The back story
My first job out of college was at a small company in Indianapolis named Arete Software. At Arete, I was able to grow into the developer that I felt I should be by learning new frameworks, new languages, and putting my skills to the test.
My first project was a project for a filter cleaning company based off of a product that we had been using as a “template.” The “template” was a project that was created for another large company in Indianapolis that was using some software from Arete. That project had several security holes in it, a pretty terrible user interface, and less than satisfying user experience.
UI and UX have always been one of my favorite things to work on, so I put in the hours after work to take the project from 1999 to what it was when I left Arete.
What if we took all of the versions of this product, combined them together, and allowed users to sign up on the website? What if we set it up so that we could have one instance of the product and there would be multiple companies using the system at the same time?
That was the idea behind this. I wanted to generate a product for the company that would change the culture. Something that would bring in recurring revenue, something that would help make the name a bit more well-known in the Indianapolis area, and something that more than one company could use at the same time. Additionally, this would make the lives of the developers easier as they’re supporting and working on one system as opposed to 5+ systems and different update paths, different system environments, etc.
When I left Arete, the project was actively being used by 6 companies. We were still making modifications to the product and continued to receive new modification requests from our customers. I helped manage the product, becoming the owner of the product, and helped come up with plans for how we would implement ideas that our customers had for improving the software.
What you will see below are some simple before/after images followed by some context of what is going on and what you are looking at.
Login Screen Updates
The old login screen was very reminiscent of the standard .NET MVC template. I sought out to change that and give it a bit more of an updated feel. It was actually in my bucket list to improve this even more prior to my departure, but time ran short.
Overall UI/UX Adjustments
The old application almost entirely looked like what you see on the left side below. I changed most of that view by adding a more modern touch and simplifying navigation structure while also presenting a consistently accessible navigation menu.
There are so many more features to ArMS that I was able to help pioneer. Some of my favorite examples are:
- Customizable printed work order configurations
- Customizable printed invoice configurations
- Dynamic pricing schemas
- Invoice Management
- Helpdesk ticketing system
- Built in FAQ with smart search
- Dynamic menu structures based off of user permissions
- Multi-level/entity structure
ArMS was a huge learning experience for me and my team while I was at Arete. I’m sure that ArMS will continue/has continued to develop since my departure from Arete. You can (hopefully) check up and see how ArMS and Arete are doing over on Arete’s website.