320 days at a startup
The good, the bad and what I’ve learned at eventtus
This is my very first post on Medium, so i’ll try to do as good as I can.
What is eventtus
eventtus is a social network for event discovery that’s based on your location and your interests with a social taste, so you can get to know what your friends are attending and doing. It’s mainly designed for conferences and users can benefit from knowing all event details, agenda, and even speakers’ contact information without reaching out to them. As well as meeting the community who is attending the event and who share the same interests as you.
I joined eventtus on Nov 2013 and I left on October 2014. I worked there as a Product Designer and I was responsible for everything from the Brand, designing the mobile app on both Android & iOS and even the website in terms of designing it and coding it as well (HTML/CSS and some JS). It was hard but fun at the same time because I consumed myself and my skills to the maximum and that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do mistakes because who doesn’t. Before me, all designers who worked on eventtus were freelancers, so I was the first designer hired in house. We started right away from scratch by revamping everything and We as a team brought the new eventtus to life.
The team consisted of the Mai Medhat, The CEO. Nihal Fares, The CPO. Ahmed Sadek aka Bondoq, awesome lead full-stack engineer who’ve been a friend with me for 7 years. My dude Mahmoud Maghraby, Back-end engineer. Mohamed Amr, a young passionate front-end developer. Dina Hadhoud, a lovely Android engineer and the best of all Mohamed Fouad, iOS engineer. Ahmed Medhat, social media manager and finally me!
My 320 days at eventtus
eventtus was my biggest challenge so far for many reasons:
- A well-funded startup in Egypt. They had a fund from Vodafone & Cairo Angels.
- A product that has been out for 2 years before me getting involved, so we need a better product.
- A product that has a lot of potentials.
- It’s a huge & scary responsibility to be a Product Designer.
Any awesome product consists of three major aspects in my opinion. The brand, the onboarding process and the product itself from inside, so we found out that the old eventtus doesn’t really meet these requirements and the final decision was to revamp those three aspects to create an awesome product. We created and designed everything from scratch except for the brand.
To dive in the deep details of the website/app and its structure would take a really long time, so I’ll be as brief as possible. eventtus is an event organizing & discovery app with social media taste, so the main features are user’s feed based on relevance and people you follow, event page details that consists of the date, location, information, attendees, speaker details and much more. The design had to be as clear as possible & straight forward. The landing pages played an important role, so we even created several landing pages and each one had a message to deliver at the right time.
1- First new landing page: Below on the right side is the .
2- Download eventtus app landing page: Clearly this is a strong call to download eventtus app. This one is my favorite because it has some animations and it even became popular on dribbble for a day! :D
3- Organizers app landing page: the aim of this page was to target event organizers and to convince them to use eventtus.
4- The redesign of our first landing page: At this stage eventtus app & website were in a much better mature state, so we had to change the messages because our main focus at that stage was the app and using it before, during and after the event. that’s why we had to redesign it.
eventtus is really a complicated product. It has a lot of information and data and putting all of that together wasn’t easy for us. One of the important decisions that we had to make is the navigation. We didn’t want to go with a hamburger menu especially after Facebook, path and many other big apps ditched it for its bad experience and they went with the normal tabbed navigation, so that’s what we did.
With iOS, everything was fine in the design process but I stumbled a bit with android because I really hate it so bad at that time. Their design styles were too awful and most of the apps on it looked ancient before material design. I didn’t give a damn about some of its guidelines and that gave us some negative impact from android users. Of course, that was too wrong and silly from me. That actually was my first design on Android, so maybe that’s why it wasn’t a good start but I learned that every mobile OS has it’s own anatomy and we should respect that to make it a seamless experience as designers for each mobile OS.
After finishing eventtus attendee app we decided to make a new app to get the attendees into the event with ease by scanning their QR codes, so we created our organizers app as follows. It also shows the organizer real-time analytics as well as the ability to send announcements to all event attendees
One of the things that we learned is listening to the customers' feedback and doing some tests based on that. Also, we believe that eventtus as a website and mobile app are one of the well-designed apps across Egypt. We did our best in trying to compete with silicon valley standards.
Present and future
My days at eventtus were awesome. I really wish them luck and I hope that I did something good for them. Currently, I’m in a new adventure in Istanbul, Turkey as a Product Designer in another startup called Arkony and they’ve got their own products that I’ll be working on ;)
Thanks for reading. 👏 Clap it if you like it. You can learn more about me on my personal website