FindIt was an app that allowed users to search their across their Gmail, Google Drive and Dropbox in one single search. FindIt strove to be a platform agnostic tool that simply helped you search once for your important emails or files. FindIt’s belief was that search for personal documents came about by knowing a few details, such as the file type or a person it was shared with, and that we could provide a visual and simple search without the use of complicated boolean search terms and parameters.
I met the FindIt team when they were still a desktop app called Peoplematics. They had been accepted to Techstars Chicago, and I was working as a mobile design Hackstar to help them get their product into shape. I had to quickly assess what their product did, and distill it into a mobile app. I began with team interviews, product demos, and a lot of time playing with their browser based product to learn what it could do, and how we wanted it to behave in a mobile context. I made a flow chart to help me get on the same page with their developer and product manager.
After we all agreed on the flow of the app, I began wireframing from whiteboard sketches. Basic interactions and layout were hammered out with the team, and then some rough working prototypes floated around to test new user’s interactions and expectations on how the app worked.
A few versions and debates on the flow of the app, we had a good idea of how the app would look as well as behave. By starting with high fidelity wireframes, I could quickly colorize the app without too many surprises for the team when going from wireframe to functioning app. Screens from my wireframes were also being shared with our remote iOS developer, who could start laying out objects and basic interactions from my instructions and conversations. Taking cues from a previous branding exercise with fellow designer Veronika Goldberg, the app took a simple, tranquil, and natural theme. The idea of FindIt being a natural method of search was paramount to the team, and I believe was reflected in the very simple layout and interactions.
FindIt launched in late July, 2013 to much fanfare and a variety of writeups from publications like TechCrunch and PandoDaily. The success of the apps launch, downloads, and customer reactions lead to the FindIt team inviting me to join their team officially as a Co-Founder, leading up their UX and Product development.
“This is easier than swiping through a long list of results on your phone, which is what you have to do today when using some competing apps, or even your native mail client, or the Gmail, Dropbox or Drive apps themselves.” – TechCrunch
“Android/iOS: Chances are you don’t just use one service to store all your important files (and if you do, you probably shouldn’t). Searching them can be a hassle, though. FindIt simplifies the process.” – LifeHacker
“It’s a beautifully designed app, one that currently connects with Gmail, Google Drive and Dropbox, though there is scope for opening this up to additional cloud-based services in the future.” – The Next Web
“FindIt has built a compelling offering that solves a number of the problems inherent in search on mobile devices.” – PandoDaily
“FindIt is a slick mobile app for iOS and Android that turns searching through Gmail, Google Drive and Dropbox into an easy and intuitive experience.” – Makeuseof
App of the week! – App Central