Mydoma Studio, interior design business management software originally released in 2015, is set to receive an upgrade early this spring. The new release, called Malbec, will include features like managing multiple spaces within a single project; and inviting multiple clients and stakeholders to participate in a project. The cloud-based software as a service company helps designers organize projects, manage and receive payments, collaborate with clients and staff, create and manage shopping lists, receive digital contract signoff and market design packages.
“Collaboration has really been key for our team, both internally and in how we design our software’s user experience,” says Marco Distefano, the company’s director of sales and strategic partnerships. “Working closely with our customers and external partners has helped us learn about the variety of ways different designers work and helped us to create an experience that is entirely seamless for design professionals, their teams, their clients and other stakeholders. While still user-friendly and simple enough for smaller teams and solo entrepreneurs to use, this new release will also be more suitable to the needs of larger design/build teams. We’re very excited.”
Sarah Daniele, CEO of Mydoma Studio and herself a former interior designer, chats with EAL about the latest developments.
Walk us through the original creation of Mydoma Studio.
What were you responding to? Originally, it was a personal need. I was running my own interior design business and had also previously worked in design/build and kitchen and bath design. I recognized the struggle to manage client expectations and admin work while trying to grow my business. Design professionals are expected to wear many hats—from marketing expert to marriage counselor.
With the rise of Houzz and Pinterest, the expectations of clients changed, and clients wanted to work with their designer online in some capacity. The vision was to give design professionals a tool that allowed them to minimize the time spent on admin work, improve client communication/collaboration and allow them to focus on designing and growing their businesses. The existing tools were inefficient, and sending emails with attachments lead to communication errors with clients, which often resulted in costly mistakes.
How does the new version forward—or improve upon—that original idea?
We believe collaboration is key. Whether you’re working with clients, trades or vendors, working as a team is truly the secret sauce to a successful project. With the new version, we’ve improved the ability to collaborate with key project stakeholders. The new version also offers improved organization for larger projects. Our user base has given us a lot of inspiration here. With users in 30-plus countries, we’re realizing that the way different designers work and the types of projects they take on are really varied. A single project for a client can have multiple spaces and components to it, so the new version will be better equipped to address that need.
What new features are you adding?
We’re adding “user roles,” which will allow for custom user permissions. In the original version, we have the ability to invite your client and your team members to collaborate. We’ve kicked things up a few notches, and you can now add any additional stakeholders and multiple clients in to participate in the project where they are needed. For example, you may want to invite in a kitchen cabinet supplier who needs access to the kitchen floor plan and sketches/concept drawings but not other parts of the project. You’ll be able to control what different users see and do.
What are some of the existing (or new) features your users are most appreciative of? What are some of the features they’ve been asking for?
They’ve been asking for additional user roles and the ability to invite multiple clients (like a husband and wife for example) to a project, so we think they’ll really appreciate this new feature. They’ve also been asking for the ability to include multiple spaces in a single project, and the newest version will be able to do this. They’ve also been asking for more customized notes/tasks.
As a relatively new company, we’ve been able to grow a very dedicated customer base who have stuck by us during our growth phase. Up until this point, smaller feature updates like the ability to embed questionnaires have always been made with our customers’ feedback in mind, and this is no different, except that it’s on a much larger scale to really meet the diverse and changing needs of interior design professionals.