Manesh Samuel John- User Experience Lead, MobileFirst for iOS Garage

Manesh Samuel John- User Experience Lead, MobileFirst for iOS Garage

I’m proud to say that I am the first IBM designer with a master badge in Design Thinking and the first user experience designer hired in IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS Garage in Bangalore, a hub for IBM’s development of iOS apps.  In my 13 years working in user experience, information architecture and visual design, nothing can match my excitement working on and designing apps that change the way people work around the world. I drive to my job each day through the busy streets of Bangalore and feel lucky to have this experience.


By using IBM's Design Thinking methods to create these iOS apps, we put ourselves in the end users shoes

By using IBM’s Design Thinking methods to create these iOS apps, we put ourselves in the end users shoes

There are twenty-two interdisciplinary teams working in the Garage. Each team has seven members — user experience designers like me, integration architects, API developers, iOS developers, mobile test specialists, scrum masters and development operations (DevOps) specialists. Together, we engage with clients in three-day, in-person design workshops with real professionals like nurses, flight attendants and retail store associates to understand their on-the-job challenges. Getting the employee point of view helps me design mobile apps that improve the way they work, making them more efficient and productive.


Manesh Samuel John working at his desk

Manesh Samuel John working at his desk

Once all the information from the end user is collected, I draft a script outlining how the app will transform the way they do their job.  I then sketch out the wireframes showing how each function of the app will work. Building on these, I design the first few screens of the app.  The goal is to give the client and end user a sense of what the app will look like, including its key functions, screen structure and color scheme. Next, the end user provides feedback on the prototype and tells me what works for them and what doesn’t. Based on that feedback, I make any necessary changes. The real fun begins when I hand it off to the iOS and API developers who bring the app to life on iPhone and iPad.

While the app’s design quality is paramount, integrating it with the client’s existing systems of record is where they really see the value of what we do. Our MobileFirst for iOS Garage employs the largest concentration of certified iOS and Swift developers. They ensure that backend data seamlessly syncs with the app’s user interface, which is critical for professionals working with real-time data.


Testing the design scheme for a client app with my UX colleagues

Testing the design scheme for a client app with my UX colleagues

Once we have the design structure and client-specific data from the backend integrated into the app, our team tests it over and over again. We continuously gather user feedback by working with a tester at the client location. Personally, I want to make sure we’ve addressed all of the pain points I discussed with the end user during the initial design session.

This great user experience is made possible by teaming designers like myself with developers on one central team. We maintain the app throughout its lifecycle — including iOS system upgrades — and make it accessible to all users. For example the apps can be delivered in multiple languages — such as Chinese, Japanese, Spanish — and are accessible for persons with disabilities. These user-centered perks are built into the app’s architectural foundation.


Collaborative brainstorming for the best wireframe on a whiteboard

Collaborative brainstorming for the best wireframe on a whiteboard

We’re also able to help clients accelerate digital transformation with Mobile at Scale for iOS, a new offering specifically for clients looking to implement more than three iOS apps over a multi-year period. Clients opting for this model have full access to IBM’s portfolio of MobileFirst for iOS apps to jump start their digital transformation, iOS App Accelerators for rapid app development and customization, and Enterprise Design Services that align the app experience to the needs of the user. The Garage specializes in handling these end-to-end client engagements to design, develop and implement multiple, customized iOS apps.


Working together with my Garage colleagues on a new app design

Working together with my Garage colleagues on a new app design

When I write this all out, it makes me proud to be part of a super geeky, diverse yet hands on team here in Bangalore where everyone — even managers — know how to code.  I welcome the challenges I encounter everyday as I help solve the daily problems professionals around the world face in their own jobs.  I know I’m successful when updates are automatic, integration is seamless and, most of all, when the user feels like the app was made just for them.

 Learn more about IBM MobileFirst

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4 comments on"How we design and deploy enterprise-ready iOS apps in weeks, not months"

  1. Joining to know about Enterprise ios app

  2. Ramani Rajaraman August 08, 2016

    Interested

  3. Our team recently built an app in less than 3 hours using the MobileFirst!!

  4. This is best ideas for developing a mobile app ,this is very useful for creating iOS app thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts ,in our site also provides a best app creation services if you want get more ideas refer our site web and app development

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