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 because our app was invisible. It did it’s job 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.

Initial concepts — During brainstorming, we knew we wanted four things:

  • a list of spaces in your office
  • a way to search
  • a place to view people
  • somewhere to manage notifications

Rough start — 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.

Refining — The content of our app started to show clear hierarchy and helped guide our designs. The filters for search proved to be the hardest hierarchy to nail down. It turned out the answer was obvious — date and time, then capacity, and last was amenities. In the search results, we designed quick booking options based on time and duration. We took inspiration from restaurant reservation apps for this one. 😏

Final touches — Arriving on the final product was like a breath of fresh air. It showed important meeting, location and space information upfront and on time. You had the ability to search for spaces based on name, amenities and time/date. And we even introduced a basic level of interaction 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 span of a year, we noticed two things that indicated increased usage.

First, our users started extending meetings more and more through the mobile app. Second, the number of space views continued to increase despite slower user growth.

We learned that people were using the app to search for spaces and book them. We also learned that the average meeting length was close to an hour. Our only problem was employee adoption—managers, admins and C-teams were using it but not the average employee.

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)