To develop a cloud-based solution specifically for the needs of industry professionals providing the following benefits:
1. A simple process to specify custom window furnishings
2. Instant best price quotes
3. Ability to create an order and submit directly to the manufacturer
4. An online account to conveniently manage multiple clients and projects with numerous product specifications
5. Ability to review previous orders and create new orders to similar specifications
“We wanted an online custom quoting tool developed for our window furnishings business, very similar in principle to the Institchu online suit configurator.” – Sonia Vaccarino, The Gezellig Room
The previous quoting system was a drawn-out process, requiring a “measure and quote” to be carried out on-site by traditional brick & mortar curtain and blind retailers. One of the key facets of the Gezellig value proposition was to simplify and quicken this process; bearing in mind their clients will typically be time-poor and often working to deadlines.
Matter worked on a project specification document outlining the functional requirements and specifications, down to the most intricate details, for example, users being able to move forwards and backwards within a quoting process without losing previously loaded data. The document detailed the user interfaces and experience flows regarding the online quoting systems, customers account sections, administration views and administration dashboard sections.
Due to the sizeable nature of the project, it was strategised to be completed in stages. The first stage of the project was to re-create the quotation platform for internal validation and testing.
The second stage of the project was to develop the UX around the key client functionality leading to a soft launch, where selected clients would be given log-ins to assess the usability of the site, provide feedback, and make any improvements.
Matter and Gezellig determined the user roles would be customers and administrators. Customers are interior designers, decorators, architects, builders, other mid-market suppliers. These are customers of The Gezellig Room, who will use the system to specify products within the customer login area. Administrators work for The Gezellig Room operating the business and will have the ability to access and manage data across all users. The system will allow administrators to search for a user then login to that user’s account so that they can impersonate the user.
There needed to be a high user experience (UX) focus on the design and quote process in order for customers to make correct decisions using the various customisation options that need to be selected. In other words, it was important that the customer was not daunted or put off by the custom design process.
Our team strategised the UX design, first outlining the flow using storyboards and wireframes and then transforming that into a prototype for the client to review before the build.
“What sets Matter Design apart from others, and gave us the confidence to move ahead with them for our project, is they take the time to understand the client’s requirements and tailor the solution accordingly. What Matter Design has delivered for us by way of an online quoting software simply kicks butt.“
Matter decided to use the Laravel PHP Framework to build this system. Laravel follows the model-view-controller (MVC) architectural pattern, which enforces a separation between “business logic” from the input and presentation logic associated with a graphical user interface (GUI). In the case of Laravel web applications, the business logic typically consists of data models for things like users, blog posts, and the GUI is just a web page in a web browser. The MVC design pattern is very popular in the web development space.
Calculating complex pricing
In computer programming, the strategy pattern (also known as the policy pattern) is a software design pattern that enables an algorithm’s behaviour to be selected at runtime. The strategy pattern defines a family of algorithms, encapsulates each algorithm, and makes the algorithms interchangeable within that family. Matter introduced this strategy pattern to design the API for calculating a roller blind and curtains’ price.