A User Interface (a layout of an app or website) is the single most important aspect to creating great mobile apps when implementing electronic document management systems in business. It could either make or break the experience.

If the UI is not user friendly, it will discourage and overwhelm users from using electronic document management apps therefore causing a solution to lose appeal and ultimately fail.

Today, the Real Estate industry is looking for paperless solutions. So how can we build great electronic document management systems that people can still be comfortable with (despite their tendency to use paper)?

When creating a User Interface, there are two options to consider when trying to convert users to paperless solutions.

1.Invent a new workflow; or,

2.Base it on an existing workflow

In our opinion, the best choice to maintain a wide audience in the transition stage, is to give them mobile apps with a UI based on their existing workflow and here is why: reduce resistance.

In theory, new workflows make sense for industries that are already young and technical. It is important to assess who you are making the mobile apps for. If your target market is teenage boys into video games or new technologies, they will adopt a new workflow quickly. However if the target is agents in real estate, this avenue won’t work because they don’t want to learn a new program. The disconnect occurs with tech companies that are not into real estate and don’t have the same software expectations as a realtors.

Let’s again use real estate agents as an example; because real estate is one of the last industries to go digital. The average age of a realtor is 51, and most often their technical adoption curve has passed. Chances are, they will be resistant to change. Realtors also have a workflow they’re accustomed to; established from decades of doing things a certain way and are not always interested in paperless solutions. They use standard pre-generated paper based forms with preset conditions, and have countless client interactions daily. This process has a way of working for them, therefore electronic document management apps may not always be the best route for agents.

If you invent an entirely new concept, agents won’t adapt. Alternately, build a user interface that they are used to seeing already, and you’ll likely motivate the conversion.

Cordon focuses exclusively on how agents can work to avoid friction, resistance and poor adoption when initially incorporating a new electronic document management system based on a users existing workflow. The user interface matches an agents common mental model of creating offers and reviewing multi page PDFs. The user interface, as well as the form factor of the tablet, make the agents and clients feel as though they are working with physical paperwork without the hassle of printing and scanning. The application respects the user and their existing workflow; focusing on a simple UI with recognizable forms, scrollable pages, and organizational tools. Furthermore, by incorporating live previews and cursive signatures we help visualize the offer, solidifying the ease of using mobile apps.

DealTap is an electronic document management tool for agents. To sign and share live real estate agreements from anywhere in the world, visit DealTap.ca

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