Agent Portal: Digitizing Onboarding and User Management

Agent Portal: Digitizing Onboarding and User Management

AMP Dashboard

At Bryte, the challenge of managing a rapidly expanding network of contracted agents was exacerbated by an outdated, manual, paper-based system. This method hindered efficiency, making it difficult to quickly access and update essential agent information and analyze performance data. The system’s inefficiencies limited Relationship Managers’ (RMs) ability to effectively oversee and evaluate agent performance, impacting both current operations and strategic planning for future agent recruitment and training. This situation underscored the need for a more streamlined, digital solution to effectively manage the increasing agent workforce and enhance RM capabilities.

The Management Maze

The research phase for developing the Agent Management Portal was a crucial step in understanding the specific needs and challenges faced by the Bryte Agent Onboarding team. To gain a comprehensive view, we initiated detailed discussions with the team members who were directly involved in the agent onboarding process. These conversations provided valuable insights into the everyday hurdles they encountered with the existing system. The team shared their experiences of manual data handling, the difficulties in accessing agent information quickly, and the challenges in tracking and evaluating agent performance.

In addition to these discussions, we conducted a thorough analysis of the current paper-based process. This involved reviewing the steps involved in agent onboarding, managing agent profiles, and the overall workflow of managing agent data. By breaking down the process, we were able to identify key areas that were ripe for improvement, such as data entry, retrieval, and the ability to update information efficiently.

We also focused on understanding the specific types of information that Relationship Managers needed readily available. This required us to delve into the various aspects of agent management, from contract details and compliance documents to performance metrics and communication logs. Our aim was to gather insights into what information was most critical for RMs in their day-to-day management of agents and how this information could be presented in the most accessible and intuitive manner.

The Agent Management Portal fields on the left and a spreadsheet of data collected during onboarding on the right.

Through this research phase, we not only gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges and requirements of the Bryte Agent Onboarding team but also identified opportunities to enhance the agent management process through digitalization. These insights laid the groundwork for designing a platform that would not just digitize the existing process but also transform it into a more efficient, user-friendly, and data-rich system.

Building the Digital Bridge

In the design phase of the Agent Management Portal, we focused on creating a user-friendly digital platform within a tight two-month timeframe, leveraging LEAN UX design principles for efficiency and effectiveness. Our approach included:

  • Google Drive Integration: We designed a feature allowing users to link their Google Drive accounts for seamless file sharing between the Agent Management Portal and Google Drive. This simplified document management, enabling easy upload, access, and organization of agent-related documents within a familiar and reliable platform.
  • Utilizing Existing Designs from Illuminate: We expedited the design process by adapting layouts and components from the Illuminate project, ensuring a quicker turnaround without compromising on quality. We focused on intuitive navigation and efficient data presentation, borrowing proven design elements to enhance the user experience.
By linking their Google Workspace Account, our users could seamlessly transfer files between the agent portal and Google Drive.

The design of the Agent Management Portal was driven by the need to balance speed with functionality, using LEAN UX principles to deliver an intuitive and efficient platform. The integration with Google Drive and strategic reuse of existing designs played a key role in meeting the project’s tight deadlines.

Agent Onboarding Testing Arena

During the Agent Management Portal’s testing phase, we engaged in an in-depth usability testing process with the Bryte Agent Onboarding team. Their insights were crucial in steering the evolution of the portal’s design, particularly in enhancing key features such as the file-upload system. This led to a smoother integration with Google Drive, elevating the overall functionality and ease of use. The team’s observations also brought to light the need for greater alignment with the initial design concepts, prompting adjustments that significantly enhanced the portal’s visual appeal and consistency. This dynamic, feedback-driven approach was fundamental in refining the Agent Management Portal, underscoring the vital role of collaborative input in crafting a product that is both effective and aesthetically engaging.

