Before focusing solely on the mobile product I was the designer on the custom enterprise software that ran Plated. Before I arrived at Plated there was little design done to the system beyond just the getting things to work. Below is the basic area of need where the software operates.
Some lessons learned from the experience
Testing and prototyping
Due to the nature of the software and the business cycle, we could not interrupt the day-to-day process with design prototypes for fear of malfunctions. A live data sandbox was created where we could design, prototype, and test with real users on a regular basis. By having the design process embedded within the system itself, there was less room for error when it come on the nuances of a proprietary system.
The flexibility of the system allowed for testing with many of the typical users of the system across the US. In total there would only be around 15–30 people with access to the system, and we had the ability to speak with every one of them.
Note: Due to the proprietary nature of this work and that Plated is still an active company, I can not share and designs or specifics. :/