Partnering with a security and risk consultancy, Browser developed a bespoke, in-house document portal, allowing analysts and project managers to securely exchange data and reports with clients. The product, named Portal, allowed the client to evolve a new line of business and position itself as the market leader within its sector.

A person uses a document portal on a laptop
The finished product needed to balance engaging user experience against user access security.
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The brief

The security and risk industry relies on the exchange of high-level reports between analysts and clients. Our client challenged Browser to help it move this exchange out of the email inbox and onto a secure, wholely owned platform. The end goal was to enhance security, improve the information workflow for the client, and to make the process more transparent for the client’s customers.

Truly understanding and defining the objectives of the end users at the start of the project was key. It gave us the strong foundation we needed to make sure we delivered value for the client.

James Blizzard Technical Director
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The Approach

To deliver a solution fit for professionals, we had to understand their current workflow fully. We led a series of discovery interviews, workshops, and surveys with three user groups: customers, analysts and project managers. We found that these users had three key jobs they wanted to do: launch projects, store documents and visualize project data. These tasks would become the basis of Portal’s features.

A visualisation of the elements involved in a discovery phase
Through a series of workshops, our discovery phase helps paint a true picture of the project's requirements.

We also found that end users were concerned with the client’s desire that the document portal be security focused. To them, this sounded like a barrier to their work of retrieving information quickly from the system. As a result, we undertook multiple phases of prototyping to ensure we were designing a user interface that end users felt was efficient, without compromising the client’s brief.

As technology advances, so do threats. Safeguarding data relies on both highly skilled technical architecture, and human intervention. This can only be maintained by ongoing security training – something we identified as being key to maintaining the continued success of Portal.

John Beck Strategy Director
A person types on the keyboard of a laptop
Humans have moved ahead of machines as the top target for hackers. We used two-step authentication to mitigate that risk.
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The solution

Portal was designed around three core features: Analysis, Projects and Collaborations. These apps were designed to balance security, functionality and user experience, in a way that helped the professionals using the platform share high-level content, manage projects and get work done.

Every project in Portal has its own reports feed, automatically pulling news data and updates from around the world related to that project. This feature is integrated with TextRazor’s natural language processing tools to automatically analyse and dismiss non-relevant articles.

Document portal file upload example
Document portal invite users example
Document portal invoice feature example

The user interface was designed to make secure communication seamless. Within Projects, users can pack messages, documents and reports into an encrypted dossier with a few clicks. Designated recipients decrypt these using Google Authenticator.

The Browser team work in their open plan office in Shoreditch
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The results

At the end of the project, we had built a completely new way of working, with security at the forefront – all without compromising usability. The end result not only provided the client with a secure document portal, but also provided them:

  • An evolving product that can accommodate new features
  • A new line of business – providing technology services to their clients
  • A position as market leader within their sector
Example screen grab of document portal analytics module

Portal is a private network application designed and built to provide the client with a secure, in-house tool for sharing, processing and collaborating on data and documents across multiple locations.

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