Prior to starting her software development career at Advicent, Sarah earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science from St. Lawrence University as well as a Master's in Computer Science from Marquette University. Sarah still strives to expand her skills as a developer and help build great software solutions.
In the world of software development, building a well-rounded, useful piece of software requires creating an experience that allows the user to easily gain something by engaging with it. There are three major aspects involved in creating a good client experience:
- A clean and familiar user interface
- A workflow that is easy to understand, and
- The ability to follow the workflow successfully.
These three are all intertwined. Without one of the three, the other two are much harder to accomplish and the software falls short in its usefulness.
The importance of high-quality development
The three aforementioned characteristics are key in the development process for this software. Users of software should be able to follow the necessary workflow with ease; they must be able to understand how to get the most out of their experience, and the user needs to be able to actually accomplish that.
A good piece of software should not require a user to spend hours following instructions and learning how to use the tool by trial and error. It is necessary for there to be helpful supplementary content available for additional clarity. Ultimately, the workflow should be familiar and simple enough to comprehend from the start.
If a user makes a mistake, logic should be in place to easily and gently nudge the user in the direction to fix the error. These steps make a client’s experience with software more enjoyable and allows them to get the absolute most that they can from it.
Software development at Advicent
In my own experience, I have been involved in the development of the Advicent needs analysis tool for financial planning, Figlo®. For this, our audience is financial advisors who will use this tool to gather and analyze a client’s financial outlook; they can then gather generated visuals and reports to present their analysis to their clients.
Our aim is to have advisors understand how the interface’s workflow is set up to help build a clear picture of their client’s financial life. The tool should supply them with the necessary guidance to stay on track when building their plan.
Using the software should be intuitive; the natural progression of data entry will make sense to the user and further illustrate how they are building an analysis of a client’s financial needs. Seeing this analysis come together is how advisors will get the most out of the software tool; the generated reports will represent the analysis simply and cleanly.
The visual interpretation of a client’s finances is a key part of their experience because it can be the best way to aid advisors in presenting a financial plan to clients for managing and sorting their financial future.
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