Case Study: Sales Order Entry Tool

The Challenge: Vivint SmartHome needed a consistent sales process

My Roles: UX Research | User Interviews | Wireframes | Functional Prototypes | Interaction Design | Visual Design | Front-End Development

Throughout Vivint SmartHome, there are over a dozen sales organizations. For example, National Inside Sales, the Summer Sales Door-to-Door Program, customer support representatives, field services, installers, and retail sales & channel partners.

And everybody does it just a little differently. Needless to say, that caused confusion (and even some legal problems in some cases).

After meeting with the stakeholders, conducting field research and end user interviews, I decided to take a very simple step-by-step approach. That allowed me to keep specific information clean and clear to the end user. With this approach, a new client could get signed up within a matter of minutes (provided they had all the information ready and knew what they wanted). Business rules were much easier to implement, because we were only dealing with one "screen" at a time.

More detailed information

To sell this design approach, I consulted with all stakeholders, including my project manager and our developers. Then I worked on initial designs, using wireframes, and later on high-res designs. After the team and the stakeholders decided which direction suited them most, I began developing a fully functional prototype, using HTML, CSS and JavaScript (and some dummy data to mimic the contents of the database we were using). Although looking somewhat outdated by now, this was the visual style used at that time. Today, I would design this web application differently.

Although it was a bit of a gamble and a first for the IT department, I designed and developed a fully-functional prototype that could be sent to everyone by e-mail. Then it was just a matter of dragging the e-mail attachment into a web browser, and the in-progress prototype could be "experienced" in a web browser. This helped the recipients to experience the look-and-feel. Being able to enter text, clicking buttons and working with dummy was much closer to a "real life" situation than just looking at visual proposals.

What I particularly enjoyed throughout the duration of the project was the fact that I got to meet a lot of new people throughout Vivint and eventually had a list of Subject Matter Experts that were available to verify certain features, ranging from scheduling, to payment collection and cost calculations.

Big Stakeholder & Big Data: Of course, dealing with several sales organizations (including supervisors, managers, directors and the VP of Sales) and a large inventory catalog, resulted in everyone wanting to leave their mark on this project. Sometimes, there were a couple of head-strong individuals who wanted specific features just for their sales organization. Others even wanted to change some features and available product packages completely. Tactfully, I explained that some of those features would have to wait until v2.0, because we were under deadline pressure. In some cases, we were able to set up the sales order entry tool for specific sales organizations, who required certain features that nobody else needed.

For example, without wanting to get too technical, some sales organizations had business rules that prevented them from selling a Doorbell Camera to customers. Other sales organizations were urged to sell as many Doorbell Cameras as possible.

There were many more features and UX Design tasks that went into the creation of the Sales Order Entry Tool. However, I simply wanted to highlight a few approaches and features that were important to the various sales organizations who were using this tool.

Note: After the Sales Order Entry Tool was released, Vivint had a record year in sales. There were other factors at play, of course, such as several marketing campaigns, but I was proud to be told that the tool we had built had a lot to do with it.