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Case study: Design and development of a specialist product

New product innovation is at the centre of Ocuco’s strategic plan to consolidate and grow its software leadership position in the global optical industry.

The challenge

With a portfolio of software products resulting from 20 years of R&D and several corporate acquisitions, Ocuco initiated a major investment in 2018 to accelerate the development of its next generation flagship solution suite known as ACUITAS 3, or ‘A3’ for short.

As part of the A3 initiative, Ocuco sought a software partner to collaborate on Product Design and Development. The partner would augment Ocuco’s internal innovation expertise with complementary skills, and provide a boost in capacity required to manage ongoing development while catalysing A3 roadmap evolution.

Sonalake was initially selected to undertake a UX Design Analysis for the A3 solution suite.

The solution

It was critical that Ocuco’s deep corporate domain expertise would be fully surfaced and articulated to inform the design of A3.

This was facilitated by a series of design sprints with product and market experts across the Ocuco organisation and end-user customer base, bringing the expertise of all stakeholders to bear upon the design of the A3 user interface, and ensuring that the ultimate user experience would be delivered to customers of this next generation solution.

Sonalake’s design analysis methodology was employed, with a collaborative team directing an iterative series of workshops to co-create the key UX product design elements of A3, from user archetypes and personas to high definition UI prototypes.

The result of the design sprint series was captured in an A3 Design System to facilitate efficiency and consistency across all development teams.

“The Sonalake product design team was a catalyst within our largest ever R&D investment. Their methodology and open collaborative approach helped accelerate our design and development of Acuitas 3, becoming a trusted software partner in the process”

Leo Mac Canna, CEO of Ocuco

On reaching a point of design coverage across a sufficient breadth of the A3 roadmap, development was initiated. At this stage Ocuco had decided to extend its engagement with Sonalake from design into development, incorporating a Sonalake front end engineering team into its product development sprints, using a SAFe (Scaled Agile) framework approach.

The result

The accelerated design and development of the next generation Acuitas 3 suite has resulted in Ocuco securing major advance orders for the solution.

Ocuco’s next generation solution architecture included a new front end technology choice that was enabled by the seamless integration of Sonalake engineering capacity within the Ocuco software organisation.

“Sonalake’s peer-to-peer consulting culture is a refreshing approach to software partnering, adding the objectivity of a 3rd party with appropriate skills and new perspectives to the internal domain and software expertise of Ocuco”

Clodagh NicCanna, Development Director

The addition of UX product design and the boost to internal development capacity enabled Ocuco to increase the pace of product roadmap evolution, consolidating its market positioning within the optical industry.

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