PROJECT INTRO
The Front Office product is an application to track insurance sales leads. Vertafore wanted an offering for the Producer (sales) persona in an insurance agency but wasn't ready to commit to a budget for development. Together with a product manager, I led initial research into what capabilities this tool should provide. I looked at competitive products, interviewed core user groups, outlined flows and features, and built a fully functional and user-tested prototype to showcase the features and power it could provide. (The prototype is still available and I'd be happy to demo it.)
Shown below is the concept for a dashboard landing page that identifies key pieces of data that help the Producer know where to begin their day.

Client: Vertafore  |  Date: June 2014  |  Services: Research, Personas, Task Flows, Wireframing/Prototyping, User Testing

GETTING STARTED
After doing initial research and speaking with producers, I tweaked an existing Producer persona for our team's use to better reflect the specific challenges they face with tracking sales leads and how our product would help them do their jobs better. This helped get everyone on the same page about who we were solving for, and assisted in communicating the vision to coworkers outside our team.

Producer Persona

Once I understood the problems we needed to solve, I started to break them down into individual flows and work out how each would tie into the next. I started with basic flows and refined them into more detailed versions, as shown below.

One of five task workflows

After understanding how users needed to move through the system, I started to work out the specific capabilities that would be needed for each screen and develop the navigation bar.

Navigation Bar - Menus and User Actions

Upon iterating and getting feedback from the PMs and our core user group, the navigation grew a bit and eventually required taming. It helped to get it all key categories laid out so our research group understood the full suite of capabilities. At this point we began to consider role-based views. Super-users would get access to all the functionality, while core groups such as Marketing would only see the functionality that pertained to them, freeing up visual space and making it easier to navigate. Below is one of the screens the Producer would see while entering details about a sales prospect.

The Account Opportunities screen allows users to track details of each individual opportunity, the stage it's in, take notes of all interactions, set to-dos for follow up, and even tie to any existing policies the customer might have.

CONCLUSION
We took this prototype to our top leadership, who saw the value and approved budget to move forward. The product, now known as SalesTrack, was ultimately taken up by another internal team and built upon a 3rd party platform, and is now a popular product among mid- to large-sized agencies. It's always fun to start with an empty slate and be able to create something from the ground up. It forces we as designers to go broad at first, and then narrow in on the most important features to tackle, all while keeping the future of the product in mind to ensure a cohesive vision. 
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