When Bennett and Dickie came to us with their preliminary wireframe concepts for the Suave Systems POS, as it was called then, we were very excited about the raw potential and prospects of refining the concept and design it into a slick and smooth experience positioned to be the definitive CRM and POS solution for boutique hotels and resorts worldwide.
As we commenced our discovery phase, the Maderas team and our architects and experience designers worked closely together to begin to refine the rough user experience concepts initially laid out by the Maderas team for their Management Web App and POS iPad App into smooth, concrete, complete flows and hi-fidelity wireframe prototypes. Beginning with extensive interviews and conversations with team members from various facets of the Maderas operation in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua, we built use cases and personas for the various user classes (hotel owners, managers, front desk staff, room service staff, housekeeping staff, restaurant staff and the guests themselves) that would be interacting with the system. Armed with this research and information, we were able to make better educated decisions in our approach to refining and redesigning the parts of the experience initially laid out by the Maderas team that required our doing so.
As the POS solution facet of the system would primarily function on iPads including the traditional 9-inch, as well as, the 7-inch mini we had to ensure that our experience transcended both mediums equally as effectively. We were careful to continue to mock and test iterations to various interfaces within the experience until they effectively transcended both. Our architects also decided that the project would be a good candidate to be developed with Yii 2.0 PHP, mySQL, Apache and deployed on AWS. Upon our mutual satisfaction with the core experience design for the Web App and iPad App our team worked to prepare the product backlog and move into Design and Engineering Sprints.
Prioritizing the sprint backlogs with Bennett, our team began to burn down the engineering and design tasks necessary to realize the delivery of the experience we laid out during discovery. As we work in a strict agile and iterative manner, builds were delivered to the Maderas team every two weeks during this phase of the project. As the delivered features were tested on-site, iterations and further refinements revealed themselves and we worked with Maderas to incorporate these refinements into the product backlog and realize their design and development in upcoming sprints depending on urgency and priority. One example of a necessary iteration through testing in the field was the need for a more advanced local database implementation and general caching techniques due to the intermittent nature of internet on Playa Maderas. Working through this complex challenge with the team at Maderas, OAB was able to architect a solution that maximized utility of the system even if internet was extremely poor or temporarily non-existent. OAB realized the initial release of the system in 24 weeks.
During initial rollout of the system, Gaurav (our CSA) and Lucky (our President) headed over to Playa Maderas to support Dickie and Bennett on-site.
We continued to support Maderas Labs for 12 months thereafter, working with their team on further iterations to the experience and system, including major enhancements to accounting, billing and reporting. We also worked closely with the Maderas team to transition the system and codebase to a newly hired internal tech team that would work to maintain the system.