optile uses Lucidchart to document and develop their systems while also providing them with clean, professional diagrams to tell their story to their customers.
optile is an API SaaS company that offers businesses an open payment orchestration platform. It empowers businesses to grow and truly become global by enabling them to connect to any payment method or provider. In turn, businesses can provide their customers with a unified, flexible payment experience.
optile offers global merchants advanced customization and optimization capabilities. To better demonstrate how their payment platform works, optile uses Lucidchart as a solution to create clear, compelling diagrams.
Through these visuals, Lucidchart helps optile communicate better internally and externally. Behind the scenes, Lucidchart helps optile’s tech team develop and document their systems. With customers, Lucidchart helps optile visualize their functionality, including complex API flows, and showcase the benefits of a payment orchestration platform.
Improving communication with visuals
When Sebastian Kraiker, now VP of Product Management, started at optile as a Product Owner, the technical documentation on optile’s API was pretty abstract. “It was just text, basically,” says Sebastian.
“I thought, ‘What’s really missing is a diagram.’ That would be the perfect way to visualize how an external system interacts with our API.”
At first, Sebastian just drew these diagrams by hand to show to customers during meetings. Even with this lo-fi solution, the reaction from customers was noticeable. “It was immediately a completely different discussion. People would get it right away,” he explains. But he needed a better, more professional solution.
Finding the right visual solution
So off Sebastian went, in search of some way of making that documentation more clear for himself, for others at the company, and for customers.
What he found, however, wasn’t all that helpful. He tried some free online tools, but they didn’t have the professional look he wanted. The next solution was making these technical diagrams in Photoshop, but this tool overshot the mark.
“It took a long time and somebody else had to do them,” Sebastian explains. Changes had to be routed to a designer in a different department, leading to back and forth on what needed to be changed and sometimes, not the right thing getting changed.
Diagramming across systems and teams
Enter Norberto Soares, optile’s Information Security Officer and a big believer in the power of visuals. “I think they make everything much clearer,” he emphasizes. After comparing Lucidchart with other competitors like Gliffy, Norberto initially picked Lucidchart for its integrations with other software optile already used, like Confluence, and its shape libraries for network architecture, like AWS and GCP. It has since grown to become a valuable tool for documenting and developing optile’s own system along with telling their story to their customers.
With Lucidchart, anyone on the product team can generate technical diagrams. Gone are the days of going through a designer for everything, shuffling files back and forth, and waiting around for visuals.
For Sebastian, this newfound freedom coupled with Lucidchart’s intuitive, cloud-based interface can’t be overstated.
“With Lucidchart, we have good-looking diagrams that I can edit myself,” he explains. “I don't have to go to a different department. I can just log in and do it myself. I can create the diagrams from scratch, and they still look good.”
Other time-saving features, like sharing and publishing, answer a specific need for efficient collaboration and presentation in internal and external documentation.
This ability to create clean, accurate diagrams of their systems is crucial because optile deals with highly sensitive credit card and payment information. As Norberto explains, with Lucidchart, they’ve created “all the networking diagram for our platform––the first version, which was very clunky, and a second version, which was very complex––UML diagrams, and flows for compliance.”
Proving the visual trend
The proof of this visual approach is in the pudding––everyone else in the industry has gone visual, too. “Funny enough, after we put all these diagrams onto our technical documentation, I saw these kinds of diagrams more and more on other payment providers and companies’ technical documentation, which I didn't see so much before.” Perhaps optile can’t take credit for setting this trend, but their wisdom in going visual is echoed by others for a very good reason. It works.
Compared to Sebastian’s basic pen-and-paper diagrams, optile’s current diagrams are much more complex. Multi-layered and dynamic, optile uses flows that show the different combinations and user journeys possible with their platform.
“In the end,” Sebastian explains, “it's about creating understanding and creating mental models in the brains of others.”
With Lucidchart, optile demonstrates abstract concepts in a concrete manner, showing with precision how global businesses can use optile to optimize their payment infrastructure.