A couple of months ago, we shipped a brand new mobile platform at Envoy. This was timed with a rollout of our new brand and a comprehensive workplace platform. This release was the culmination of a process that was a couple years in the making. There were highs and lows and a lot of learning. Here’s what it looked like from a product design perspective.

The beginning of our mobile journey

In 2016, we launched our first-ever mobile app, Envoy Passport.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Automakers have been producing concept cars for over 80 years — starting with the 1938 Buick Y-Job. The Buick Y-Job featured the first iteration of power operated hidden headlamps, electric windows and even flush door handles. Since then, automakers have continued this tradition every year at auto shows, where they show them off to the public.

Concept cars serve a variety of purposes. Some automakers use them to display their vision of the future, even 10–20 years out, through radical design concepts. Others demonstrate new techniques or materials that could be used to produce tomorrow’s car. Many of these concepts…

Photo by Safar Safarov on Unsplash

Recently, I’ve noticed a bit of an alarming trend within the product design community around the use of static prototypes. These types of prototypes are a great tool, but solely relying on them for making crucial product decisions can be a slippery path. Let’s dig into why that could present problems.

Distinguishing between static & interactive prototypes

A static prototype typically is done with low or high fidelity designs. A classic example of a static prototype would be a clickable set of mockups put together using a tool like InVision. A user can click on pre-determined hotspots to move from one screen to another. …

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One of the great debates of any cross-functional product team is “are we ready to ship?” Design wants to get that last little pixel detail in, Engineering wants that extra bit of refactoring done, and Product wants it released to users. How do we balance all of this into a release that everyone can be proud of?

Through my past experiences, I’ve realized there’s a spectrum to this—from good enough to perfect. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being on either end, but there’s a middle ground here that I think is critical to the success of your…

Back in 2013, the first version of Envoy visitor registration was built. Over that time there’s been a lot of incremental improvements made to the app, but the overall experience mostly remained unchanged. We were long overdue for a significant update — it was time for a redesign.

First and foremost, we wanted to avoid this project being labeled just as a redesign. We needed a clear set of goals around which to align the team and a way to measure the overall success of the project. …

Abby first joined Envoy in 2015. She’s worn a lot of different hats but most recently been focused on content strategy. We recently sat down to chat about life in the early days of Envoy, the many things she’s learned, and her infinite interest in people.

What do you want to state for the record about yourself?

I’ve learned one of the most formative lessons of my life at Envoy — and that’s the fact that I find people to be infinitely interesting. From directly supporting customers to riding the startup wave with coworkers, I’ve been so inspired by their creativity, heart, and ability to conquer problems.

Tell us in your own words what you do at Envoy

Mostly, I write. And…

For the past few months at Envoy we’ve been interviewing designers to help grow our team. Through my discussions with these candidates, there’s one question I’ve been asked by almost every single one:

Sooo, what’s it like being the remote designer at Envoy?

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

While I’ve always been a remote employee at Envoy, I’ve also been a remote designer for much of my design career. A few years ago, I founded a small mobile design agency. We decided it was easier and less overhead to base ourselves from home instead of a physical office.

Working remote has both pros and cons…

Over the past two years, the idea of prototyping mobile applications before jumping straight into code has really taken off. Many great prototyping tools have been introduced and designers have seen the vast potential in trying out their ideas before going to production.

In early 2014 I started Treble with two other partners. Treble is a small and nimble mobile design and development agency. The three of us wanted to break away from the typical agency mold. We wanted to give ourselves more time to develop our own products alongside those we were building for our clients. …

The home screen is the first thing a user interacts with when launching a mobile application. Most apps don’t take full advantage of this screen. The Scotiabank app is no exception as it provides little value and minimal detail. After logging in this is what you’re presented with:

Front and centre are your accounts and the balances for each. This is helpful and generally one of the main components you’d be looking for. From there unfortunately, there’s not much else to see. Everything is hidden and requires additional interaction cost to access. It would be great to use up more…

Cineplex theatres is one of the largest theatre chains in Canada, serving over 71 million guests annually. Just like any other large theatre chain, Cineplex has a feature-rich iOS app allowing customers to view showtimes, information, and buy tickets to any of the current blockbuster movies.

The main objective of the app is solid: getting information to the user as quickly as possible. The Cineplex app has all the right information, but I think there are issues with how it’s presented, especially on one screen….which just happens to be the first one the user interacts with.

I want to start…

Jon Rundle

Staff Product Designer at @shopify . Previously @envoy , @trebleapps , @resolutionim . Creator of http://learnmobile.design

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