How can we convey that the pod (our app) is a modular platform while making transparent that it is constantly evolving?
polypoly is building a sustainable data economy to change the way data is handled. Focus is the polyPod, an app that turns end devices into data centres. When it arrived in the company, one of the first tasks I undertook was to redesign the homescreen of our app.We needed to convey to our users that what they are seeing is just a work in progress and portraying how the pod could eventually look in the future.
Our timeframe was narrow so we had to find a middle ground between user experience and business expectations.
Being able to check code before it hits production and give feedback using developers tools is a big help to speed up feedback loops and overall production.
Introduced the concept of design tokens which were highly appreciated by our developers when looking at our UI specs.
Our current members of the app are our main users as well as our acquisitions team since our app was the product that was used to pitch to business opportunities or even to investors.
A lot of the app features were in different stages of creation so I needed a way to easily display the difference between finished / build features and features that the company are still building. We had 2 ways of showing the difference and the progress, the first was to have built features fully colored and with white typography and icons on top. I made sure that the colors were dark enough to have a compliant contrast ratio for accessibility. The second was to create a progress indicator that could show the evolution to our users.
I went over many iterations and although some were valid, we still had a some issues. Our app was not being used that often that someone would ever notice a change, and overall, users don't know what this indicator represent. In order to get familiar with them, they would need to dive deeper and learn something new. That is not ideal, but given our time constraints and the need to show this to potential investors, it was important for the company to show that our features were not static, but always evolving, so it met our business goals.
The value I brought to the project was to translate the business requirements into designs that would also meet users needs when possible. I documented all the components and introduced design tokens in our specs. This was particularly helpful for developers in translating the designs into code. I was also able to access the app with Xcode while it was being coded so I could give UI feedback. This meant that the feedback needed once in beta was minor compared to if we had waited for weeks before giving feedback on our phones.