2016-2019

MountLytics

Overview

I started to work on the very first version of MountLytics in 2016 as Freelancer. In October 2017 I joined the team as only UX/UI designer and started to work on the new version. MountLytics is a smart CRM system for hotels, which collects guest data from all existing data silos in a hotel and accumulates them in a guest profile. MountLytics helps hotels to send personalized and automated communication before, during and after the stay.

Today most hotels are using lot’s of different applications to run their business. Most of the tools don’t use the PMS data with real guest data, so hotels can’t use them for communication or they have to upload them manually. Some guest data even get’s lost, as employees write them down and don’t add them to the PMS.

Personalized communication and real segmentation based on data is not possible. Also there is no single tool for frontdesk employees, marketing managers and the general managers. To meet the needs of the different user roles, we needed to come up with a solution that can work for each role, while being flexible, user-friendly and accessible in many different scenarios.

During the design process, I came across many different obstacles, as the application is very complex and each role has different views. In my opinion, one key factor that contributed to the success of the many iterations, was the component based approach of the interface. I also started to create a design system from the beginning, so I could do changes and iterations in screens quickly to test new scenarios and features. The latest version of the application consists of more than 100 Screens, build in Sketch.

Moreover I continiously gathered feedback from all stakeholders and customers during the iterations. This open and continuous feedback loop was a crucial part during the design phase.

Challenge

The hotel software market uses lot’s of isolated software solutions, which don’t fit the need of todays guest communication and are way too complicated to setup and maintain. We wanted to build a generic base with modular, extendable functionality while always keeping a user-focused approach. The new system should support the user proactively.

Furthermore, the different users are generally under immense stress and have to work quickly to meet the guest expectations and create great guest experiences. Tasks like checkin, adding guest information, sending tips and information for the stay, communicating with the guest, managing upsellings and overlooking statistics, have to be done as effective as possible and I needed to optimize the workflows.

Dealing with different data sets from different PMS systems and custom hotel setups also needed a solution for our modular system as we wanted to provide the same flexibility for each hotel regardless of the data models.

Quote

Product Managers and UX Designers often have to discuss important business decisions. It is way more than looking at buttons, positions and colors. It's really about understanding the business, creating the product and still have an eye on details is really difficult to manage. Danny helps you to manage this and make it seem easy and fun. A real inspiration! He has all the skills to create awesome products and make them special.

- Daniel Litschel, Product Manager

Approach

To solve all the challenges successfully, I’ve built many different prototypes from scribbles, wireframes to high-fidelity mockups and kept a close communication with our pilot hotels and also other stakesholders, like customer success, sales and development. We created a product roadmap and wrote different release definitions, so we were able to start with an MVP and add more features over time. As the application consists of many complex features, I also created flowcharts for each section.

The prototypes were mostly static click dummies that featured different ideas to test them fast and easily with different users. To speed up the process I continously developed the design system and created a fully modular system based on Sketch and Abstract, which works with reusable and customizable symbols across files to easily create different ideas. The system also helped the development team to implement new features faster.

Implementation

In the product development team, I was responsible for the whole concept and ux/ui design process, product vision, feature definition as well as managing a small team of a brand designers, design and marketing students and marketing managers. I was also in charge of delivering assets for the developers and supporting in front-end development in Angular and React. Besides the product development I maintained the website, created mail templates and also designed investor pitch presentations, sales sheets and more.

There were two main focus areas in the application: the guest database and the creation of mail automations. Marketing Managers needed to have an easy way of creating segments and building new mails for automations. They also needed a system, which helps them proactively and suggests next actions.

Guest profiles offered the basic guest information and also helped the frontdesk employees to add additional information like notes, interests, likes and dislikes to accumulate the profile for better personalized communication.

Based on guest profile information, hotels were able to create segments to communicate differently with each segment. Segments could be created from general profile information and stays, but also from interests, likes or dislikes.

Also MountLytics suggested new segments based on the updating data.

Backend application for customer
management. Because of the different data sets from the PMS systems, we had to create an easy data mapping tool to map any PMS data to our data model.

To support the creation process of new mails, I implemented content suggestions, as our customers needed some inspiration. The suggestions were splitted into automation mails and campaign mails. Automation mail suggestions were also created along the guest journey.

Depending on the selected segment one step earlier and the already created mails, suggestions change.

We also implemented an inbox in case guests will reply to received mails. The inbox is an easy way for the guest experience manager, to reply quickly and also have access to the guest profiles.

Requests for upsellings also support adding upselling content from managed upselling offers in MountLytics.

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