What I learnt designing and managing the Sharpsend app project.

Sharpsend provides a modern solution to making payments with your mobile phone by leveraging existing USSD solutions to improve the user experience while making the transactions without requiring the internet.

Sharpsend Mobile App Design

Features

  1. Transfer Funds
Transfer Funds Flow

To transfer money on Sharpsend, you will do the following;

  • Select your personal bank.
  • Select the recipient bank.
  • Input the recipient account number.
  • Enter the amount you want to send, and click ‘’Send’’.

2. Buy Airtime

Buy Airtime Flow

To buy airtime on Sharpsend, you will do the following;

  • Select your personal bank.
  • Choose whether you want to buy airtime for yourself or 3rd party (another person).
  • Enter the amount of airtime you want to send and click ‘’Done’’.

3. Buy Data & Check Airtime

Buy Data & Check Airtime Flow

To check airtime on Sharpsend, click on the check airtime quick action and it will automatically display your airtime balance based on the mobile phone number registered with your bank account.

The same processes go for buying airtime which will redirect you to the USSD interface.

You can download the app from Google Play Store.

My Role

Product Design and Product Management

The Team

Fouad Olaore — Android Developer

Seyi Ipaye — Android Developer

Ajibola Akelebe — Brand Designer

How It Started

Sharpsend started as a Hackathon project which was hosted by Hover (Giza Hackathon) and was invited to join the team as a product designer. We kick-started the Hackathon with a team of 3 (three); me as the product designer, Fouad Olaore as the Android developer and Seyi Ipaye also as Android developer.

The initial version of sharpsend was designed within few days of the hackathon and spent most of the time was spent on product research to see and understand how some certain features and functionality like bills payments, funds transfer etc works on other platforms.

After completing the UI design, I sent the Figma link to the development team to start the building it.

At the end of the hackathon, we didn’t win but that doesn’t really get to us because the amount of work that was done served as a motivation for the entire team. Although during the hackathon, we were given some tokens for pizza and drinks, so we appreciate the Hover team for doing that.

Moving Forward

After the result from the Hover hackathon, I had a discussion with the Sharpsend team to let us continue the project so as to push it to production. We agreed on that and we also made the decision to onboard Ajibola Akelebe on the team to handle the logo design and other brand materials as we aim at publishing the app publicly.

Issues Faced

We faced a lot of issues which wasn’t clear to us before which made us rethink the app. One of the issues was an error we got from the Hover SDK we planned to use.

The initial plan was to create an abstraction over the existing USSD processes where Hover can handle the transactions offline in a way that users won’t have to interact with any USSD interface but can be able to perform all the transactions within the Sharpsend app without requiring an internet connection. (That doesn’t work for us, 😒)

We end up going with a way whereby users will select the type of transactions, enter a phone number, amount, select bank on Sharpsend and will redirect the user to the USSD interface with the predefined data the user input on Sharpsend to perform those particular transactions — This led to the V2 UI Design of Sharpsend.

Hover SDK came in handy for sim selection due to devices with dual sim support, it enables users to switch from their default sim to another sim to perform their desired transactions. So in simple terms, Hover saved us with that 😉

We also have issues internally within the team where one of the Android developers said he won’t be able to continue on the project anymore. It hurts everyone because of the timing but we really appreciated his contributions towards the development of the project.

Conclusion

To be honest, it was really an interesting project and I really learnt a lot during the period of designing the app. I was able to do product research in the B2C fintech space and also conduct user interviews and testing with some amazing sets of people who volunteered to help test and improve the app ( Special shoutout to them 🙌).

I was also able to utilize the skills I learnt from product management courses I took on Product School. It was an interesting journey!!! 😌

View the project on — https://sharpsend.co

Thanks for reading!

Hi, I’m Soliudeen Ogunsola. You can check out my portfolio and also follow me on Twitter or view my LinkedIn profile.

Product Designer — Building designplate.xyz. Passionate about making tools accessible for Creative Minds 👉 https://twitter.com/WebMaye

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Hi, I’m Soliudeen Ogunsola 👋 A product designer who is passionate about helping businesses turn complex problems into simple and engaging experiences. This publication comprises of my project case studies, thoughts and Ideas.

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