User-centred web development created Lomaunelmia webservice in record time

“Huld’s strength is definitely their broad range of expertise. When we started building our new business and its digital platform, we were surprised how much know-how it would require. We knew Huld would be the right choice for us based on our previous cooperation.” – Mikko Kivimäki, CEO of Bureau Real Estate Finland Oy, Founder of Lomaunelmia Oy.

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Lomaunelmia Oy’s founders have a long history in real estate business. When they saw a need in the market for cost efficient and easy-to-use webservice for renting vacation cottages, they took action.

The Lomaunelmia webservice would be agilely developed into a platform for buying and renting vacation cottages both cost-efficiently and in a user-friendly manner. Lomaunelmia Oy chose Huld as their partner as they had previously created the Bureau Real Estate Finland Oy’s real estate service for business premises with good results.

“We had the concept for both the new business idea and the digital platform it would be using. The journey from an idea into a concrete webservice needed someone to make it into reality. Huld’s broad know-how, fluent project management and skillful team were the key factors in making it happen. – Mikko Kivimäki, Founder, Lomaunelmia Oy.

Agile business and service design

Lomaunelmia webservice was to be developed agilely and in a firm schedule while taking the end-users’ needs into account. Huld’s Design Puzzle was chosen as the method of development as it is a modular design model that utilises the methodology of Design Thinking.

With Design Puzzle the development was initiated quickly and with the focus on the product’s usability. A concrete prototype was built in a few weeks, and the product’s functions were tested with real users from outside of the organisation. The smart project management and a suitable amount of feedback rounds and workshops at the project’s early stage helped the developers avoid unnecessary work.

“The main principle of our cooperation was ‘simple is beautiful’. When the development work is done in sprints and by listening to the end-users, the developers won’t be spending time working on something that later turns out to be unnecessary or even something that does not work. Developing the service with Design Puzzle guarantees that the end-users’ expectations are fulfilled.” – Anniina Heikkilä, Consultant, Huld.

User-centred webservice development

User interface workshops, together with queries and end-user interviews, created a stable basis for the webservice development. The work got underway quickly after the users’ needs were defined and uncertainty factors and risks resulting from the software’s complexity had been identified.

The developers utilized the methods of scrum in their work. Feedback was collected for each iteration and necessary changes were made as the project progressed. Soon the webservice had its PoC (Proof of Concept) launched. This was a pilot version of the software with limited features designed to be used in a test environment.

“When we are creating something new, we need a vision for the product and software development. Little by little and one development cycle after another the concept of the webservice was made clearer and more concrete.” – Mikko Kivimäki, Founder, Lomaunelmia Oy.

User-friendly webservice for providing vacation cottages

Half a year after the project had started, the Lomaunelmia webservice was ready for piloting. Using the initial version with limited features, the service was tested in a controlled way, while at the same time gathering feedback for the software’s future iterations. This collaboration with Huld continues to this day as part of a continuing development work.

“The project proceeded very fluently. In six months, we were able to develop a business idea into an application that is clearly standing out on the markets. This is thanks to excellent project leadership and the active and collaborative stance of people working on the project. People at Huld were treating this project as if it was their own, and it was really showing.” – Mikko Kivimäki, Founder, Lomaunelmia Oy.