Mobile App Screens

Mind the App

In Uncategorized by Richard BarrettLeave a Comment

In light of the meteoric rise of mobile internet and the location relevance of its services, HarkHark knew that in order for the company to stay competitive and relevant to its customers, it needed to turn its products into a mobile app experience.


Lead the design of bringing HarkHark’s online services to mobile platforms and deliver a first class mobile user experience.

“The beauty of Richard’s UX process was that it allowed us to focus on the core ideas of the product and develop them to their full extent. He has an amazing and efficient prototyping process and is great at keeping us focused on what’s important. He’s simply a fantastic person to work with.”Luke Beacon, Operations Manager, HarkHark


Organisational goals

Due to the multifaceted aspect of HarkHark’s online consumer products, their app was not going to be quite like any other on the market. To begin with, HarkHark wanted to combine products that weren’t typically being delivered in a single app, namely online takeaway food delivery and online local deal coupons. I definitely had my work cut out for me and it was clear early on that the app was not going to be lightweight by any stretch of the imagination.

Before I could make a value judgement about how best to proceed with data collection, I needed to consider organisational goals for the product and how they could coincide with a journey mapping initiative. This required some initial research and substantive meetings with stakeholders to outline goals, priorities, features and deadlines.

Competitor audit

With the aforementioned meetings complete, a competitor audit was up next. I needed to know who our competitors were, how they positioned themselves, what products and services they offered and what customers were saying about them. I read their blogs, Facebook pages, websites and Twitter accounts. This research helped to build empathy and point to how our app could stand out by resolving common pain points.

Collecting data

I was able to obtain a spreadsheet of anonymised customer transaction data going back 6 months which, when charted, yielded valuable insights into transaction male/female ratios, popular categories and purchasing trends.

Charted customer data

Empathy maps & personas

With all this data now in I was able to create the empathy maps, which in turn informed the creation of the customer personas. Once the personas were complete I presented them to the stakeholders and displayed them in the office.


Design & development


Prototypes were built in Prototypes on Paper projects and an iterative tested with a group of customers organised via Hark Hark’s WeChat channel. Feedback was also collected via WeChat’s survey tools.


The prototyping phase gave us a clear picture of the best page flows, menu order, what features to surface and app layout. Now it was time to start the wireframing effort. It’s important to starting thinking about your Onboarding early on so draft onboarding page designs were included in the wireframes.


High definition design

App development was contracted out to a private company in China, so it was very important to meet deadlines. As soon as the wireframes were complete, they were sent to the contractor who could then cost and plan their work. As soon as the wireframes were sent, I started the high fidelity designs so I could stay one step ahead of the app developers.



Building a mobile app from the ground up is a significant task in terms of time, money and effort with no guarantee of success and designing a mobile experience is significantly different to designing for other platforms. Things like platform guidelines, the presentation of content in a limited space and how users interact with your design all need to be considered in a new light.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable process working with Hark Hark to help them develop their first app. It was a lot for a solo UX Designer to undertake but reaching the finish line made it all worth it.

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