic and constantly stretching our own skills.