Optica Benchmarks Search


Redesign the search screen of our private investment benchmarking application to reflect an easy to use interface that solves common user frustrations.  Add additional features that were requested by users.  Apply the updated, modern user-interface standards.


In the initial discovery with business, we sorted the business priorities and worked collaboratively on a script to use in the initial round of user interviews.  This helped us identify both the priorities for the business and identified the top user frustrations and opportunities to improve the experience. The focus during the redesign was to add these features:

  • Public market equivalents
  • Report configuration before report is run, to save time re-processing
  • Preview of common calculations, to save the time of running elaborate reports

The user interviews identified the following features to be added or addressed:

  • Create an easier method of selecting vintage years to account for a wide variety of needs
  • Awareness of possible capitalization options, rather than giving them free reign
  • Easily save, schedule and share criteria
  • Better awareness, easier input of asset class, geography and industry focus

To solve the main concerns, we put data modes and settings in a top ribbon.  We also turned the selections to either sliders, used to expose the data options available as well as speed the entry.  We also explored several options to both educate and select multiple asset classes, for example.  We decided that a type-to-search input with a hierarchical dropdown of options that create a series of chips in the input was the best way to enter and educate at the same time. We tested the results with users and had some confusion still about the way that the labels were communicating the different settings.  We decided to add a (question mark) icon in line with the label that would help users confused by the label with a popup tooltip describing our terminology.  This was after concluding that there is simply no industry standard way of communicating the concepts that would account for the varying levels of expertise of our users.


The utilization of the new report configuration was well adopted and utilized at a steadily increasing rate to land at about 20% of visits utilizing the feature. Average time on selection screen reduced from high 2 minutes to approximately 20-30 seconds.  There was also a 30% decrease in reports run due to the addition of the preview option, saving undetermined amounts of time and processing capacity.  It, along with the Optica Manager Research redesign of search, allowed us to renegotiate our server capacity, saving us several thousand per month.