In 2021, Intapp undertook a new project: to improve the user interface (UI) and overall user experience (UX) of the DealCloud platform. DealCloud is a single-source deal, relationship, and firm management platform that enables firms to power their dealmaking processes from strategy to origination and execution. This technology is purpose-built to meet the many unique needs of the financial industry; however, we at Intapp recognize that these needs are constantly changing and evolving, and that our clients can’t remain competitive unless we scale our technology for future growth.
“We had the opportunity to focus on making a number of enhancements and modifications to the DealCloud interface across the board,” said Joseph Meersman, Senior Design Director at Intapp. “We wanted to provide the best possible experience to our users and make sure that they’re able to harness the full power of the platform.”
“At Intapp, we’d talked a lot about reducing cognitive load on the user,” said Daniel Hammaker, Director of Product Management at Intapp. “We wanted to make purposeful adjustments to help our clients optimize their configurations.”
Meersman and Hammaker worked closely together during the UI and UX enhancement project along with members of the Intapp product, design, development, marketing, and client services teams. Luckily, as Meersman pointed out, everyone kept an open mind while collaborating, and always kept the needs of our clients as the top priority.
Listening to our clients
Before making any changes to the software, members of the product management and design teams spoke with clients to gather feedback and understand what they needed and expected from DealCloud.
“We had to reconcile all those points of view with our product roadmap and expertise,” explained Hammaker. “For example, we got feedback from clients that some of our UX patterns worked well while others were more challenging. However, when looking at what to update, we also had to consider accessibility guidelines and other best practices to ensure our solutions would work across the user base.”
In addition to speaking with clients, Meersman and Hammaker explored ways clients were currently using DealCloud.
“Through instrumentation, we’re able to see how people are currently navigating,” said Meersman. “We ran several rounds of testing, then focused on iterations and, ultimately, refinement. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics, we were able to more accurately determine the best ways of making purposeful adjustments to the user interface.”
Taking an intentional approach
Intapp began working on the updates for DealCloud in spring 2021, tackling the project in phases rather than making all the changes at once.
“We’ve handled different requests every quarter over the last year,” said Hammaker. He explained how the teams split up the tasks based on magnitude, usage, and need, then rolled out the more urgent updates first.
“There’s been an extremely intentional approach to the rollout so as not to overwhelm our clients,” explained Meersman. “We didn’t want to abruptly flip the switch one day and have users find that the environment looks completely different.”
In one of our first updates, we rolled out enhancements to data grids — which, as we knew from usage data and client feedback, provide a great deal of value to our clients. As with all our updates, the Intapp teams closely collaborated to ensure they could properly align both the technical capabilities and design aspects of the software.
“This was really a team effort,” said Meersman. “It was a lot like being in a symphony orchestra: Every musician in an orchestra ensemble must be highly skilled at a specific instrument, but to put on a successful concert, they also have to be able to coordinate and harmonize with their fellow performers. Likewise, we each had our individual roles and skills, but we all had to work together as a whole to achieve the best possible outcome.”
Improving the user experience
Now that the yearlong UX and UI project is complete, Meersman and Hammaker are excited to reveal the final results to our clients and see how the updates will improve the way our clients work. These updates include:
- Global navigation pane — Access all your dashboards, favorites, and tools via a consolidated navigation pane. that is organized by what users access most often. Users can access this collapsible pane from everywhere within the solution.
- Contextual pages and reports — View entry detail pages and reports as tabs, then pin, unpin, and rearrange tabs according to your preferences. Administrators can also customize which tabs appear by default for each user group.
“With change comes opportunity for growth,” said Meersman. “We’d be doing our clients a disservice if we didn’t evolve our technology on a regular basis. We strive to always bring the best to them.”
Hammaker added: “I think it really is a huge step forward for the business. It positions us to continue building the platform we want to become.”
Meersman, Hammaker, and all of us at Intapp are extremely grateful to the many team members who invested so much time, hard work, and passion into this project. We’re also grateful to the many clients who provided feedback on how to improve DealCloud.
“If we didn’t have great working relationships with the clients that we talked with, we wouldn’t have been able to make all these highly impactful changes,” said Meersman.
What’s next for Intapp? “The team is primed and excited to continue delivering a great experience and bringing more to our clients,” said Hammaker.
“So stay tuned,” Meersman added. “We’re just getting warmed up!”