On the sofa with Tod Venn

Apps have quickly become synonymous with everyday services. A simple tap of an icon can deliver food, transport and even secure your next job. Regardless of purpose, many of our favourite apps have one thing in common; ease of use.

The Pickr app is no different. How our technology looks, as well as how it works, has a bearing on its success with our users.

Tod Venn is Pickr’s User Experience Designer. He’s responsible for the way the app appears to our customers and workers. He strives to make our platform as intuitive and user friendly as possible, ensuring both parties can get maximum value from our tech.

What is a UX designer and why does Pickr need one?

I’m responsible for ensuring our users experience is as positive as it can be. The aim, as always, is to design an app which is as clear and intuitive. It needs to be as quick and as easy to use as possible.

The Pickr app is really quite unique, as are the problems it solves, hence there are few – if any – comparable apps providing similar functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that our app should seem unlike other apps. Instead we want it to seem familiar and utilise as many common user interface elements as possible. This creates a sense of familiarity where users feel like they already know how to navigate and interact with the app with the smallest learning curve.

“Design and development are an ongoing process. If something is not quite right, we’re not afraid to rethink the way the product should look and act.”

As well as our mobile app, we also have the web app. As with all modern websites and web apps, these needs to be fully responsive and be able to be used on any device, no matter what shape or size. These are all things I need to account for in the design process.

What is your design process? Where does it fit with the wider development team?

I get involved early on in the process, early enough to mock-up initial designs and present it back to the team. This allows me to gather ideas and feedback from the team-that might be some insight fed through from our ops team or a usability issue from product. I then reiterate the designs, making improvements and resolving any issues that have been raised.

Then the development team will code the app as per my designs and ultimately release the app to our customers. The design and development don’t stop there. Once it’s out in our users hands, we’re then able to gather feedback from a selection of users themselves, making further alterations and refinements to the design. These amendments are then handed back to the development team.

“We all have differing vantage points and insights so we’re able to work together to get the best result.”

Design and development are an ongoing process. If something is not quite right, we’re not afraid to rethink the way the product should look and act. We’re ultimately building the product for our users, so the feedback we collect from them is invaluable to us. It’s in our best interest to serve their interests so that’s what we endeavour to do with each feature and functionality.

How would you describe Pickrs company culture?

I’d describe our culture as focused and fast moving which makes it an exciting place to be. There’s also a real sense of autonomy. Pickr is very accommodating with flexible and remote working. If you’re doing your best work it shouldn’t matter where or when you do it. I’ve recently dropped my hours to part time to allow me to go back to uni to do fine art and I’m hugely grateful that the business supported me in that decision without hesitation.

Being such a small, young company working in an open office space, everyone is empowered to share their ideas as we tackle challenges that arise. We’re building something entirely new which means none of us none of us have all the answers we need to make the product what it will become. That’s why this environment is so great for collaborative working. We all have differing vantage points and insights so we’re able to work together to get the best result, especially so now we can draw on Dave’s telecoms expertise.

Want to learn more about who we are and what we do? Check out our About Us page. We’re working on some exciting stuff which has the potential to disrupt an entire sector. If you want to be part of that journey, drop us an email to hello@pickr.works.