Agent Management Portal Agent List
Agent Management Portal Agents page

The Portal’s Payoff

The results of implementing the Agent Management Portal at Bryte were transformative, fundamentally altering the landscape of agent onboarding and management. The introduction of this digital platform brought about significant improvements in several key areas:

  • Efficiency in Onboarding and Management: The transition from a manual, paper-based system to the Agent Management Portal dramatically streamlined the entire agent onboarding process. Relationship Managers (RMs) found that tasks which previously took extensive time and effort could now be completed with a few clicks. This efficiency gain was not limited to onboarding alone but extended to the ongoing management of agents, making the entire lifecycle from recruitment to performance monitoring more fluid and less time-consuming.
  • Accuracy in Data Management: The digitalization of agent data greatly reduced the chances of errors that were common in the manual system. RMs could now ensure that all agent information, from personal details to contractual agreements, was accurately recorded and maintained. The portal’s design included features that minimized data entry mistakes and allowed for quick corrections, ensuring that the agent database was always current and reliable.
  • Accessibility of Information: One of the most significant benefits of the Agent Management Portal was the enhanced accessibility it provided to RMs. They could now access comprehensive agent profiles, performance data, and necessary documents from anywhere, at any time. This level of access transformed how RMs interacted with and managed their agent teams. The ability to retrieve and analyze information on-the-go or in real-time empowered RMs to make more informed decisions and respond promptly to any issues or opportunities.
  • Elimination of Paper Files: The move to a digital platform meant that the reliance on physical files and documents was eliminated. This not only reduced the physical storage space needed but also made the process of managing agent information more environmentally friendly. Digital storage also offered better security and backup options, ensuring that critical agent data was protected and could be easily recovered in case of any loss.

Agent Portal Debrief

The development of the Agent Management Portal provided valuable takeaways that have broad implications for future projects and the field of product design as a whole.

  • Balancing Efficiency and Design: A critical lesson from this project was the importance of maintaining a balance between efficiency and the effectiveness of the design. Working under tight deadlines highlighted the need for a pragmatic approach to design, where quick delivery should not come at the cost of user experience and functionality. This project taught me to be more agile in decision-making, ensuring that even when time is limited, the end product still meets the high standards expected by users.
  • Leveraging Existing Resources: Another key insight was the value in reusing and adapting existing design components. This approach not only saved time but also ensured consistency across different projects within the company. It demonstrated that effective design doesn’t always require starting from scratch; sometimes, the best solutions come from optimizing and customizing what’s already available.

Looking ahead, the future of the Agent Management Portal at Bryte Payment Solutions is set for several exciting advancements. Plans are in motion to integrate the portal as a module within a larger, more comprehensive application called the Bryte Management Portal, aimed at enhancing the company’s overall operational management. The portal will undergo continuous iterations and improvements, evolving with user feedback and business needs to add more streamlined features and functionalities. Additionally, we’re exploring the integration of AI and machine learning to provide predictive insights into agent performance, equipping Relationship Managers with advanced decision-making tools.

The Last Word

The development of the Agent Management Portal was a journey marked by innovation, adaptability, and user-centric focus. This project was instrumental in transforming the agent management process, making it more efficient and accessible. For me as a product designer, it was an enriching experience that honed my skills in several key areas. I learned the importance of balancing efficient design with functionality under tight deadlines, the value of leveraging existing design components, and the significance of integrating user feedback into the design process. These learnings have not only enhanced my capabilities but also deepened my understanding of the nuances in creating solutions that truly meet user needs.

Project Details

Summary: The Agent Management Portal streamlined agent onboarding and management by digitalizing data, allowing for quick, accurate processing of new applications and secure storage. Its user-friendly design enhanced Relationship Managers' access to and updating of agent information, improving their management and performance monitoring capabilities.

Outcome: The portal's implementation resulted in reduced onboarding time, improved data accuracy, and better accessibility to agent profiles for Relationship Managers, aiding in informed decision-making and strategy development.

My Role: Product Designer
Team: 2 Product Designers, Multiple Developers
Duration: The project spanned from July 2021 to October 2021.
Status: Launched as a PWA.

“If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likable person: respectful, generous, and helpful.”

“If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likable person: respectful, generous, and helpful.”