As a juggernaut in commercial real estate, Bluth Co. processes a substantial number of loan originations throughout the year. With such a large volume of loans, it is imperative that the software used to manage them is feature rich, efficient, and user-friendly. Three years ago, Cloudwell built a unified solution on Microsoft SharePoint that helped expedite the processing of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of loans.
While the original solution was a success, users found the performance and experience to be lacking when compared to more modern Microsoft 365 features that became available with advances in technology. Using this feedback, Cloudwell jumped at the opportunity to take a proven solution and bring it into 2020 with an update that leverages these technologies offered by SharePoint and Microsoft:
When designing an updated solution, companies must ensure that all changes feel both deliberate and necessary. With this in mind, Bluth Co. decided that surveying users and combining feedback on the current system would be helpful in engineering the new experience. It was this pointed feedback that gave us our Version 2 roadmap.
In addition to visual design changes, some functionality needed modernization as well. Leveraging current technologies offered by Microsoft, decisions would need to be made on the best approach for modern features. Some of these features included drag/drop file uploading, multiple file downloading, and others that are now considered relatively standard for a user experience.
To corral the wide range of viewpoints on user experience, Cloudwell decided to build the solution around the Microsoft Fluent Design System best practices. Fluent is an open-source, cross-platform design system that gives designers and developers the frameworks they need to create engaging product experiences. By following the best practices for this framework, Cloudwell was able to take many of the layout and design choices out of the forefront and concentrate on functional improvements to the solution.
The main functional improvements were broken out into a few core areas:
This was a landing location to view/search all current loans
A landing page for each loan with important information included in a centralized location
Document upload, management, sharing, task lists, and commenting for process tracking
Abiding by Microsoft Fluent Design System and SharePoint Framework best practices allowed Cloudwell to deliver an enhanced commercial real estate integral loan origination platform with a modern update to both functionality and aesthetics. Initial feedback from Bluth Co. was very positive, citing benefits such as improved speed, reliability, accessibility, and most importantly, the overall user experience.