I was a Product Design Intern at StructionSite, a construction technology company revolutionizing the way teams capture, organize, and access jobsite data.

I designed, co-developed, and launched a quantity takeoff import feature that saved $50,000/year in customer acquisition costs.


Product design
Front-end development

1 developer

Jul - Aug 2021
(4 weeks)


SmartTrack was StructionSite's product which intelligently tracked construction work. For customers to pilot SmartTrack, their construction plan needed to be digitally replicated on our platform.

The replication process was composed of two steps:

  1. Draw shapes in SmartTrack that match the customer's existing files
  2. Assign those shapes properties based on the customer's requirements

The Challenge

With customer files containing thousands of shapes, this process spanned multiple weeks and cost tens of thousands of dollars in external contractors. This delay resulted in trial customers failing to see the value of SmartTrack, leading to high average customer acquisition cost and poor customer experience.

Defining Success

I began by interviewing five users to better understand their pain points. I also set up a project myself to better empathize with the frustrations expressed.

From those conversations, I centered the success of this project around these goals:


Maximize efficiency

The most critical goal was to reduce the time required to setup each customer project. The shorter the process, the lower our customer acquisition cost becomes.


Improve intuitiveness

Aligning the mental model of SmartTrack's features, modes, and tooling with construction industry standards would improve setup accuracy.


Reduce frustration

Users are able to easily amend mistakes and accomplish their tasks without interruption.

The A-ha Moment

My belief that there had to be a better way to set up projects was confirmed when one of the users stated this:

"The ideal state of SmartTrack is being able to import customers' existing data. Importing customers' files would be nice to have as a baseline, and then it's just verification afterwards."

James Ofczarzak, SmartTrack's customer success manager

Instead of manually duplicating all of the customer's data into SmartTrack, let's import it instead!

Technical Exploration

Before sketching out any designs, I first needed to validate if such an import feature was possible. I created a simple file in one of the most popular construction tracking programs and opened the exported PDF in Notepad.

To my delight, it had all of the information I needed. All of the vertices and properties were available as plain text in Bluebeam Revu's exports.

Pivoting for Impact

Prior to detailing this option further, I wanted to ensure that we were building the most impactful file import option. After discussing with our customer success manager, I discovered that over 90% of our current SmartTrack customers submitted files from a different program.

To maximize the value gained from a first iteration of this feature, I decided to pivot to importing from this more popular program instead.

Through a similar process as before, I validated that necessary information was available within this program's exports.

Defining a User Flow

I created a user flow to better define the scope of the solution I was building. This also gave me the perfect opportunity to receive early feedback from stakeholders and validate feasibility with developers.

Refining for Production

After iterating on design explorations based on weekly product and design team meeting feedback, the project was green-lit for production and I was provided with one engineer to pair with for a week.

I prepared a specifications doc of the user interfaces and parsing algorithms necessary for hand-off in Notion. After discussing with my engineer, I realized I was missing two key pieces: we could only import one page from the customer file at a time, and there were non-trivial loading times.

Thus, I needed to revise my user flow to:

The Final Design

No more manual replication of customer projects.

Import them perfectly in seconds.


Begin the import process by clicking "Import QTO" (QTO being quantity-takeoff, the industry term for the customer file).

File selection

Select the customer file on your computer, and we'll smoothly load its contents. We've used a modal because you need to complete the import before doing anything else, but you can cancel the process at any time.

Page selection

After the file loads, search for and select the page you want to import the contents of.

Import complete

As easy as that, you've imported a perfect replica of the customer file in SmartTrack, automatically selected for positioning. We've provided a confirmation to let you know just how much time you saved!

The Big Reveal

After the feature was released to production under a feature flag, I demoed it live to the solutions engineer and customer success manager who inspired the concept. They were very, very excited.

This is probably the single most functionally developed feature that I've seen in my time here that will fundamentally change how we do SmartTrack. This is pretty freakin' cool. Just drop out of school and stay here man!

Adam Della Monica, SmartTrack's solution engineer

Their reaction was so positive that I later presented at StructionSite's All-Hands meeting, to even louder acclamation.

The Launch

After some additional bug testing, we launched the import feature.

The import feature exceeded my original goals. It reduced setup time from days to mere seconds. By aligning with existing industry standards, it enabled perfect accuracy. It did not simply reduce frustration, but now users were excited to set up projects.

Time to pilot setup completion decreased by 88%

Customer acquisition cost decreased by $50,000/year

Post-setup corrections decreased by 27%

(actual values omitted for confidentiality reasons)



Approach the impossible

Even if a feature seems infeasible, try to prove it out. Some of the best features come from simple experiments.


Get your hands dirty

My software development experience is just as applicable to the early proof-of-concept phases as it is to developer handoff. Leveraging existing data to increase product value is a tool that I will carry forward.


User joy is the greatest reward

Seeing how this feature has fundamentally improved so many users' lives brings an inescapable smile to my face. It feels so, so good to help others!

Next project

Jayden Hsiao - Designer & Developer