Maintenance Actionable Insight

Alfred was in a unique market position to create a seamless living experience by serving both residents and building owners and operators. Maintenance was one of the most crucial service activities and interactions between building operators and residents. However, Property Managers and Maintenance Personnel do not have all the essential capabilities to manage maintenance requests effectively at a building in AlfredOS (Alfred’s building operating platform).

Initial Release

Setting the Foundation

We conducted an initial discovery to learn about the maintenance workflows and addressed some quick wins, such as commonly known usability issues that did not require a heavy uplift to meet customers’ immediate needs.

  • Simple additional role permission
  • Information filtering
  • Notifications of service status
  • Mobile usability

Continuous Discovery

Adoption Enablement

With the insights we gathered from the initial discovery, we learned that the improvements implemented did not fully meet our building operator customers’ needs to enable further adoption of the tool. Building operators must proactively and reactively manage maintenance work for the buildings in communication, planning, insight, prioritization, and most importantly, resident satisfaction.

To ensure we gain more related insights and help build a culture of learning from our users regularly, I introduced the Atomic research framework to our team and created a research plan to define the objectives of our secondary discovery.

To understand the needs and goals of our users, specifically when scheduling and managing preventive maintenance work orders.

Identify our maintenance users’ primary pain points and opportunities for improving their work efficiency when managing preventative maintenance.

Conducting the research

I led the discovery by conducting 8 remote sessions of interviews with users that are a mix of different market segments, familiarity with PMS tools, and roles. A contextual inquiry is also conducted in a partner customer’s resident property to capture finer nuances of the daily operations of maintenance staff.

Design Process

It turned out the problems are beyond just a facelift of the product. We were actually challenging the mindset of enterprise software only meant to be useful and utilitarian.


  • Reduce design time and engineering effort on new projects
  • Improve the overall quality of design solutions
  • Facilitate communication between designers and developers
  • Educate and onboard designers & developers 


  • Design principles 
  • Components library
  • Roadmap
  • Operation & process

Result & Impact

By the end of 2018, we updated the whole HB product platform with a fresh look with the new core visual styling, and the majority of all new features, such as Budgeting & Capital Planning, have adopted almost 100% of the components from the Design Language System.