Screaming Circuits: Online Ordering Made Easy
Screaming Circuits was one of the first in their field to offer an online quoting system for their product. However, ten years later it was too rigid to provide useful information to customers, didn’t allow their team to be more efficient, and wasn't optimized for mobile. To address this, the Screaming Circuits team had a goal of creating a database structure that would be more integrated with their customer service engine. This would then allow for a more robust application for customers to manage their online orders and quotes, give them the ability to help themselves, and connect directly with the Screaming Circuits team when issues arise.
The biggest task for the project was to gain a solid understanding of the online quoting process. Using a complex, logic-based form, a customer can build out the needs of their PCB prototype via a three-step process. They have many ordering choices to make, from exact parts and their placement, to the type of board they want fabricated (down to details such as silkscreen color, thickness, routing length, etc.) and lastly, a set of requirements for assembly. This complexity required us to work closely with the Screaming Circuits team. In design, we collaborated in sketching and working sessions to test ideas, throw new ideas on the table, and ensure we were challenging every solution. In development, our front-end and back-end teams paired with the API team at Screaming Circuits to continuously check in on development of both pieces, discussing requirements and needs.
Because the criteria in the steps of the quoting process were dependent on each other, the customer-facing application needed to continuously check against rules laid out in the API to ensure projects were being built correctly. To complete this, the team chose to use Ember.js to create a single page application that would allow customers to go through an entire build and make changes and revisions at any time, and see pricing and turnaround times instantaneously. Now, the application runs smoothly on Ember, and gives the Screaming Circuits team flexibility to continue with their project plans as they work towards the integrated customer channel approach.