Making the manual automagical

The boom in technology and focus on creating great user experiences is not only great for businesses, but can make a real difference to people's everyday lives through the enhanced delivery of essential services. One provider that's leading the way is a relentless Aussie start-up by the name of LanternPay.

The team at Lantern dreamt up a payment platform that would make transactions relating to schemes like the National Disability Insurance Scheme frictionless. Their suite of apps are helping replace the tyranny of traditional snail-mail, long waiting times for entitlements, piles of paperwork and admin heavy invoice payment systems; ultimately making the delivery of much needed care simpler for providers, carers and people with disabilities.

Early stage chats leads to big ideas

The Ply team was given unfettered access to the seed stage of Lantern where we talked about the ideas and concepts before anyone had any idea how the project would be funded, or pencil had hit paper on the first product sketches. This early involvement gave us critical insight as to what lay ahead, how the product would work and the business model that would support the brand long term.

Lightweight demos. Heavyweight investment.

Our first product design task on the project was to create a realistic prototype of the major screens and functions to demonstrate to both the internal teams and investment partners what the Lantern product could be. Our team was involved in a rapid design sprint to wireframe and then design several screens of the proposed application; enough material to help convince and encourage stakeholders.

To hit the goal of this phase we used Sketch to build the design and Invision to create a clickable prototype without writing a line of code. The net result of this phase was two fold;

  1. Something tangible to tap and swipe, to debate and form up thoughts on where to head next

  2. Secured project investment from a big 4 bank allowing the apps to be entirely built out 

Detailed notes
make for simple apps

One of the hallmarks of a Ply project is the closeness of the teams as we work through the challenges, ideas and eventual outcomes. With our almost daily checkins with the Lantern team via Basecamp or weekly ‘show progress’ meet ups - both teams made a big effort to keep the lines of communication flowing.

It’s the nature of complex software projects to quickly become detail orientated and we’ve learnt over time to document conversations and make good notes, because frankly the devil's in the details and a polished product relies on taking care of each and every one.

Getting our MVP design on

With demo’s in the bag and funding in the bank both teams got straight to work on building the Lantern product for realsy’s. Leaning on our focus as a UX team, we set about developing wireframes and applying UX strategy to the process, while also developing the design language for the brand and products.

Working to a crazy tight deadline, we wanted to ensure we didn't become the bottleneck. We applied an agile methodology and worked with the Lantern guys to hone the list of deliverables to the absolute essentials, then set about building the MVP through focused sprints. Thankfully v1.0 was released on schedule. Phew!