Rapid consensus on UI design
Improve the efficiency of building consensus around UI design and reduce rework
Cost-effectively develop sales promotion tools in-house
Produce quality internal communications at lower costs
Rapid consensus on UI design
In-house team increases responsiveness and reduces costs
Reduced rate of design miscommunication and rework
Faster social posting with mobile app
Member of the System Development Group, Yayoi Co., Ltd.
As one of Japan’s leading software companies, Yayoi Co., Ltd. is best known for its top-selling Yayoi accounting software. Its various business software packages, including Yayoi Accounting and Yayoi Blue Filing, are widely used by small and mid-sized companies, sole proprietors, and entrepreneurs and have held top market share for 17 years. Yayoi has more than 1.4 million registered users and holds a strong position as one of Japan’s superior business software makers.
As part of a growing trend of ‘business concierge’ services, companies today are developing services that go above and beyond what traditional business software developers offer. In keeping with this trend, Yayoi is proactively rolling out cloud-based accounting software, such as Yayoi Accounting Online.
Striving for an even higher level of convenience, Yayoi provides cloud services that can be used with packaged products in a hybrid manner, such as allowing collaborative operation on data shared with the accounting office, or smart transaction importing, which allows transaction details to be automatically loaded into an accounting database from financial institutions.
“Our customers don’t just want to use our software,” says Yoko Taniguchi, Marketing Communication Team PR Lead at Yayoi. “Their goal is to carry out their work in a way that drives business success. With this in mind, we are promoting additional services not traditionally supported by a help desk, such as consulting with customers on setting up bookkeeping categories.”
One of the reasons that Yayoi’s products have been widely adopted by small businesses is that the company’s user interfaces (UIs) are intuitive, even for people without business experience. The UI plays a major role in producing easy-to-use software. Changes to the UI can affect the software’s internal logic, which makes it necessary to nail down the UI at the software definition phase.
One particular challenge in UI design is achieving consensus among the stakeholders. It is common for consensus on the UI to be worked out on paper before software development begins. As a result, the finished product is often different than people imagined.
Yoshifumi Tanaka, a member of Yayoi’s system development group explains, “In UI design, it’s critical to build consensus among stakeholder groups, such as development, marketing, and the customer center. Until now, we have printed out materials we created using productivity software and done presentations. But we always found it difficult to really convey the actual design to the stakeholders. We tried a variety of methods, such as UI prototype development, but we didn’t really get a benefit worth the extra process. We thought a lot about whether there was a simpler way to build consensus.”
In the midst of this, Mr. Tanaka came across Adobe’s UI design tool Adobe XD. Yayoi uses Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, so Mr. Tanaka was familiar with Adobe creative tools and decided to adopt Adobe XD because it operated in a similar way.
According to Mr. Tanaka, a major advantage of Adobe XD is being able to physically maneuver screen operations. “From the presenter’s end, the biggest benefit of Adobe XD is the ability for people to actually experience and see what happens when you click a button on the screen,” he says. “No matter how much you explain a concept with paper or words, there are always limitations. But if reviewers can actually see it, they can understand the materials more clearly. Since the implementation of Adobe XD, the rate of miscommunication has dropped by 20%, and it saves a lot of time.”
Another feature that Mr. Tanaka likes is the ability to share designs, including the screen transitions, with a simple link. Creating a shared link and sending it to the stakeholders enables them to check the UI operation on their browsers.
Yayoi also actively promotes bringing the production of sales promotion tools, websites, and company newsletters in-house for faster completion and cost reduction. Ms. Nakagawa, a member of the Yayoi communications team, is involved in website coding and banner production using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
“When creating a website, we outsource the production of graphical elements, but creating, editing, and updating banners is typically done in-house,” says Ms. Nakagawa. “Sometimes we also create new pages from the ground up in-house. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is very easy to use. One example is adjustment layers in Adobe Photoshop, which control the overall adjustment of an image’s color or hue. Moving to Adobe Creative Cloud has contributed to increased work efficiency.”
Aya Asatani, a member of the communication team who handles sales promotion tools and internal communications, gives high praise to Adobe Creative Cloud services such as Adobe Creative Cloud Market, which provides icons and vector-based illustrations, and Adobe Stock, which provides more than 60 million high-quality images.
“Yayoi has a long history as a successful business software developer, which can sometimes give the impression of being old-fashioned,” says Ms. Asatani. “We work hard to eliminate that stereotype and convey the message that we have cutting-edge capabilities that our competitors don’t. The same is true of our internal communications that we create completely in-house. Unlike with sales promotion tools, we have limited budget for internal communications. So, being able to use high-quality illustrations and photographs available through Adobe Creative Cloud Market and Adobe Stock at a low cost is a big help to us.”
Ms. Taniguchi is investigating Adobe Photoshop Fix, a mobile app available through Adobe Creative Cloud. She anticipates that being able to conduct the entire social media process, including capturing, editing, and uploading photos from one app, should result in faster information delivery and a more immersive social media experience.
“Previously, I had to take photos at events and then return to the office to adjust brightness or change the size before uploading them on social media, which took a lot of time and effort,” says Ms. Taniguchi. “Using Adobe Photoshop Fix will enable me to do these things in the field, which is very convenient. And since we can only install apps that have been approved by the company on company-issued phones, we will have no problem installing Adobe’s mobile apps.”
Yayoi plans to continue utilizing Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to improve efficiency for client work.