Sovereign Housing

Iterative design enhancement on Sovereign’s customer portal and conceptualising a new app.

Houses estate - Sovereign Housing Portal design and App case study.

The Challenge

Sovereign Housing were at the beginning of a digital transformation initiative to unify and uplift their customer portal for users, as well as to become a centralised hub for all activity going forward.

My Role
  • Design Consultation
  • Workshop Facilitator
  • User Experience Design
User Interface Design
  • App Design

The portal needed to manage large amounts of complex data due to mergers of two existing customer portals, both with extensive customer data which needed to be combined onto this single platform, as well as being AA compliant for accessilbity.

The Research

The first step of this digital initiative was to design a new scalable portal with a refreshed customer experience that gives customers great onboarding, the freedom to manage their account from any device, enabling them to report any repairs, pay rent and access information regarding their account.

We conducted key stakeholders interviews in order to understand business KPI’s, prioritise hierarchy, and highlight key requirements.

With most processes being completely manual, the team delved into the company to shadow teams, observe ways of working, run through data overlaying them with company scenarios to understand processes and discuss pain-points.

This helped us to get closer to the users, conducting user interviews and gaining insight into digitising the companies portal.

Sovereign Housing Portal - iPad Wireframe
Sovereign Housing Portal - Discovery Outputs

The Solution

User flows were drawn out at a top level, to ensure all complex onboarding and purchase journeys were scoped before we moved onto wireframing and high fidelty designs using the companies current brand guidelines.

The team then proceeded to test the designs with selected users to see the initial response and usability within a prototype.

The feedback was mostly positive with minimal amends; small changes were applied within the build and first release whilst other feedback was parked for further scoping & implementation for later phases.

The final MVP, which was AA compliant and merged two existing customer portals to one unified hub, was successfully launched for customers to manage their accounts from any device and pay bills.

Sovereign Housing Portal - iPad Design
Sovereign Housing Portal - Laptop Design

Iterative Design Enhancements

Some time after the initial launch of the MVP, once enough insight had been collected on the portal was performing, we than began to address phase 2 enhancements along with addressing any smaller pain points the users were havings.

Sovereign Housing Portal - iPad Design

The 'Repairs & Enhancements' status was enhanced to introduce a 4-step circular process bar around a custom icon; allowing users to see instantly what type of ticket was raised and the status of ticket within the 4-step process (raised, booked, in progress & complete).

The user can then click into each ticket to expand and see more granular details within each ticket.

Phase 2 enhancements included:

• Design tweaks across the board to enhance user experience

• Redesign of the cookie banner, specifically to take up less real estate on mobile devices

• Redesign of log-in screens to be more clearer, concise and reduce barriers for failed log-in attempts

• Redesign of 'helful features' block to be increase usability

• Introduce new UI elements such as Popup / broadcasting messages within portal dashboard

• Complete redesign of 'Repairs & Enhancements' feature to be more functional

Sovereign Housing Portal - Enhanced Designs UI

App Design

During the second iteration of enhancements, the client wanted explore the concept of expanding the services into an app and how that would work vs the portal. I ran workshops to initially investigate how this would work; weighing up the pros & cons of an extra features an app could bring to justify a business case. From there we began wireframing and designing a proof of concept.

According to the data the majority of users were Android, so we targeted that market first. Honing in on additional native features as well GPS, data captured via photos/camera and others to help to enhance journeys notifications. The function of native phone wallets and payment gateways also open up possibilities to make payments easier.

Sovereign Android App Wireframe Concept
Sovereign Android App Wireframe Concept
Sovereign Android App Wireframe Concept
Sovereign Android App Design Concept
Sovereign Android App Design Concept
Sovereign Android App Design Concept
Sovereign Android App Design Concept
Sovereign Android App Design Concept