Working with the Rapidream team, we went through the full cycle. From interviewing customers, through defining the problem, coming up with solutions, pivoting and finally design. The result is a product that lets developers translate designs into real code up to 10 times faster than ever before.
Pivoting to find the right problem to solve
The alpha version of Rapidream was released before we started working together. It didn't get a good response, despite the ambitious vision and technology. Yedid, Rapidream's CEO and founder approached us about this issue.
We started by interviewing users, translating insights into problems, translating those problems into solutions, and finally, shaping solutions into a product. Along the way we've pivoted and narrowed down the problem to solve with the product (we counted 6 pivots, then we lost track). Finally, after a few months, Rapidream had a vision of a simple product that addressed a core problem that every front-end developer experiences and no-one has ever solved: the designer-to-developer hand off.
Solving designer-to-developer hand off
When you're creating a new app, you first need it designed. The designer works in their own software, creating images of how the app should look like. When it is approved, the developer then takes these images and replicates them from scratch using code.
We found from our interviews that developers spend up to 60% of their time on getting the app to look right. What's worse, developers can't really start working on the app until the design is far enough, or ideally, finished. How design is translated into code is the single biggest problem in the development ecosystem today, and solving it would enable software companies to ship better software, up to 100% faster.
Many attempted to solve this hand off problem, but the solutions are not good enough for most real-world applications. They are mainly used to speed up development of prototypes and internal tools, a tiny portion of the market.
“After releasing our alpha product, we didn't know how to move forward towards product market fit. Working with Lumi changed this company completely. The team at Lumi steered us through the customer conversations, helped us develop multiple innovative first of their kind solutions and delivered a beautiful, minimal interface on top of it.”
“There are no ‘final’ designs for Rapidream. We are solving the problem in a new way, and so we went through more than 200 iterations so far. We will go through hundreds more, improving the product at every opportunity.”
“The website was built using the tool we helped develop - making the Rapidream team its’ first client.”
Real solution on the horizon
The innovation process took us much further than we thought. After the initial interviews, we worked in cycles: design, test, improve. We quickly arrived at a problem worth solving, one we thought we could solve — Allowing developers to code up pixel perfect designs up to 10 times faster.
That problem statement became our guiding mission as we iterated, getting closer to a solution every time. After just over 5 cycles we had a demo that we were really proud of. Both developers and investors have shown an overwhelmingly positive reaction this time. The developers wanted to pay for the simple demo and use it straight away, and Yedid was able to raise a second round of funding in just a couple of weeks.
After that, we were able to speed up our iterative process, transforming the solution into a fully fledged product, delivering the branding, landing page and other assets to support a wider release.
A beautiful, simple UI that encourages adoption
Most developer tools are not exactly beautiful. They are highly functional of course, and drastically improve productivity, but only once you've learned and mastered them. Some core developer tools are downright anti-user friendly. And while developers are open to trying new tools, they are much less open to changing their whole workflow.
We designed Rapidream with all of that in mind. The interface had to be easy to use and appealing. Wherever we could, we decided to rely on concepts already known to developers - inspectors, code editors, version control, diffing and others. Where we couldn't, we came up with our own concepts and carefully tested them with developers.
As a result the app is familiar and intuitive, requiring little instructions. How developers work is still familiar to them. It's what they can achieve with Rapidream that is a true breakthrough.
“There is no other person I have met throughout my career who can compare to Lumi when it comes to product-market fit, UX and UI. I strongly recommend them to anyone.”