Mike Eng User Experience Designer 401-234-4611
m@mike-eng.com
me on github

Buildium: Trust Accounting Overhaul
Diagram outlining the flow of funds through scenarios

Analysis of the flow of management income (PDF, opens in new window)

Wireframes of playing out management income

Wireframes (PDF, opens in new window) – screens allowing the property managers to pay out money due to them.

Screen to pay out funds on management income accounts

Detailed design – screen allowing the property managers to pay out money due to them.

Expanded 'Pay out management income accounts' screen showing fields for details on transactions

Detailed design – screen allowing the property managers to pay out money due to them – with the details expanded.

Screenshot with table showing breakdown of funds in the bank account, by property

Bank account balance breakdown: by property

Screenshot with table showing breakdown of funds in the bank account, by owner

Bank account balance breakdown: by owner. I accommodated the information architecture by showing one row per individual or “group” of owners that together own one or more properties. Note the accordion pattern to reveal additional properties where there is a case of owning more than one.

My role

UX Lead and sole designer, working with one product manager, two developers, and two QA team members.

Activities

  1. Scenario identification and analysis
  2. Business logic rewriting
  3. Information architecture
  4. Wireframing
  5. Moderated, remote usability testing
  6. Detailed screen design

About Buildium

Buildium is a web and mobile application for property management. Over 10,000 customers depend on the software as the backbone of their business.

The problem / opportunity

Buildium could not easily provide customers the ability to see how much of whose money they were holding in each bank account. Also, existing business logic ignored some important cases and caused customers to not be able to rely on the numbers that the software offered.

Some state regulation agencies had specific requirements for officially sanctioned software, and North Carolina in particular had a list of approved software vendors who met their requirements. There was an opportunity to get Buildium a place on that list, which would bolster sales efforts.

The solution

Working with our internal subject matter expert, I identified steps in the primary scenario and analyzed what key screens and reports show at each point – both in the current state and in future states.

I designed a new set of screens to allow users to pay out money due to them and another clarifying what money belongs to whom.

An information architecture challenge

State agencies required a report breaking down the money in a bank account by owner (that is the people who own the properties) and another report breaking down the money by property. We did an expert review with a seasoned property manager to help inform our approach. The information architecture behind this was challenging since in our customers’ businesses, one or multiple owners can own a property, and in turn, an owner can own one or multiple properties.

I designed a “Bank account balance breakdown” page that could be arranged “by property” or “by owner”. When viewing “by owner”, there is a row for each “group” of rental owners who together own one or more properties. Note that one owner in the “group” may also appear in his/her own row – if he/she owns another property outright (the case for Johnny Cash in the “by owner” screen). Also, if the owner or group of owners owns more than one property, I used an accordion pattern to expand / collapse the group of properties.

Outcome

After release, thanks to the outreach efforts of our product manager, we achieved placement on North Carolina’s approved property management software vendors list.