NWCC

A reliable provider of comprehensive construction loan management solutions.

Client Overview

NorthWest Construction Control, Inc (NWCC) provides lenders with comprehensive construction loan management solutions: Risk management services that protect lenders' property portfolios from the design process through completion. Regular, accurate inspections by independent fee inspectors of residential, commercial and land development construction projects. Construction fund management, taking the hassle and expense of loan management off lenders' shoulders.

Services

Discovery
UI/UX Design
Front-end
Back-end
QA

The challenge

Complete redesign and upgrade of the product for ease of use

The client came to us with a ready-made product. The product was old and difficult to use. The lack of functionality did not allow the product to meet all the needs of people working with the company. Not all processes have been optimized due to human influence leading to problems and loss of time and resources. The task was to develop the missing functionality, refine and improve the product, giving it the opportunity to be relevant for the next 3-5 years. We have held several workshops to understand how the product works. We studied the target audience, product needs and partner's business goals. We also analyzed the existing functionality and thought about making it more inclusive.

The main challenge for our team was to understand the specifics of the product, the primary users of the platform, essential functionality, ​​users’ current and hidden pains and the requests from our partner for the automation of analog processes. Northell team has improved process optimization, reduced costs, and covered new business processes with an updated web application. That allowed to raise not only the quality of the user experience but also to provide a reliable platform for business scaling.

The strategy

Based on the concept of the application, requirements and business analysis, we prepared a roadmap to start the development in an agile manner:

Business analysis
  • Business & user goals;
  • Stakeholder & user interviews
  • Market research
  • Personas
  • CJM
UX Design
  • Information architecture
  • Wireframes
UI Design
  • Design system
  • UI Design
User Testing
  • Clickable design
  • Testing on users
Development
  • Front-end (React.js);
  • Back-end (PHP);
QA
  • Testing of functionality in all browsers & extensions;
  • Testing of compliance with the technical document;

The Target audience

The main users of the NWCC platform are:

  • Borrower A person who gets a loan for certain needs (for example, building a house).
  • Bank An institution that issues a loan.
  • Managers People who monitor all processes (internal and external), watch the fulfillment of the obligations of all parties, etc.

User-flow (Borrower)

Wireframes

Design System

For NWCC, we developed a new design system based on previous data. We created new components, upgraded the platform, and improved it, leaving the company's branding.

UI Design

One of our main tasks was changing the old UI design and making it more understandable and modern. We completely changed the platform's appearance but left the identity and branding of the company.

Sign up / Login

We minimalized the sign-up / login form with two necessary input fields (email address and password). Users can sign up / login as a lender, inspector, borrower or stuff.

Onboarding

For the NWCC platform, we have developed an interactive onboarding that helps people learn to use this platform. Each product element and navigation point are considered separately, highlighting important elements.

Builder Dashboard

On the builder’s dashboard, users can see a list of projects they are working on. The lists of borrowers, last reports, building location, project progress, and project status/action are highlighted in this list. Also, users can view more detailed information about the project in this section. The project details show the latest inspections, spent budget, site photos, borrower contacts, request history, etc.

Borrower Dashboard

The borrower's dashboard is identical to the builder's dashboard. However, there are some differences. Using the Actions/Submit New Draw Request section, borrowers can make money requests specifying the required amount. Users can also upload the necessary documentation to this section of the platform (for example, building plans, lender documentation, and other supporting documentation.)

Lender Dashboard

Lenders have a more advanced dashboard. On the dashboard, lenders can analyze all projects currently being worked on. The number of active projects is presented in the form of a graph. The project types are shown in the form of a pie chart, divided by percentage into custom residential type, commercial type, spec residential type, and other types. Also, lenders can analyze active projects by completion, which are also presented in the form of a graph.

Lenders can also filter projects by type and account. To keep track of what the borrowed money is spent on, lenders have a separate Inspection history section. Going there, they can view when the last inspection was made, what progress of the project, etc. They also have access to photos of building progress.

Development part

At this stage, we used a standardized and recognized development model to develop and implement new features gradually. We used Agile methodology and Jira for task management.

In fact, the product development process is divided into 5 main stages. Our developers wrote code for all product components using the documentation and architecture. The tasks were divided between the team members according to their area of ​​specialization.

Stage 1. Product Technical Documentation

During this stage, we collected all the relevant information from our client to develop a product as per his expectation and requirements. We wrote technical documentation and chose technical stacks: React.js, Redux and PHP.
At this stage, we defined the requirements for functionality (requirements for the admin panel) and user roles (admin and super admin). We also finalized the estimate and scope of work.

Stage 2. Development

Our front-end developers were responsible for the client side of the application. Back-end developers were responsible for API and database development. We tested every new feature released. The DevOps team worked on the CI/CD process.
Our team also developed the REST API. When creating the REST API, we used generally accepted practices such as:

  • Using the secure HTTPS protocol
  • Applying as many HTTP codes as possible
  • Archiving large blocks of data

Stage 3. Testing

QA engineers tested all delivered code and carried out manual testing for developed components.

Stage 4. Product Deployment and Integration

After the development and regression testing from the QA team, we switched to production deployment and integration. The tested version of the product was delivered to the users for beta testing. The team collected user feedback, fixed all the bugs, and implemented some improvements.

Stage 5. Maintenance

After deploying an NWCC product on the production environment, if any issue comes up and needs to be fixed or any improvements are to be done is taken care of by the Northell development team.

Results

The client came to us with a request to improve and redesign a web application, which would help the business to reach a new level of service delivery, process optimization and reporting. We studied the needs of all parties involved and developed a new product.

After implementation and a/b testing, we collected user feedback and saw that satisfaction levels increased by 19%. The new functionality has reduced the influence of the human factor and accelerated the exchange of information between personas. The company has gained a powerful space to scale and increase its customer base for the next 4 years.

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