Case Study: Standardised UIs
I led a transformative product development initiative at Unmade to address challenges around inefficient processes and friction during customer onboarding.
Unmade's method of building UIs for our customisation editors was becoming inefficient, unscalable and a critical blocker to realising rapid customer value.
Unmade's engineering team was building and maintaining bespoke interfaces for each of our customers to embed into their ecommerce sites.
While this was great as it gave us flexibility and speed while we were still developing our capabilities and learning what customers wanted, as our customer base grew we found that we were using the bulk of the front-end team's time to build and maintain new interfaces each time we onboarded a new customer.
As well as slowing down the path to customer launch (and therefore delaying value realised for us and our customers), this was also time not spent developing our core product and platform capabilities in more impactful areas.
We hypothesised that by moving to one underlying UI codebase, configurable UIs could be delivered at increased speed and scale.
I spent time with internal teams, customers and users researching and specifying the key requirements of the new solution, such as:
To benchmark the improvements we were making and qualify the problem space to stakeholders, I captured key metrics around the current state of UI delivery and its impact on customer onboarding such as
In three two-week iterations, a cross-functional team developed the software which produces configurable interfaces for customisation.
I led on the following areas of work within the team:
Along the way I needed to react to challenges and considerations which required constant prioritisation in collaboration with design, engineering and customer success stakeholders, such as:
"Thanks to the team for making these ideas a reality, I am really excited by this direction of travel."– Joel Chippindale, Unmade CTO
Using the new consolidated UI system, the team delivered double the new implementations in Q4 2019 than we had in the rest of Unmade's history. The Customer Success team is empowered to set up new UIs independently, meaning subscriptions can start much earlier than before.
We saw a reduction in the time & effort to deliver customisation UI recuced from 2.5 months to one day, halved the amount of UI codebases to maintain, and ensured that all current and future customers could use any standard feature, out of the box.