The Lay of the Land

Go iLawn had a good foundation of functionality, but if GIS Dynamics wanted to capture more market share, they needed their mobile rebuild to please their existing user base and be accessible to new users. We designed and developed an onboarding system that aided customer retention and trial subscription conversions.

01 / context & considerations

GIS Dynamics' flagship product, Go iLawn, required a stack update and visual refresh to meet the changing demands of landscapers who use it to measure properties and provide quotes rapidly. The software, utilizing flyover and satellite imagery in a higher fidelity that wasn't offered by competitors, already offered convenience, saving time in quoting for landscaping jobs. However, these tasks were limited to office use. For the next iteration, GIS Dynamics aimed to enable on-the-go operations, allowing measurements on tablets and phones. Designing such functionality for a drawing app required careful consideration.


Go iLawn and its sister products commanded a lot of loyalty from its existing customers, but the road to proficiency with the tool was a long one for most users. The piecemeal addition of features over time led to a whole that wasn't always cohesive and left some functionality obscured. Video tutorials were available (and frequently promoted) explaining complex tools and workflows in the previous app, but users seldom took advantage of these materials. In our redesign, we needed to take a considered approach to how we structured and nested drawing tools as well as how we would cue users in on their behavior.

The original incarnation of GoiLawn was first released in 2009 and needed a functional and user experience refresh.

02 / process

As the development team integrated drawing and imaging libraries into our tech stack, a junior designer and I researched the competitive landscape and similar products to understand GIS Dynamics' customers' needs. I took the insights drawn from that exercise and those drawn from our kickoff story mapping session with the client and created a user flow document that would give us a birds-eye view of our product development goals. This groundwork facilitated discussions about the app's architecture, natural progression leading to our MVP, and allowed me to assume the lead in project management when the previous team lead transitioned out.

Following our story mapping session, I composed a user flow document to help tie everything together and track our overall progress.

03 / solution

While keeping UI elements that needed to be on screen at any time spare was key to faciliate mobile use, we introduced contextual help cues for when various tools were active. I also worked with the client to map out a walkthrough, then used a combination of JavaScript and SVG masking to simulate software use and guide a new user through the process of measuring a property.

A few examples of contextual help and informational elements tied to drawn shapes in the user interface.

By the conclusion of our first engagement with GIS Dynamics, beta users that were drawn from the existing Go iLawn user base enjoyed the new look-and-feel and were eager to continue using the product.

A video made by the sales team at GIS Dynamics that shows what a first-time user would encounter when logging into the app.