2016 – 2017
Everyone knows Apple. But not everyone has an Apple device, or can afford one right off the bat. Apple knew this and wanted a way to get more Apple products into the hands of more people, especially outside the U.S.
It’s an uphill battle in many ways - income tends to be lower, and Android is by far the market leader outside the U.S. The location for our initial product launch was India, which was 97% Android in 2016 and the average price of phones sold was about $70, which is less than four times what the cheapest iPhone costs.
I started as the only designer on the project, and then two more designers joined me while we were in deep wireframing mode. We worked on all aspects of the project together, until I dropped off for another project a few months before the end.
I worked on this project full-time for about 6 months out of the 9 months of its total timeline.
Native app for iPad
The product's strategy was to help people finance or trade in their devices — either iOS or Android — in favor of Apple ones. They would encourage small to medium size businesses to use an iPad containing this app to facilitate the transaction from beginning to end. In addition, they would partner with a range of local banks to offer a wide array of financing options.
We centered our work around several key questions, and I think we addressed them fairly well given various constraints.
Given that the app must convey crucial information, such as bank loan details and trade-in offer details.
Given that the process is long, involves lots of documents, identity verification, etc.
Given that the app is representing Apple in lieu of a traditional Apple storefront or sales representative.
We worked closely with our solutions architect to start developing the wireframes; he had been in India working out the technical aspects of the project, as well as interacting with potential users.
He created schematics with a rough idea of what the screens should contain, what information could be shown, etc. From there, we developed higher-fidelity wireframes and used them as starting points for the entire end-to-end experience, including interactions and visual design.
Below are a couple of the earliest iterations of the wireframes we created. For this project we managed to develop the wireframes straight into visual design by making smaller sets of changes along the way (rather than doing one big change at the end). This helped us get an earlier, realistic sense of what the final product would entail.
Obviously, Apple is responsible for the creation of iOS itself and its design guidelines. No pressure! We responded by doing our homework: we immersed ourselves in iOS interaction design, particularly for iPad, to figure out what was the "Apple" way to do things.
The initial goal was to make the app feel congruous with the level of quality expected from an Apple-designed app, but not necessarily to look like the Apple brand. However, after we explored a few different visual directions, we got feedback that it was veering too far off from the Apple brand to be an Apple-affiliated app.
So, we dialed it way back and went with subtle branding choices instead, like the dark blue as the primary callout color. We were aiming for a utilitarian and professional, but still modern and sleek look and feel.
The app went live in India to positive feedback, especially with regard to the speed of the end-to-end transactions. (Unfortunately there is no public link, since it is not a consumer-facing app.)
On a personal level, I learned how to work effectively with a team of designers — collaborative skills as well as the practical things like how to share Sketch files and label artboards for minimal confusion.