Creating User Adoption for an Invisible App


When I started at Robin in 2014, our mobile app did one thing well — automatically book a room when you walk in. Unfortunately, we had low adoption numbers.

Automagical — We found we weren’t getting user adoption or feedback because our app was invisible. It did it’s job entirely in the background. We sent out surveys to find out what would make our mobile app better for our customers. We got a lot of feedback about being able to search for available rooms.

Materializing the Ethereal — When we first started exploring options, we knew we wanted some sort of list of spaces in your office, a way to search, a place to view people, and somewhere to manage notifications.

Zainy and brainy — A lot of the ideas started out as straight forward wireframes. Most of which looked like massive lists or zebra striped tables. But a few started to show promise of interesting ways of interacting with spaces and events.

Eyes on the prize — Once we honed in on the information we wanted to present, our layout and spacing improved the flow and designs. Search filters were a tough one to figure out but we arrived on a good first pass at hierarchy — date and time first, capacity, then amenities. We designed search to show time pills for each available time at intervals of the duration you could choose in the search filters. If searching for a space for 1 hour starting at 9am, we’d also show 10am, 11am, etc. if the space was availabe during those times.

Donning the Emperor’s Clothes? — Arriving on the final product was like a breath of fresh air. It showed important meeting, location and space information upfront and in a timely manner. You had the ability to search for spaces based on name, amenities and time/date. And we even introduced a basic level of iteraction with coworkers in the people tab.

Results — After launching the new version of our mobile app, we saw an uptick in event creation and editing. We also noticed a larger number of space searches. Over the one year lifetime of version two of our mobile app, we noticed two things that indicated increased usage.

First, our users started extending meetings more and more through the mobile app. Second, even though our overall number of users stayed relatively the same, the number of space views continued to increase steadily.

We learned that people were using the app to search for spaces and book them and that the average meeting length was close to an hour.

Date: 2015
Company: Robin
Project: Robin Mobile v2.0
Role: Lead UX designer

Team: Atticus White (Lead Engineer), Chris Mark (Android Engineer), Victor Chen (iOS Engineer), Courtney Guo (Engineering Intern), Zach Dunn (CPO), Emily True (Product Manager)