2 Business Owners
9 min read
On the first day joining the company, the business owners explained to us in depth their new idea and strategy. The app will be focused on reviewing products and will leverage the blockchain technology to reward our active users who write reviews and interact with the app.
Since the outset of the project in February 2019, my role has been to lead the design of all the digital platforms related to Buzzi (Mobile Apps, Web Apps, Websites...).
- Turn the idea into a profitable business
- Create a community of qualitative reviewers
Like mentioned in the context, we started by leveraging a blockchain community called Steem. While building the MVP, I had convinced my managers to narrow our niche first and specialise into a specific category. My managers being parents, we started researching kids products and found out that the niche was not so crowded. Buzzi Kids was born.
How to encourage people to interact socially with our app by creating and curating content, meanwhile keeping the e-commerce aspect?
Our managers hired us (Hagos (Android developer) and me) right after the approval of their investors for their new business idea. Their idea being still in iteration phase, the challenge was to unify the “fresh blood” (us) with their full-stack developer (Soyeong) behind this new project. Creating a new team, a new product and a profitable project simultaneously while speaking 2 languages (English and Korean) ^^.
As mentioned above, I started to work on the app by creating wireframes. My goal was to really focus on the UX. Everyone in the team was impatient to see the UI, but it was a good way for them to remain focused on the skeleton of the app. I also used usability testing to get feedback and re-adjust early on the UX.
My workflow is always evolving. In the other case studies of my portfolio, I went deeply into the process; on this one, I wanted to focused more on the points I improved and helped me the most.
In my previous experiences, I was going more in depth into the visual design exploration. For every feature, I was making 3 differentes routes, and it was time consuming. This time, I tried to focus more on a single route, iterate quickly and adjust based on the feedback. In any case, the features are always evolving so I can come back and improve them.
Prototyping really helped me when I was presenting the features. Being a small team, I was trying to use as much as possible a real device and make my colleagues interact with the prototype. For high quality prototypes, I used Protopie made by Fredo’s team, a Korean startup based in Seoul.
Getting user feedback and analysing the data is an important part of my role. To this day (October 2020), we have conducted a few user surveys, and we are checking the data frequently through Apps Flyer and Firebase. More about the numbers at the end of the case study.
“Create post” is undoubtedly one of the features where we iterate the most.
For the first version, the idea was to split the process into steps to show progression. We also wanted something fun to keep users engaged. We tried to leverage the concept of dopamine rush effect and gamify the process to encourage users to go forward.
After testing the process over and over on our app, we realized that the process wasn’t optimized.
As expected with a digital product, the work is always in progress, so you have always room for improvement. The create process is now much shorter, and we tried to make it as simple as possible. The main takeaway here will be to ship the feature quickly to be able to test it in real and iterate.
For a long time, the feed was our main page where people land. In mid-2020, we decided to push forward “discover” as the main. Our app is pretty young; users are posting but so far not following much. We have recommended posts in our feed, but once you follow a few people, your feed doesn’t update that fast.
We are also using “Discover” to showcase our “weekly top posts” and top users. The reason for these modules is to push people to interact with our app and get some points.
My managers’ goal was to leverage the blockchain for the reward, so we went full into the "Steem" blockchain. A bunch of people registered; quantity was great for the start; quality was still not there. Steem ended up not being the best target, so we decided to take a step back for a better public launch.
Android was the first platform that we kicked off with. The launch went well; we received positive feedback. We had bugs of course and room to improve, but the developers did very well.
In 2020, we offered a full time position to our talented IOS intern Kwanhui. Our launch started more slowly than Android but was quickly kicked off by the marketing ads.
With this experience, I learned from every aspect of my position. Being in a small company, you don’t limit yourself in a specific role and participate in all phases of a product; this is what I enjoyed.
Design system was one of the major challenges for me. I learned a ton online, and also am grateful for the help of my friend Maxence.
As my role is pretty intense, I had to be quick and efficient to balance business decisions, technical feedback and the user experience when making roadmaps and planning. With my position (between managers and engineers), communication and early collaboration are the key to make the product go forward and meet the deadline.
What I realised with the data we acquired over the months was that marketing on Facebook ads / Google was effective to grow our community of curators. Good for quantity.
We also worked with American and Korean influencers and despite the growth being much slower, the people joining were more inclined to create and participate socially in the platform. Good for quality.
The best reward for me is to see “real” users interacting with the platform, posting, commenting and making efforts to create good content.
Finally, the most important is to make an honest digital product where people can get, hopefully, value out of the app.
Thank you for reading.
Any questions, work inquiry, let’s get in touch.