A modern service experience
We spent a large part of last year with a really exciting project, building Aalto University Student Union’s new housing system. Domo was released recently and over 500 students have already found their homes through the effortless, modern service experience it provides.
Students aren’t the only ones who have been impressed with the system’s clear interface. On the same day that Domo was released Jaakko Koivula, project manager at AYY, was already introducing the system to another housing provider.
It wasn’t hard at all, to display something that had only been released. I trusted our product, and I still do.
From the start, the rules of agile web development were very clear to Jaakko, who became a product owner in his first software project.
We wanted to release the product without major testing, to build it piece by piece, so that its usability could be followed and improved continuously. After launch, the speed with which we have managed to improve the system using feedback from real users has only increased.
Even though building an up-to-date housing service was the goal, the real client for the project was the personnel at the housing office. Domo is a tool meant to improve their everyday work.
Developing methods and processes for work requires improving the tools the work is done with. AYY’s decision to rebuild its housing system came from accepting that fact.
Instead of facilitating work, the old system made handling customer data clumsy. “It was like a stack of paper. A digital stack of paper”, one staff member described.
The old system had started as a student project and for a long time it was developed without a holistic view. After persistently fixing it here and there, it had come to a point where everything possible had been done.
A market research showed that many of the small housing companies did a lot of manual work just like AYY, and bigger companies had built their own systems. It proved impossible to find an acceptable solution from the market. The only way to match AYY’s newly set high standards was to build a housing system from scratch, with a belief that it would pay itself back in the long term.
Three months after launch, Domo has practically cut in half the amount of work that AYY has to do to run its apartment services. As Domo has also made the remaining work more enjoyable for AYY personnel, the belief seems to have been well placed.
Custom, but adaptable
From using a system that was lagging behind in development, AYY became a forerunner. Domo challenges existing housing systems to get rid of 90’s style forms among other unwieldiness, and it already has its niche in the market.
AYY itself offers ARA housing, which means that its apartments are partly subvented by the state and have special requirements when it comes to choosing residents. It was one main reason for AYY to buy custom, and one reason that makes it interesting for many similar housing providers.
Rethinking housing systems and creating this new tool has been very satisfying for us. We will continue to work closely with AYY’s housing services to make their workdays even more pleasant, their clients even happier and it’s interesting to see, how many others will benefit from Domo in the future.
- Client: AYY
- Team: Vesa Vänskä, Antti Salonen, Matias Korhonen, Virgil Mocanu