February 11, 2016

Contactually's New iOS V3.0: The Shape of Apps to Come


Editor's Note: Already a Contactually user? You can download our new iOS app here. (Not a user yet? Don't worry you can start your trial here and then download our iOS app to your device.)

Oops, we goofed

At Contactually, we have a lot to be proud of. Our web product has been steadily improving -- it's consistently faster, more reliable, and provides a better user experience. We have so much we want to accomplish for our users and so much we can do better to make their work lives easier and more fulfilling. Overall, though, we like to think we get it right more often than not.

The non-web products are another story, and none have been more of a disappointment to us and our users than the iOS app. To put it another way: our app sucks. You know it and we know it.

We have no defense from our reviewers: we were embarrassed about our iOS app and knew we needed to fix it. But first we had to reflect on what went wrong.

How did this happen?

With the benefit of hindsight, it's clear that we violated two of our core principles.

First, we didn't focus on the user. We didn't take the time to sufficiently understand what our users wanted to do on mobile. Instead, we set out to build a version of the Contactually app for a smaller screen. We didn't listen carefully enough to hear our users' problems, or think deeply enough about the solutions.

Second, we ignored much of what we know about how to build software. Instead of regarding our mobile products as essential parts of the Contactually ecosystem, we treated them like appendages. Instead of dedicating a full team of product designers, developers, and testers to these apps, we built them on the cheap. Instead of clearing any roadblocks to acceptable (or even exemplary) application performance, we accepted our constraints.

So about six months ago, we did the one thing you're never supposed to do. We started over.

Before we designed a single screen or wrote a line of code, we addressed the two root causes of our past failure. We spoke extensively with our customers about what they wanted out of a mobile Contactually experience, and thought hard about how to make it simple for users to interact with their key contacts at the right time in as few steps as possible. We decided to treat all our products - web, mobile, plugin - equally from now on. We assembled a team of some of our best product designers and developers.

From there, we wrote a set of design principles, wireframed, and rapidly prototyped. We user tested clickable mockups, released multiple versions in private beta, and solicited user feedback through every step of the process. (if you'd like to join our beta group for future iOS releases, send us an email!).

Now it's finally here: the all-new Contactually for iOS, which moves us closer to our goal of creating the best mobile experience for engaging your key business relationships. I hope you'll be pleased with the results, and consider it a sign of more good things to come.

Contactually iOS v3.0 -- now with MOAR POWER

You'll first notice our new iOS app is fast and stable, which is more than we could say about prior versions.

Clean interfaces focus you on engaging personally. As soon as you see your dashboard feed, you'll know in an instant who you need to reach today and what tasks await your attention. It's easy to connect when emails, calls, and texts are all a single tap away.

A prominent "Add" button in the tab bar makes it easy to log new contact information, tasks, notes, or interactions. We pre-fill information about contacts whenever possible, to save you time. After all, you only have a few minutes spread throughout a busy day of client calls, prospect meetings, and team check-ins. You're trying to build your network, stay top-of-mind, record key insights and next steps, and keep your database up-to-date. We want to make it easy for you--wherever, whenever.

Interactive swipe gestures make updating your dashboard that much simpler. Swipe right and easily add an interaction if you've already followed up with a contact, or swipe left and choose how long to snooze that contact from your dashboard. Quickly accomplish your daily follow up goals, when you have a few minutes to spare.

Everything you need to grow your business in the palm of your hand

With our all-new iOS app, your entire contact database is a single tap away. All their contact information, activity history, notes, and tasks are accessible in a single location. Contactually gives you a people--and relationship--centric view of your entire business.

Much more on the way

From daily notifications and email templates to calendar and address book integrations, we have a lot planned for our iOS app - download it here. We're also anticipating similarly dramatic overhauls of our Android and Chrome apps this year. In 2015, we secured the funding to build the products our users deserve. I'm thrilled to be hitting the ground running in 2016 with the first of many radical product enhancements. If you have feedback on the new iOS app, or suggestions of what features to build next for mobile, please get in touch - we can't do this without you!

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