In January 2013, the British Telco Ghost Telecom launched their pure VOIP app ‘FooTalk’ on Android and iOS, giving users the ability to make free calls to other FooTalk users, and low cost calls to any other number. Trying to solve some initial user experience issues, the team asked Gijs de Beer (interface designer) and Maarten Pieters (TheCoCreators) to step in and improve the app’s user experience. Because we wanted to create maximum impact and wanted to go further than ‘just a cooler, easier design’, the project became a co-creation by closely working together with the customer, putting them at the core of the innovation.
In several sessions with multiple users and fans of various apps such as Viber, Skype and WhatsApp we delved into the lives of these users, learning what role these apps play in their lives, uncovering their motives and barriers, and how they go about using them. One of the key lessons we learned was who these people call and that it’s all about their close ones. Most time was spent talking to people they care about most. This sounds like a truism, but it clearly affected the order of their calling habits and the importance of certain features.
Together with these users, we brainstormed on ideas on how to make this insight tangible, leading to multiple ideas that were ranked, dismissed, refined and finally made concrete. These were presented back and tested with (potential) relevant customers, and who received the concept with great enthusiasm. From there on, experts took it a step further and built the app improvements, working closely with the co-creation team, while testing and refining improvements with users.