Designing b2b software to speed up document creation processes

Designing b2b software to speed up document creation processes

Lockton ships tens of thousands of unique documents every year. In this engagement I designed an application that speed up & standardized the client's document creation process.

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Desktop Web Application

Context & Discovery

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Lockton Companies is the world’s largest, privately-held insurance brokerage firm. Lockton provides insurance, risk management, employee benefits and retirement services to their clients around the globe.

My Team

On this engagement, my team was comprised of a Product Manager, two Developers, a Test Engineer and myself as Product Designer.


Across the organization, Lockton ships tens of thousands of unique documents every year. This requires a team of 40+ designers, each working with individual account managers and their respective clients, to create standard and bespoke documents to accompany those proposals using Adobe InDesign. Manual workflows underpin this process, which adds high-touch customization to each document, but drives down the efficiency and collective impact of the teams.


How might we limit the number of busy-work hours spent creating custom documents?


Custom software would allow designers, account managers, and other roles on the team to focus on more meaningful contributions to the sales and client retention process. More time leads to more creativity, which brings more value to clients.

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Initial Goals
  1. Audit and document the process Lockton used to deliver documents to clients, including the workflows for edits and approvals.
  2. Build a proof of concept to validate the interaction and usability with Typefi’s backend, by creating a single template that could produce a document.
  3. Develop a minimum viable product (MVP) that will allow users to build a variety of different documents, each customized for the users’ business type and document layout needs.
  4. Deploy the first MVP of the product to an internal group of Lockton users to garner feedback and inform future iterations.
  5. Measure the time and cost savings to Lockton as a result of this process efficiency software.
Strategy & Alignment

This engagement kicked off with a Strategy & Alignment session that sets the tone for our working agreement. During this time, our teams aligned on the product definition, opportunities for efficiency gains, understanding of the technical landscape, and an initial set of user stories to guide design and development.

It was during this session that Phase 1 functionality was defined as a group, with the understanding that our agile sprints would allow for adjustments to be made along the course of development.

Research & Testing

One of the primary challenges we faced was designing for user adoption. Because this tool was being designed to simplify and automate 80% of the work that the design team performed, I needed to make sure that I understood and empathized with the individuals that would eventually be asked to rely this tool in their day-to-day.

I hoped that Lockton's users would view this tool as a catalyst to minimize their busy work and increase their space for creativity and innovative thinking. In order to design a tool that would be adopted by Lockton's design team & really would make our end user's work lives easier, we performed extensive user research at every stage of the engagement.

  1. Before ever designing, I interviewed 4-5 members of the design team to understand how the team currently works and what pain points they have throughout their days.
  2. During the initial planning phase, I spoke frequently with the client's design team lead to ensure that we were solving for the end user's needs while also balancing the business needs communicated by the key stakeholders.
  3. Using the knowledge gained from interviews, I acted as an end user advocate throughout the design and decision making process.
  4. Once we had a clickable prototype. I performed 3 usability tests.
  5. In the spirit of constant iteration, the design team lead was involved with all design feedback sessions until product launch.

Once the Strategy & Alignment session was completed and user interviews had been run, I converted the abstract ideas, inspiration, and objectives discovered in the strategic alignment phase into a lo-fidelity clickable prototype to use for further testing and validation.

Once initial designs were validated, I began the work of iteratively designing each necessary feature. I worked closely with the development team to ensure technical feasibility and continued to gather end user & stakeholder feedback. I eventually translated the Lockton brand into high fidelity, robust designs ready to support the development process.

It’s during these initial weeks of the engagement where Lockton could see, interact with, and react to a vision of what this product can be. It gave my team the ability to validate the core technology capabilities and experiment in building something truly revolutionary for the business.

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My team and I created a custom presentation template solution for Lockton that converts CXML to InDesign files for a subset of document types. This tool allows Lockton users to go through and choose a base template to then customize with their own data. The user can then go back in and rerun all the presentation on their own without having to engage with the design team for edits. Once the data is pulled in, the user can download their final document as a PDF created in InDesign. The download comes with all of the style and branding details that’s consistent with Lockton’s brand guidelines.

Perhaps most compelling of all is the time and cost savings as a result of this workflow solution. It’s projected that a process that once took 12 hours will be reduced down to 15 minutes. The cost savings from this initial product will open up Lockton’s design and account management teams to be more creative and drive more impact for the business.

Currently in beta, the product is being introduced to more users within the organization, and iterations are being made to support additional needs.

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