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Customer Story

Sage Clears Digital Balance Sheet with Carbon React-Driven UX Redesign

Multinational SaaS provider employs Agile and Kanban ways of working; revamps accounting software with cleaner design and UX interface resulting in happier customers

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Business | IT

PGS Software | Part of Xebia

Sage is a British multinational SaaS group specializing in cloud-based accounting, payroll, and payment systems for small and medium businesses around the world. The company was founded in 1981 in Newcastle upon Tyne by David Goldman, Paul Muller, and Graham Wylie. The latter was a student at Newcastle University who wrote the initial software for a graphics company which then turned into Sage. While headquarters remain in Newcastle, Sage has offices in 24 countries with 11,000 employees. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is part of the FTSE 100 Index. It has an annual revenue of over GBP 1 billion.

To ensure all products and platforms are user-friendly, recognizable, and easy to use with shorter build times
Employ Carbon React to create a component library that aligns with continuous integration and application deployment
Implement system design to create rules for the component library

Find a Common Look and Feel

While Sage’s technical landscape and customer base had grown immensely, its platform was in need of a UX upgrade—one that would also allow for easier deployment of apps with shorter testing cycles and faster release times. The existing accounting software lacked a recognizable, easy-to-use interface. It needed a redesign so that developers and customers alike could use the software quickly and easily on all platforms. Sage wanted to upgrade the platform design using Carbon React and contracted Xebia to help them complete the task, using kanban and Agile ways of working.

Create a Clean Interface

As an open-source software, part of Sage’s appeal lay in its flexibility for developers. Developers and customers alike have the freedom to build and design easy-to-use solutions. However, this flexibility resulted in a confusing, if not overwhelming, number of options that cluttered the Sage library. To streamline this and create a cleaner, more optimized interface, Sage and Xebia worked in tandem with Clean React components to build a component library. The process involved using Clean React as a backbone for the library with Xebia and Sage developers working with the consumer in mind to define and refine each step along the way.

“Xebia has greatly helped Sage build cloud software for small businesses and accountants to collaborate online and help them run their businesses. We work closely together in designing, building, and testing so that our customers are happy with the experience of using our cloud products.”
sage logo
Paul Regnart Engineering Manager

Agile in Practice and Collaboration

Continuous deployment and integration in a cloud-based environment was paramount for Sage in its journey towards a better customer experience. The component library proved not only a boon for faster development cycles and user-friendly access, it also gave Sage a firm grasp of Agile work habits. Working with Xebia as a coherent unit produced tangible, usable results faster. Moreover, employing Carbon’s code and design systems to define rules and specifications flattened build time and increased quality assurance automation. This was done in part by moving Carbon’s code to Typescript, ensuring thorough documentation. As a result, Sage’s various digital products have a consistent look and feel, with a thoughtful UX design that customers appreciate.

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