An App I Never Thought I’d Swoon Over: My Cell Phone Billing App

I’m an Android loyalist; I’ve been gently cajoling my closest friends to make the switch (if they haven’t already) for years. They say don’t talk about mobile OSes with your friends, but I just… can’t resist.. I’ve been using Android since the screen-sliding, trackball-ed G1 and I’ve watched it evolve into the rambunctious nine year old we have with Nougat. For the record, I pronounce this Noug-ah. When Google announced they’d be offering up a reasonably priced, pay-for-what-you-eat cell phone service I was understandably pretty jazzed. And then what did Google do? They also delivered me the cleanest, slickest billing and customer service app… ever? Ever.

The Project Fi app is simple. You’re presented with three categories: Account, Billing, and Support. That’s it. And really, that’s all you’d ever need. The account page has your data usage so far in this billing cycle proudly displayed. And, because Project Fi is so down to earth with their billing, that means you also know exactly what you’re bill will be at any given time. It’s glorious and it’s the first thing you see when you open the app. The Billing category shows you your last few bills and when you’re next one will come due. The Support section offers me 24/7 support via email, chat, and phone.

The app sports signature Google material design; clean lines, cards, and pops of color to reinforce hierarchy. CTAs are shadowed, again, that lovely material design. From a UX angle, this adds up to an app that has essentially no cognitive load. I feel confident that I could use this app while asleep. I’ll try it tonight. The data usage graphic you see when you open the app has classic Google colors: blue, green, and yellow. Blue: how much data you’ve used. Yellow: your chosen data warning point. Green: your pre-paid plan level. It is very satisfying to me that I see blue first, then yellow, and finally green. I love mixing my primary colors on a visceral level.

The beauty in this app is categorization, simplicity, and focus. The Project Fi app is never going to ask me if I want to buy a ringback tone. And in case it ever did, the answer is a resounding yes and it shall be “Boom, Boom, Pow” by The Black Eyed Peas. I’m only offered the three things that I might actually want to see when I’m thinking about my cell phone service. How novel! It’s a perfect example of user centered design that shows me (as an aspiring designer) the power of avoiding feature creep and smart editing. Thank you Google, and don’t worry, I’ll keep spreading the good word.