Papier had two main customer groups: wedding organizers, and greeting card senders. The Papier website offered the same experience for both, despite the fact that each had different requirements:
I saw an opportunity to design a product experience around the specific needs of the greeting card customer, one that would encourage repeat purchases and increase the lifetime value of those customers.
Native mobile apps are perfect for completing quick, focussed tasks on a regular basis. Apps provide benefits to the user such as easy access via the home screen, no need to log in regularly, access to photos, and even push notifications (when deployed as a genuine value-add).
We decided that the most efficient way to test such an idea was to build an MVP app and release it to our users. Papier already had the catalogue of card designs set up, the PDF rendering system built, and all our payment and delivery ecosystem ready to go.
To ensure a quicker build, we decided to avoid everything to do with styling text. Users would be able to write their message but not pick fonts, colours, etc. This actually helped me create a streamlined, linear user journey. I mapped out a retention loop to illustrate the broad product strategy (a), as well as various user flows, e.g. (b).
My UX design process emphasises speed and collaboration. Sketching on paper is the quickest way to explore ideas. Tools like Figma and Invision then allow me to produce prototypes in minutes, so validating assumptions can happen fast.
I produced a clickable prototype and used this to demonstrate how a simplified card buying process could feel. From that, our developers produced a working proof of concept.
This test app was shared via TestFlight with the Papier team and investors, who agreed to prioritize the project. From there we set about designing and building a more polished release version.
There were a couple of key animations I wanted to get right. Tapping on a design from a list of products would zoom to reveal it in more detail.
Tapping a button at this point would open the card. This animation would confirm that the chosen design was on a folded card, while making it clear that the next step was writing inside it. The goal was to provide clarity and context to the user.
The visual design followed Papier’s existing brand aesthetic, with occasional pops of friendly color. Mostly, I let the products do the talking and kept navigational UI in line with Apple human interface guidelines. Good design is invisible, right?
A month after launching, Papier Cards was featured as App of The Day on the App Store. Repeat rates for greeting card customers using the app was 150% higher than those who bought via the website. Customers were overwhelmingly happy with the experience, despite the limited range and customization features.