White Pine Sales operates a growing Diamond Auction that is changing the way the diamond industry trades. We designed and developed a custom web-based software that would manage the auctions and automate complex manual processes. Before the system was built, White Pine had been managing the entire auction process with a number of very large and complex spreadsheets that listed Sellers, Buyers and their respective lots and bids. They manually tracked it’s progress and, once an auction had been completed, painstakingly calculated out the outcome. This approach left a lot of room for manual error which forced their team to triple check everything they did, adding considerable time to the process and restricting their ability to scale.
Because of the uniqueness of their business needs a lot of details needed to get nailed down. We dove deep into White Pine’s Auction structure to understand the ins and outs of their process before we even thought about UX or UI.
To do this we spent a lot of time with their employees learning about the complex combination of processes that made up their current Auction Structure. Together we were able to define the pain points that needed improvement as well as positive elements that could be improved upon. We also needed to understand their business goals and makes sure that the system took into account future growth and change.
This gave us the insight needed to start bouncing some ideas back and forth and working together to draft a UX document that outlined the entire structure of the software and all of it’s moving parts.
How we built it
The UX document served as a guide for extensive wireframing that visualized the entire process and helped our teams determine the overall structure of the software. Zen Framework and ExJS were used to build out the complex system. For calculating the results of each Auction, a custom algorithm was built using the Python programming language then integrated into the systems processes.
First, we tested the system manually, running through the entire auctions as well as recreating specific case scenarios. We also built an Auction Simulator that automatically created and ran auctions populated with randomized data. The simulator not only ran the entire auction from start to end but it was also able to analyze the outcome, making sure that the algorithm and the system both worked properly.
After all the hard work, the system we built helps White Pine efficiently manage their auction process from beginning to end, allowing them to focus on improving and expanding their business. them to focus on improving and expanding their business.