Customer Spotlight6 min read

Reimagining, Redesigning & Reinventing Email App Interactions

Meet Briandito Priambodo and learn how he views product design and redesigned something that’s been a long-lasting pain point.

Adriana Diaz
Adriana Diaz, Social Media ManagerDecember 21, 2020
Reimagining redesigning and reinventing email app thumbnail

The past July, ProtoPie held its first Dribbble Playoff contest in which many designers across the world participated showing their greatest prototyping skills. After an intense judging period, Khonok Lee was crowned as the Grand Prize Winner. However, Khonok Lee was not the only one who proved to be a worthy challenge, three designers raised up among the contestants for their impressive prototypes.

We had the pleasure to chat with one of the runners-up, Briandito Priambodo, a senior designer in an online travel company called Wego, located in sunny Singapore.

Discovering ProtoPie

Although his first encounter with ProtoPie was in 2017, it wasn’t until early 2018 while exploring various prototyping tools that he really delved into the ProtoPie world and experimented with all the features. “I wanted to find a tool that can help me improve my workflow, and also is widely used by other companies too. So I don’t have to learn different tools,” Briandito mentions. After spending 2 weeks on each software to create a couple of side projects.., fast forward a few months Briandito found himself juggling between ProtoPie and Framer as both fitted his workflow. “I ended up subscribing to Framer, the only reason was that a lot of companies were into Framer back then. I think ProtoPie was still new, so not a lot of people have heard of it yet.”

Curious to know why Briandito didn’t subscribe post-trial, our team reached out to the senior designer with a follow-up survey. Receiving comprehensive feedback and half-jokingly said: “Ps. If you give me a 50% discount for a year then I promise you I’ll buy the license. No harm in asking, right?”. And just like that, a beautiful collaboration began between ProtoPie and Briandito which resulted in the creation of tutorial content. “From there on, my go-to prototyping tool is ProtoPie. The lesson of the story: ask, and you shall receive,” he says.

So how does ProtoPie fit seamlessly into the senior designer’s workflow? “I am using Sketch and working with Protopie… My team and I had no hassle creating prototypes to fulfill our needs. If we get stuck and need to learn something, there’s always the ProtoPie documentation to the rescue!”

Small corner of home office
A small corner in my living room: my home office where I do my side projects. I like to keep things minimal.

Product Design

Product design has been widely used in several industries and has a broad definition, but Briandito simply defines it as: “In general, I think of design as problem-solving, product design is using a product as the medium to help people solve their problems.” So how does it contribute to the success of Wego? “The core of our services depends on our websites and mobile apps. So product design is essential in our line of work. Product design is needed to help us build products that are simple, usable, and helpful.”

Briandito’s design process consists of 4 steps: Find the problem, validate the problem, find solutions, and validate those solutions. In which, ProtoPie helps him in two important aspects, user testing, as well as to present and sell his ideas to stakeholders. “With ProtoPie I can mimic real-app interactions and do proper usability tests without having to worry about the prototype being janky or unusable,” says Briandito. “On the other hand, it is easier to explain concepts and ideas when I am presenting a prototype. I like to give the stakeholders some time to play around with my prototype — most of the time, they’ll buy the idea.”

Regarding the characteristics of any good prototypes, he considers that it doesn’t have to behave like a real app, or designed with some nice and fancy interactions but should help you move closer to your goal. “It could be getting user feedback, or convincing stakeholders, or even as simple as proving concepts. Basically, it should help you make better products.”

Prototype showing interactions of news-app
A prototype I made to explore the interaction of a news-app

Dribbble: Wireframe explorations for news app

Two options comparing an interaction idea
A side-by-side comparison of an interaction idea:

Dribbble: Copy note interaction details

Redesigning to Win

Briandito chose to enter the ProtoPie 5.0 Playoff contest by redesigning the classic, widely used, and well-known, email app. Inspiration struck him with nothing more than his own struggles with emails, “ I’ve always had trouble with emails. The emails that I think are important are basically from the same senders. So I thought, let’s take a stab at this. What if there’s a smart email app that collects the emails that users usually read?”

Amazingly he pulled out his idea from scratch to create an impressive and workable interaction that placed him among the winners, just a few days prior to the deadline. Briandito says, “To be honest, it was not a well-planned design project. I started the project just around 2 days before the deadline. It was more like a spurt of ideas that came all of a sudden — I didn’t even plan to make the card interaction that way.”

Try out the mail app interaction

Mail app wireframing
Mail app

Dribbble : Mail App Concept

The Next Big Thing

A future where many mundane and tedious task can be taken care of by just speaking seems very plausible, “I think voice interaction would be used more widely in the future. People have already utilized Alexa & Google Assistant to control their homes and if you are using an Apple Watch, Siri is already on your wrist.”

Briandito also mentions the possibility where the 3D apps that integrate 3D models would become common, “so designers need to upgrade their skills and normalize designing 3D models in their process. It would be great if prototyping tools work with 3D models right out of the box. The reason is that in the future I think people would use a lot of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality products daily. And also because flat/2D illustrations are starting to get boring."