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  2. RS Property Services: A Focus on User Experience



The Brief

We work with businesses who have identified technical niggles and digital dilemmas that they can’t seem to solve. As was the case for one of our most recent clients, RS Property Services. A company in search of a system which delivered the user experience their team and customers desired.

RS Property Services is a London-based property refurbishment and maintenance service. Providing a host of different services to their customers. Whether it’s a landlord or a private property owner, RS Property Services can provide every property-related service you could require. From plumbing to roofing, joinery to glazing they have a skilled team able to tend to any task. However, their extensive service offerings and customer portfolio required a highly functional, adaptable and efficient internal job management system.

They required a system which allowed their onsite crews – when visiting the various properties under their care – to have the ability to use their smart devices to record all job-related information. This information could encompass every detail from comments made to actions taken to any reports from residents. As well as including before and after photographs for projects to support the reports being submitted.

RS Property Services required a system which allowed for the easy logging and sharing of project information with both customers and team. A system which would be available digitally from any smart device. Allowing employees to input data and submit it to their head office from one, streamlined location. This submitted information had to be uniform, easily manipulated and transferable. Ensuring that the information could then be presented in a slick, professional report. These reports could then easily be shared amongst customers and fellow team members alike.

Altogether offering a far more practical user experience for everyone involved. One which was tailored to the needs of the company, its employees and its customers, taking into consideration key functional requirements.


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The Challenge

The primary challenge in this brief was finding a system which was capable of meeting and facilitating the demands of RS Property Services. It proved a challenge to identify a system which allowed us to gather all the data, including both text and images, whilst pre-populating elements with job numbers, addresses and dates automatically. Followed by transferring all that gathered information to head office all through the smart device of the team member, whether that be smartphone or tablet. Then, produce reports based on this gathered information to redistribute to both the team and their customers.

RS Property Services initially considered an App to satisfy these requirements. However, the sheer expense of commissioning an App to provide a solution was not a viable option. With a limited budget, we needed to consider a system which could provide the benefits of an App without the bill.

A system which allows forms to be created multiple times and updates to be made to each job whenever necessary. What’s more, this system had to be user-friendly for mobile devices to facilitate onsite usage by their team. The reports which the system generated also needed to be editable and reusable. Enabling the RS Property Services team to amend, add to and continuously use reports for all new jobs. Easy!

In other words, the new system had to reflect and facilitate the way in which the company’s team works. Incorporating the key tasks the team had to accomplish on a daily basis and tailor a user experience which enhanced productivity. It was important for this new tech addition to be an asset and not a hinderance.

A further challenge was in the presentation of the reports and data in the system. The reports created had to display the brand and provide the professional aesthetic the company required. After all, the system was a direct reflection of the company itself and its capabilities. Therefore, looks really did matter for this brief.

The Solution

To resolve the problems the RS Property Services team faced we had to provide a fully bespoke system which facilitated their information gathering and collating requirements. This customised system had to be elegant, branded, cost-effective and reflective of the quality of the company’s services. Offering the RS Property Services team the user experience they needed to continue to do their job successfully.

The first step in achieving this was to conduct research into the best option available. With a particular focus upon the communication barriers and problems the company faced with their previous job systems. From our research it emerged that the solution was two-fold.

The first part being the requirement of an eForm for the company’s engineers to access from any device which enabled them to have internet access. The second part was the creation of an interactive PDF which could easily store and display information and images taken by the engineers onsite.

The eForm

Developing the eForm first, we created a system which was simple to use. Resultantly creating a great user-friendly platform for both the input and output of information. As we understood user experience was a crucial component to this web development. We focused on ensuring that the creation of each eForm was an uncomplicated process. Providing clear ‘How To’ guides for anyone who encountered difficulty.

We ensured all key required fields are present within the eForm. Including incorporating a function which enables the team to upload photos and key data to head office from their smart devices. Allowing the RS Property Services team to input a detailed and comprehensive eForm for each job with ease and efficiency.

The Interactive PDF

This is when the interactive PDF came into play. The eForm we created firstly gathers all the information inputted by the team. It then sends it over to head office via an email format to one specific email address chosen by the client. From this email, the client is able to transfer the text and images onto the interactive PDF. With both the eForm and PDF matching in design to ensure uniformity. Certifying that the information input and output was professional in both looks and function. Allowing the user experience with regards to report formulation was a proficient and enjoyable one.

The file can also be edited to include any new data from the eForm throughout the property’s lifetime. Furthermore, it be used repeatedly and receive updates from each new job submitted via the eForm. Meaning that this system was the adaptable solution which the RS Property Services team required. One which would continue to grow with their client portfolio.


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