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Ask the Expert: Steven Nettleingham, Relayware Front-end Developer

We’re constantly working to keep our channel partner application designs fresh and current

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Ask the Expert: Steven Nettleingham, Relayware Front-end Developer

On the Topic of Great Partner Portals

Question: Tell me about your start with Relayware.

Nettleingham: At University I studied multi-media technology and design. There were 2 parts to my degree -- 3D modeling and web design, and I discovered that I am deeply interested in great web design. It’s constantly evolving and relevant to everyone.

I have been at Relayware 3 and a half years. I started out on a graduate rotation program in web configuration and as the company has grown, I now manage a whole team of configurators.

Skill-wise I have moved into front-end web development, so today I am responsible for styling all of our customers’ partner portals and ensuring the sites accurately reflect the brand and feel the way our customers want for their channel partners.

Question: What’s the latest project you’ve been working on?

Nettleingham: We’re constantly working to keep our partner application designs fresh and current. Recently, I have been restyling our out-of-the box partner portal, and it will be available to new customers very soon.

Some customers take our out-of-the box partner portal and only need a small bit of simple rebranding. Of course, other customers require heavier customization and this new styling also further improves the speed of the implementation for those customers too.

Question: What are the latest trends in great partner portal design?

Nettleingham: Customer requirements for partner portals have changed over the past few years, and there are three areas that stand out.

Today, everyone needs a mobile partner portal, and the responsive design of our partner portals allows channel partners to get all they need on any device.

Also, our new customers know from the beginning of creating their partner portal that they want to give their partners easy access to all information. Vendors want to make their partners’ jobs as easy as possible. You don’t want your partners to have to look too hard for key information.

And thirdly, customers want easy dashboards, so that they are on the same page with their channel partners about targets and actuals.

Question: What’s the best partner portal design you’ve seen?

Nettleingham: The best partner portals have a clean, clear homepage with a simple login box. From there, channel partners should have more than a single click to get to the information they need every day. The homepage should be functional with clear links to the areas that channel partners use on a regular basis, such as deal registration and opportunity management. It’s design that is based on as few clicks as possible.

When our customers stick to these design principles we see that their channel partner click through rate and utilization rate is higher than more convoluted partner portal experiences.