In the world of software consulting, the technological toolbox we can pull from changes and grows constantly. Sometimes, these changes are largely fundamental, reconfiguring the logic that drives the application itself, while other times, these changes extend the creative capability and display. For many software consultants and developers, it is very easy to get lost in the logic that provides the end-to-end functionality of the solution that is getting delivered. The harsh reality of this fact is, more times than not, the customer or client that is on the receiving end of the incredibly complex, efficient and performative you spend hours developing, will not be able to truly appreciate what is be delivered if the visual appeal and aesthetic of it is bland and lacking.

Some of the most overlooked aspects of the development process are the ones that are easiest to implement. Sure, you can build a solution that does exactly what you need it, but if the look of it is only as exciting as black font on a white page, you can leave your customer wondering what exactly they paid for. By taking the time to add a creative touch to a solution, you can truly provide your customer with an experience that is professional, and feels tailored to their business. Fortunately, applications like Microsoft’s Power BI, and Dynamics365, set you up with a wide range of abilities to add creative aspects that elevate your projects without putting in a whole lot of effort.

Microsoft Dynamics365 is one of the top CRM products out on the market. It provides an extremely customizable interface to allow users to track their customers, contacts, quotes, products and so much more. If a user is implementing a CRM experience for the first time, the developer has all the resources necessary to create a solution that is properly formatted to their client’s needs. On the other hand, if a client is transitioning from one CRM solution to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the customization capabilities allow a developer to make that transition seamless. Instead of haphazardly placing fields and lists all about a record’s entry form, taking the time to place fields in the same order as an existing solution can provide of sense of familiarity that has true intrinsic value for that client. By considering the flow and sequence of the customizations you make, the value that can be provided can be significant.

In a different direction, an application like Microsoft’s Power BI and PowerApps have an even greater ability to extend creativity. For those who have not experienced Power BI before, this application is a major reporting tool that can change any typical report into a dynamic and exciting experience. Instead of those bland tabular reports every company is used to, Power BI delivers and ability to display data across a wide range of visuals. From bar chats, to line graphs, to geocoded maps, to matrices with multiple levels of hierarchal data being presented, there are truly a tremendous amount of ways that a user can display their data in this warehouse. A developer could spend hours working on some highly sophisticated DAX (the custom code that created data measures) to present data in a way that a business may not have ever had visibility to before. However, if it is presented in the same boring way as that business’s prior tabular reports, what would be exciting about that? Taking the time to apply certain color themes or alter the display aspects of the report can show your customer exactly why they are spending their money to purchase something awesome from your firm.

As technology continues to get more complex with an increasing ability to achieve larger and wider business goals, the solutions that can continue to be developed consistently are changing. However, the visual appeal of these solutions cannot get lost in the highly intricate logic that powers them. By taking a small amount of time to provide solutions with a “face-lift”, you can completely change the experience users go through. And, these users will be happy having paid for a solution that both delivers, and looks good while doing it too. All in all, there is a dollar amount that can be assigned to adding visual value to any client project.