Silent Partner hired Konsult to create a portal to manage and share their clients, vendors, and projects. Konsult designed and created a web service using Meteor over several months. To move quickly on such a large project, we started implementing the system from wireframes, then added visual sugaring as the final design finished. I was solely responsible for the design and primarily responsible for front-end implementation.

Challenges

Silent Partner had two major challenges: keeping every party accountable and keeping everyone on the same page.

The conventional work flow involves Silent Partner mediating between a client and several vendors. Sometimes, when vendors run behind schedule, it is hard to explain to the client why the project cannot be finished on time. One of the primary goals of the portal is to allow everyone to see who has the next blocking task, and if the project is behind schedule, when did it start running late.

Because Silent Partner mediates between multiple parties, they have to pass numerous forms between their client and the vendors, and between vendors and vendors. Many times the forms get lost from department to department within a certain organization, and it’s not uncommon for mistakes to happen because different parties are referring to different versions of the form. One of the goals of the portal is to have one place that everyone can go to download the latest forms.

Solutions

(No screenshots are shown to respect the confidentiality agreement)

The portal allows multiple client, vendor, and Silent Partner accounts to be associated with each project. The portal provides an overview of whether a project is late, whether a task is late, who is the task assignee, and whether the assignee has acknowledged and agreed to the due date. This allows all parties to pinpoint responsibility and prevents undue conflict when a blocking task runs behind.

The portal’s document center stores all revisions of all documents. By default, it shows download actions for the latest versions of each document, while allowing the user to browse all revisions for reference. The document center recognizes the conventional practice of adding version numbers to file names, and allows the user flexibility in naming while intelligently grouping document revisions appropriately.