Notegraphy is a startup on a mission to beautify our plain texts and share them to any social media app. With that in mind, they asked us we joined their team to become their mobile development partner. Together, we improved the time it took a user to stylise text, both actual waiting time and in perceived time. However, users still felt it took too long to share their creations. Too many steps for such a simple goal.
Redefining the platform
After some months reconsidering KPIs, pivoting, and trying new designs, everyone got to the conclusion that the fastest way users could generate stylised text was directly from the inside of their favourite apps, which meant we started immediately to work on an iOS Custom Keyboard. This would allow users to have designs always at hand, with faster previews and get rid of any server generated images without waiting time.
The first mockups and videos of the keyboard shown to potential users left them wanting more. With their help, we defined what users would be expecting from this new App and set out to work.
Not a Keyboard
We did not want the users to feel Mood as a keyboard, but just as an extension on the Apple keyboard. Notegraphy is in the business of beautifying, not typing, so the experience should be the exact one as Apple’s keyboard. Moreover, people perceive keyboard as apps that could record everything they type and, while true, Mood only requests access to the device Clipboard. So the less of a keyboard we were, the more safe people would be using it.
For this reason, the mobile design team had part of the job done and focused only on interactions, the main app and how should the keyboard respond to the user. There’s plenty of small touches that aim to make things much easier for users that needed lots of attention.
For example, once the user writes and touches the filter that wants to use, this bar fills up indicating that’s time to paste it into the textfield above. Or when the user does not allow Full Access, a modal shows up saying we need that to access the clipboard, explaining again how to set it up.
Custom Keyboards Development
I need to say it has not been easy and nice. Being our first Keyboard developed at Lafosca, we struggled and refactored it three times until we got the desired user experience on it and it could be shipped.
We are planning a full technical post on this, please shoot us an email if you would be interested or could be of use to you so we speed it up.
The keyboard is still in a very early stage. However, people that use it laugh with it and start sending “Moodies” to their friends immediately. In the first week after the international release people generated 30.646 images. That was crazy, and made us very (VERY) happy.
Now it’s the time to start listening the real users, understanding what’s missing for them so this becomes another way of communicating emotions.