Team lead, Product management, User research, UI Design, Prototyping, Illustration
Working on this app from concept to app store launch was an amazing experience to me. I had the chance to work with amazing talented people that acted as a trully startup inside a larger company.
Lean approach helped us move fast and test our hipothesys on the go.
Some technical decisions such as integrating some parts of the app with legacy code have slowed us down considerably. A more reliable estimate and playing in a safer zone regarding external integrations would have given us a better timing.
From start we designed a workflow and for the project that would make us move faster and not wasting time on wrong assumptions.
We started defining some business needs and problems that we could solve with the app. Then ideating initial ideas and validating some of those with potential clients. Once we reached to one idea that seemed good enough from the user and business perspective we begin to wireframe some concepts. From that we built a prototype that'd allow us to test the concept both internally and with some external users. After some rounds of changes we moved to build a working version.
We didn't know the caveats of working with Apple's app store, so we wanted to release a very simple early version just to measure how often we'd be able to release new versions. Also with the app available at the store we could automate the testing process and start collecting metrics. We then spent a lot of time tweaking the app, launching new versions and analizing metrics for the next iterations.
Building the right team was the key to the success we have with the app. Our team consisted on 1 mobile developer, 2 back-end developers (after having integrations problems we moved from 1 to 2 back-end devs), 1 quality assurance professional and me working as a product manager and UI/UX designer.
An important aspect of the entire project for me was learning a lot about team building and how to make everyone work with a real purpose. Also dealing with conflicts, problems and everything that comes along with working with talented people. There were times that I'd just want to sit down and design stuff, but I felt the responsibility of making a good environment for everyone to work on and also making sure that the company board and partners were happy with the results.
There was the pressure of actually delivering a quality product for our users. They didn't care about our problems and how hard it was to build some feature, they just wanted to have a good experience and also having a good support in case they had any problems. And that's where having a connected team helped. I tried to show them how important it was for us to build the best product we could and how many lives we could help with that. They really embraced that and worked together to deliver much more than we initially expected.
Although the app was very simple, to get to that simplicity was not an easy task. We had to redesign the first time experience many times to deal with very low user activation rates (people creating accounts). And later improving the invoice flows since we had a super low user engagement numbers (people got in but didn't use the product). Streamlining the user flows was very important to make sure the main tasks could be done within just a few taps.
"Wonderfull app, easy to use and very helpful for everyone who works with sales, and if you have any questions there’s even a chat. The response is really fast! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾"
"Excellent app, dynamic, complete and instructive. The most interesting part is that there’s an open communication (chat) between users and developers. With users’ opinions, the app can become much more powerful"
"I never imagined that taking control of my invoices could be so easy! I can make, share and follow my invoices from anywhere! For sure it’s a big business booster!"
"I’m loving it! I now can have some much control of my invoices."
"I liked the usability, it’s much more fluid than the other apps I’ve seen. Of course there’s a lot of improvements to be done, by I’m sure that the always available team is working constantly to meet all user needs."
"Very good app! Light weight, practical and easy to use. The best one in it’s category. I’m a writer and I use the tools to manage my book selling invoices. Perfect for what I need."
From the initial release on March 30th, 2015 to the the time I left the company at August 2016 the app had 19,000 downloads (that number is around 50,000 now at October 2017). 94% of that number is from Brazil and the rest is splitted across over 30 different countries. The number of new accounts created through the app was around 10,000, from which ContaAzul's marketing and sales team have been working to qualify them as leads and to make them potential ContaAzul paying customers. Although the app was always free, it was pretty clear that it have become a great source of qualified leads and it also generated an unmesurable brand awarness and promoted the company as innovative and truly user centered.