UD Trucks NA came to Bryte Software in 2007 requesting the design of an automated sales quotation system for their 900-strong national salesforce. I responded eagerly to the challenge, designing a user experience which I believed would satisfy even the least tech-savvy truck salesperson, while solving the data problems plaguing UDT's existing paper-and-fax-based sales process.
The system I came up with used an ASP.NET web application running against an MS SQL Server back-end, along with an automated interface I built to UDT's AS/400 mainframe. That mix, in combination with numerous administrator-only management screens to compartmentalize as much management functionality as possible, quickly produced a viable product and minimized the amount of manual intervention that would be necessary to maintain it.
Principal development cost approximately $120,000 and took roughly half a year. After two years in operation, the system had barely generated two weeks of bug fixes and change requests, which I believe is a shining testament to its quality.
A snapshot of their database from October of 2010 says that, in the month prior, the system was used, VOLUNTARILY, by over 95% of a predominantly non-technically-oriented or -inclined salesforce of "truck folks", generating a monthly average of around $20 million in sales quotes for customers.
I believe it's a rare application that pleases both the corporate technical folks as well as the line salespeople, and I'm pleased that I had the opportunity to build it.
Notice how this interface on the large administrative side of the application is a bare-bones copy of an earlier screen. It's not a user-facing page so there's no justification for wasting design and development time on it; expediency rules the day. Juggling those kinds of trade-offs requires quite a bit of experience, not just in the technologies at hand but in knowing how users will react to them.