How we took a complex administration and simplified it.

Apttus has a product called X-Author where customers can manage and update their Salesforce CRM by using an application their familiar with, Microsoft Excel. Salesforce is very complex so X-Author is an easy way to navigate and update your contact database, however the administration of adding users, permission, applications and CRM access is still handled through a complicated Salesforce admin. We changed that and simplified the way X-Author is managed by hosting its own admin in the cloud and independent from Salesforce.



A cross-functional team was assembled

Product Designer / Lead Alan Weibel
Product Manager Bert L
Architect Refeekh P
Stakeholder Jules E — VP, GM of X-Author



How we worked together with customers to improve their experience

User Interviews 5 Customers and internal experts
Internal Design Jam Ideation with 4 internal experts
Review research and plan 1 Stakeholders
Validate mid-fidelity Invision prototype, user testing 5 customers and stakeholders
Iterate based on feedback
High-Fidelity Invision prototype, user testing 5 customers
Iterate based on feedback
Create design spec for Engineering QA app until launch
Validate production application, user testing 5 customers
Iterate based on feedback
Create design spec for Engineering For next release



The product is heavily reliant on Salesforce to manage applications, licenses, users, and creates a large overhead for our sales operations to manage customers.



Create a mobile, CRM agnostic cloud-based application that we can control

After a few prototype iterations we found a solution that simplified both our customers management and our internal sales operations experience. We found that moving to a CRM agnostic, cloud-based administration, where we can control our interactions and design made the administration of X-Author much more delightful. We allowed admins to access on the go with mobile and tablet versions of the application. We rolled all administration functions into a single portal and identified a new feature of having an X-Author application marketplace that we added to the roadmap.

Over the years, I’ve worked with many great UX designers. That said, I’ve never worked with anyone that could fully grasp complex products, and produce a single UI from scratch for both mobile and desktop so rapidly. Alan is a great communicator, challenges assumptions, knows how manage complex initiatives, and is fun to work with! Bert Legrand — Sr. Director of Product Management, X-Author

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