Rydoo
2020

Redesigning Rydoo's
new app

How we designed and built a new app, in a new technology platform in a couple of months.

About Rydoo

Rydoo is a travel and expense management company.

On the front-office Rydoo helps business travellers fill their expenses on the go, book their trips, and approve expenses, while on the back-office it provides all the necessary tools to the finance department to be on top of the company's expenses and reimburse employees as fast as possible.

The need

Rydoo app had started since long to show its signs of wear. It was slow, buggy and with lots of crashes that had started to hurt us in the App Store and Play Store ratings.

Users were frustrated and so were we. We were in a constant firefighting mode hot-fixing bugs. We couldn't work on all the new features and add value to the product, let alone fine-tune design.

It was apparent we couldn't continue much longer with the technology we had. We had to look for a new technology that would allow us to build new features and would not hold us back anymore.

We were looking for a solution that would tick all the following boxes:

• Faster development cycles
•  Flexible UI
•  Native performance from a single codebase

That meant we had to choose between React native and Flutter. We chose for the latter for a number of reasons that my colleague Michael Gobbers explains in detail in this article if you want to learn more.

The approach

Time was of the essence. We had to be pragmatic and do the best in the time we had.

Together with my colleague Pedro Souto, product owner of the mobile app, we reached out to our colleagues in Customer Success Team (CSM) and dug into Intercom threads to learn our customers' pain-points, needs and wants. We talked to our colleagues from Sales, who talk to  potential customers but also use our app on a regular basis when they're on a trip. And of course, we listened to our customers on what we could improve.

Based on that we defined a set of principles that served as our beacon light during the design essence and helped narrow down the scope to the essentials:

• Submitting an expense should take less than 30".
• Efficiency and clarity are uncompromisable.
• People should feel confident and in control; not second guessing when completing an action.

Designing

While we were going to start with a clean code base, I didn't want this to be a complete redesign, I wanted to feel more like a realignment of the existing app.

Since I joined Rydoo 3 years ago, and due to the technical limitations that were constraining us, I appreciated the evolutionary process, whereby change comes in small tweaks rather than sweeping overhauls.

I took joy in making little improvements, many of them barely noticeable to anyone but me. I wanted the new app to be a continuation of that work.

People were familiarised with the interface, were happy with it, and besides the usual feature requests, they didn't want much to change. 

For us, the key to developing something that people would love was ‘sweating the small stuff’ by going into detail on every aspect of the design to make sure people were feeling confident submitting their expenses in a matter of seconds.

Reception

The app has been received with great enthusiasm by our users, appreciating the design changes and the improved performance.

At the moment of writing this, Rydoo is leading in its product category, in the Apple Store and Google Play ratings with 4.8 stars!

This is a great reward for the hard work our squad has put in to make this happen. Kudos team!