01. The Challenge
Window Master is a Desktop Application for a company that builds and sells windows and doors. It is a legacy system that has seen continued development over last 15 years. With evolving needs, both technical and business related, the system has lost its robustness and efficiency.
This system operates on a local physical network and with the business expanding over multiple physical locations, it has become impossible to keep the data synced across locations and much of the work has to be done manually. Starting from a couple of forms, the application has grown to a state where it has become a nightmare from a UX point of view.
02. Project Plan
After careful assessment of client’s needs, we kicked off with wire-framing and re-designing the UX since we knew that much of the complexity in the current application, from a user’s point of view, is coming from the poor UX. From the back-end perspective, the biggest challenge was to start off with the database of existing application which was huge to say the least. The development team devised a plan to revamp the database by making changes to the schema where required, yet making sure that the existing data can easily be imported.
1 Project Manager
1 UX (Designer)
1 UI (Designer)
2 Frontend Developers
2 Backend Developers
1 Quality Assurance Engineer
Internal Ways of Working:
Used Asana and Slack to organize and track projects
The team held semi-weekly meetings to review progress with the client’s
Our solution to the problem is Window Master 2.0. It is a cloud-based desktop application that provides a robust configuration system to create and manage components that can be mixed and matched to generate a Quote for any type of door or window. The application automatically generates a wire-frame image of the window being built when a quote is generated, so it becomes easy for the users as well as the customers to see what the actual results are going to look like.
It includes the functionality to manually create Purchase Orders for the components that need to be outsourced. In the real world, not all components are manufactured in-house. Keeping this in mind we have built the application in a way that you can auto generate orders for such components on a single click.
The application supports configuring different phases of the production pipeline and the functionality to process the quotes in batch is also included. Furthermore, when the quotes are processed as a batch, the ordering of components from third party vendors is triggered automatically. The application is capable of generating a wide number of printable reports as well that enable the owners to see the performance of their business in black and white.
Window Master 2.0 has been built using the most modern tech stack available. The main technologies used are Electron.JS, React.JS, SQLite, Laravel Framework, Node.JS and MySQL. It features data syncing across devices when you are online. This makes sure that all the users within a company always have the latest data to work with.
So, when a user creates a Quote, it is instantly available to other users. Same goes with the configuration entities. When an admin updates any of the configuration (such as cost of a specific component), it is instantly updated across the devices so you don’t have to worry about discrepancies in costing. However, if for any reason you want to use the application offline, you won’t lose any functionality.