Kyiv — Boston — Rio de Janeiro: Bachoo Studio designs one of world’s top startups

Bachoo Design Studio has gone a long way together with the amazing Airfox team, starting December 2017 when we became their design partner. Ideation, first iterations, launch, gathering feedback and rethinking the product. It has been super-exciting and we have a lot more to do.

Airfox CEO Victor Santos at TechCrunch Disrupt 2018

Airfox aspires to be a solution for the everyday lives of people and small businesses in Brazil, targeting people with lower income.

Airfox has been selected for Top Picks by TechCrunch as one of the best blockchain startups of 2018.

Speedy development, speedy design

It is good to have time on your hands to think carefully about every detail. In our case, we had to work as quickly as possible and the number one rule was not to slow down the dev team.

So, we had to find effective solutions, easy to implement, yet beneficial for the end customer. We managed to launch the app in two months, right before the Mobile World Congress 2018, where it was selected #2 app by Wired Italia Magazine.

From a designer’s standpoint, it was not easy. When a part of the flow was taken to work, we offered the team a few variations of the interface design. We had daily calls with the team to discuss and choose one of the options. Quite often, new inputs from developers or marketing came up, so we made quick changes right there and then, and the design went to production. We knew that after we launched, we would go over everything again.

Like a local

Well, Bachoo Design Studio is headquartered in Ukraine. We have a general idea of how most things are done in Europe and in the US. Not in Brazil. They happen to have their own unique ways of doing everything: dialing phone numbers, paying for transportation. Do you know of Boleto payments system? We do.

Airfox team doing user research in Brazil

In order to understand what our audience wants, after the first launch the product and marketing team in Boston organized focus groups with people and business owners living in favelas.

Thus we received a few nice insights regarding the functionality as well as the visuals. For us designers, it was good to know how people felt about local banks and what they expected local banks to look like. We didn’t want to be associated with them in any way.

Later, Airfox team established a better workflow that allowed us to work with user feedback.

Gathering feedback, processing feedback, introducing new features

After the Airfox app was launched, we had a ton of ideas for new features ahead of us. But, things got a little bit easier so the team were able to take a step back for a second to reorganize and review the results.

The new workflow allowed Airfox to develop the product in a coordinated and consistent way. Our task as a design team was to fit into the workflow.

Airfox product development workflow

Past, present, future

Product design is all about evolution, flexibility and fast tweaks.

When designing a feature, we have to keep in mind three factors:

  • how it works in the current version of the app,
  • how we are tweaking it for the next release,
  • how we plan to develop it in the future.

Our design files are the chronicle of the Application evolution, they contain its past, present and future.

For the time being, we have the interface design system that satisfies most of the new features, so now our work is mainly about building flows and thinking through the UX. We are fully engaged and keep having daily calls with the product team.

Being an effective remote team

Distributed teams are common today. Of course working remotely entails certain limitations. At Bachoo we overcome them by a conscious effort to stay connected. We are fully engaged and have daily calls with the product team.

We established a convenient way of collaboration through shared files and cloud-based solutions.

When needed, we shift our working time towards late hours in order to mitigate the time difference.

On the other hand, we gave Airfox the benefits of having an on-demand team at hand. When needed, we involved our illustrators, motion designers, scaled the team up or down to meet the needs of the startup.

Airfox has daring goals ahead and we are happy to design for this team.


For any questions feel free to contact me at elena@bachoodesign.com