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IRESS Labs brings users into the software design and development process to actively share their opinions, experience and insight says Product Executive Emily Chen.

 

Like you, we believe that software should ‘just work’.

While we’ve always sought and embraced user feedback in the design of our software - our active trader solution ViewPoint is an example - IRESS Labs steps it up and brings the people who use our software on a daily basis right into the heart of our software design and development.

In practical terms the Labs approach means unlocking the rich functionality of our software and making it more:

  • efficient - working as it should, requiring less time and effort, with the system taking the strain and re-using data more efficiently.
  • intuitive - working as you would expect, with less need for training and support, and easier to use.
  • delightful - working as you would want with contemporary interfaces - a system that you enjoy using.

What is IRESS Labs?

Put simply, with Labs we take a concept or idea and place it into an experiment with users, the result is the release of co-designed functionality that does exactly what our users need it to do. It happens in three stages:

Design 'discoveries' - where users are actively involved in designing functionality and interfaces by providing insights on what’s most important to them and has the greatest impact on their business.

Development 'experiments' - where the themes, functionality, requirements and common user journeys defined in the design stage are taken into development; the same users iteratively test and give feedback on prototypes to ensure the software works the way they need it to.

Delivery of ‘co-designed functionality’ - the new co-designed interfaces and features are released into the latest version of the software, where all users can ‘toggle’ between the new functionality and the earlier version.

The Labs approach will be rolled out across the whole IRESS solution suite. Initially, the focus has been on the wealth management (XPLAN) suite.

And it’s working.

To date, over 75 users, representing more than 50 firms from around the world, are actively involved in IRESS Labs.

While each Lab experiment differs, typically users go through interviews and workshops, rigorously test and give their raw feedback on every aspect of our software design. Only the interfaces and features that meet their high standards make it through as co-designed functionality.

The April release of XPLAN (version 18.4) saw the introduction of the toggle feature, as well as the release into production of the new co-designed features - outcomes of the first two Labs experiments include:

  • Global Navigation - a better menu structure and design interface to make navigating XPLAN faster and easier.
  • Opportunities Management - accessing the rich client data within XPLAN to make managing business pipelines of new and review opportunities more visual and simple.

What’s next

A further series of experiments across XPLAN’s CRM, Advice and Portfolio modules, are scheduled for the rest of 2018.  Some of these are already underway:

  • Adviser and Client Dashboards - presenting summary information in a better way.
  • Advice Documents and Presentations - preview of advice documents and tools to help advisers present advice recommendations to their clients.
  • Goals Building & Tracking - how to help you monitor your client’s goals, tools to aid the conversations.
  • Workflow - design review for the tasks, threads and use of workflow within XPLAN.

We’re really excited about the difference IRESS Labs is making to our software and, most importantly, to you. With real user insight going directly into the design of our software, we’re making our solutions even more efficient, intuitive and delightful.

For more information about IRESS Labs, or to keep up to date with our progress, visit the IRESS Insights Community.

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