Driving Efficiency and Effectiveness:
PwC Evaluates the Smartly Platform


How Smartly Refreshed the App Opening View

March 14, 2024
Toivo Vaje

Let’s face it: many B2B applications are developed with performance and features first. The longer the development of a product continues and the more successful it becomes, the more feature rich but at the same time less easy-to-use it will be. Essentially this is the case of Smartly too. Our customers love the benefits they get from using the tool, but due to the complexity of the app, the learning curve is quite steep in the beginning.

Einstein once said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Keeping his wise words in mind, we wanted to do things differently and decided to go with a design-led approach. We formed a cross-functional team with members from design, product management and engineering, and from the very beginning we had a strong focus on testing and validating our ideas with our customers.

Our goals were two-fold: One, to shorten onboarding time for new customers, and two, to provide our users with actionable insights right after logging in to the platform. We chose to go for a dashboard type of view with a set of customizable widgets. These widgets provided performance metrics we could easily show to users, ensuring easier navigation when going  deeper into the platform. In addition, they offer  users  insights about their monthly spend and how it’s developing.

We worked with several customers to provide them with the opportunity to do alpha testing and provide their feedback. Before writing  any lines of code, we presented  the visualization of the new dashboard to these customers. Their feedback was critical  in understanding how to make the platform  more intuitive and what our customers value the most. This way, we didn’t spend any resources building the wrong thing. 

Our entire product development team participated in customer calls to be better aligned. The positive feedback we received really helped to keep our team focused and motivated.

Providing a sneak peek of the new Smartly dashboard in a few customer events resulted in a surprising effect: We even had a waitlist for our beta testing! The whole ride was quite an extraordinary success. Normally, software projects rarely finish in time, but this project managed to hit all the milestones on schedule. The new homepage went into general availability in January 2024 and has been the new default ever since. We still have the old homepage available as a backup, but so far no customer has requested access to it, which is a telling sign this is an effective view for users.

During the Smartly homepage development we also started building a new design system. The new homepage is built with components from that system and next we are starting to migrate the rest of our application to this new system. We can’t wait to share more product development success stories in the near future as well!

We are actively looking for new team members to help build out our vision. Check our open positions!


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