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Propel VenturesMar 29, 2023 3:32:32 PM3 min read

Linkly: Delivering a seamless UI refresh, with a lasting impact on design and QA practices

User experience is a game-changer for Linkly. As Australia and New Zealand’s leading supplier of integrated payment solutions, Linkly is dedicated to creating unique payment moments, both in-store and online. 

The company is renowned for its rock-solid middleware applications that connect Point of Sale (POS) systems, payment terminals and banking platforms. While Linkly Online has a long-standing presence in the Australian payments industry and processes more than 10% of card-not-present transactions across the country.

So, while embarking on a recent UX refresh, Linkly wanted to collaborate with a partner that could accelerate the project’s velocity, deliver an outstanding user experience and bring leadership in quality assurance practices. That partner was Propel.


Building a consistent UI/UX

In the last couple of years, the Linkly platform has grown drastically in scale and functionality — currently handling more than two billion in-store and online transactions annually. Linkly’s product and design team intended to roll out the new UX while at the same time maintaining scheduled feature releases and compliance changes.

In order to create the best possible experience, Linkly decided to bring in a partner with expertise in user-centred design, that could understand the multitude of ways customers interact with the product, and create an intuitive interface to match. That’s when they engaged Propel. 


Simply another Linkly team

Propel teams work like a franchise of a company’s existing teams. In practice, this meant Propel operated inside Linkly’s existing system of work and alongside their own teams, just as if they were another Linkly team. 

Propel provides intact product teams which are self-managed, able to become productive quickly, and take full ownership of the work.

Tony Young, Chief Technology Officer at Linkly said Propel’s focus on outcomes was key to the success of the project.

“Quite often when you work with external partners the engagement centres around burn down charts and hourly rates. With Propel, the focus was always about what was right for the product and how to best achieve our goals,” said Tony Young.

“The project was run like a partnership, the level of trust and proficiency on both sides meant we could fully embrace an agile approach.”

Streamlining the process to save time

For Propel, it wasn’t just about jumping onto the project, delivering the UI update, then leaving. When our team saw opportunities to recommend process improvements for Linkly, they acted on it.

One of the immediate challenges our team recognised was the number of queries being asked of Linkly’s product and design team. Changes in design updates and important design specifics were causing lots of rework in the development process. 

The Propel team cut down on rework and variations by regularly running quick shoulder check sessions with the Linkly product and design team to promptly triage changes on both sides. This also reduced the amount of queries going to the designer, so they could balance their workload more effectively. 

“I really enjoyed working with the Propel team. The efficiency was outstanding and I was able to learn so much from them,” commented Rebecca Von Meyer, Agile Project Lead at Linkly.

Opening the lines of communication

Early in the project, Linkly’s QA practice was at times slowed down by communication silos. Defects were raised and it would take up to 24 hours for developers to be notified. 

Propel worked to break down the silos and open more direct communication channels with the QA team. This meant the team could triage defects as they arose and get a quicker turnaround time on tickets.

“Propel was great at fitting into our way of working, but they also found ways to uplift our team's practices and processes, and bring people on the journey of making those improvements,” said Tony Young. 

“We really appreciated the added value working with Propel provided. There are many things our team learned and can apply from this point onwards.”


Leaving a lasting impact

Working with Propel accelerated the delivery of five modules, while allowing the Linkly team to maintain major software releases and updates. 

But equally valuable to the project’s progress are the long-term improvements Propel has introduced to the design and QA process. 

“Propel’s skills leadership and product knowledge I found to be quite exceptional. They took on a larger role, contributing their guidance in other areas to drive better product management practice,” said Tony Young.