The 'Plans & Take Off' feature in Buildxact allows builders to upload and annotate plans, estimating material quantities. Without such digital tools, builders would revert to manual methods, using physical plans, calculators, and pens.
Over a decade since the last major update to our Takeoffs experience, 2022 saw competitors in the Aussie construction tech market boasting faster speeds and AI automation. Some even specialised in Take-Offs for smaller builders. Recognising this competition, we sought to refine our Takeoffs product, pinpointing areas for improvement.
Access to the take-off tool is not easily discoverable, frequently necessitating our customer support and sales teams to assist with onboarding new users. This placed a significant burden on our internal teams. Also due to limited in-app guidance and unclear visual cues throughout the customer journey, many customers made unforced errors.
For instance, a significant source of unforced errors was customers' inability to snap to points during their take-offs. However, due to the limitations of Buildxact's legacy tech stack, addressing this would require a substantial investment that the business was hesitant to make.
Not only did we grapple with technical and customer experience hurdles in enhancing the take-offs experience, we also had the daunting task of adopting OKRs for the first time. This required baseline metrics from our current analytics tool, Pendo, which had its limitations.
Faced with all these challenges and with only limited exposure to the data of customer problems across the entire take offs journey, I was placed in the situation of discovering where we could make the most impact, for most of our users.
"Where can we make the most impact for the most users?"
At the start of discovery, my main goal was to understand all the other phases of the take offs customer journey, that would help the team understand all the opportunities available for improvements.
We had a few channels customer feedback came in from, one was from our 'Feedback Suggestions portal'. I extracted these and themed each piece of feedback against a journey phase and also a metric i.e improving accuracy, reducing time on task etc.
Another channel for customer feedback was Intercom. Its frequent issues highlighted priority phases and customer tenure. The blue tags below reflect this.
Customer success (support team) were a key stakeholder invested in having a voice for the improvements to make. I ran a series of customer journey workshops where they helped to offer additional insights from their regular interaction with customers.
The culmination of this was a final prioritisation workshop to identify how 'sticky' each customer problem was.
Through all the discovery work I learnt that improvements made in the early phases would help both triallers and converted users save time and enhance accuracy (our two success metrics) in the subsequent phases.
Key issues from all phases were compiled into a hypothesis table, giving the team a backlog for ongoing and future enhancements. An example is provided below.
A main source of exploration was around how to improve the preparing of plans ready for take offs. The current experience didn't help funnel the user through to the desired steps. So I explored the concept of a 'plan wizard' stepping the user through the required stages.
A final solution implemented was the plan page selector. Previously, users had to upload entire plans, often with unnecessary pages for take-offs. The hypothesis was this selector would reduce upload time and prevent the need for later deletions.
The other major enhancement was integrating the take-off list directly into the take-off tool. This allowed users to quickly toggle layers and expedited the take-off creation by housing the list within the tool.
The updated plan upload modal has seen strong adoption, with pages selected in half of all uploads. This has streamlined the process, reducing the need for users to later delete unnecessary pages.
The take-off list added to the tool received positive feedback. However, performance issues persist due to the legacy system. Significant efforts have been made to upgrade the tech.