Improving User Experience and Creating Built for Blackberry Apps: Tim Horton’s TimmyMe

Case Studies & Success Stories

Editor’s note: Below is the second guest post in a series by Clearbridge Mobile. Clearbridge was involved in getting a Built for BlackBerry certification for the TimmyMe app available in BlackBerry World. Check out their first post, “First to Tap and Pay: NFC with Tim Hortons.”

TimmyMe Screenshot_large

Recently Tim Hortons released a major update for the TimmyMe app in Blackberry World. This update included major improvements, with many new and upgrades features. One of the new features added is mobile payments. This post is the second part of the TimmyMe developer experience.  In this post, we will share our design experience for the Built for BlackBerry (BFB) program.

Part of the update was an overhaul of the look and feel of the app, updating the entire user interface and experience. It is now a certified Built for BlackBerry (BFB) application. You may be asking yourself what that certification means, and you should want it. Trust me, you want it.

Built for Blackberry (BFB)

The Built for BlackBerry Certification is a program offered to developers to help set their apps apart from the pack. It allows an app to get the recognition that the app is designed, tested, and certified to work the best on a BlackBerry.

There is a checklist that you can follow found here. The list outlines the attributes and requirements needed in order to get the BFB certification. Though there are some performance related requirements such as stability and memory management, we focused on improving the user experience criteria for the update of the TimmyMe app.

UI Updates to Support BFB

With the Tim Hortons app, we simply created a fresh new design rather than modifying the previous version of the app. We found it easy to draw from experience, especially using BFB native apps on the device as a reference. A large portion of building the app is making it simple and intuitive to use. Below I will highlight the changes we made in the app that support BFB requirements as well as some general tips on what to consider when planning the flow of an app and user experience.

The first area we worked on changing was navigation and user experience. We removed a grid pattern page that users would use as a steppingstone to select which page to go to and created a landing page with tips, suggestions and latest news. We then implemented the tab menu, which is a common BlackBerry application navigation. As you can see below, this is a more native and natural experience for BlackBerry users. When thinking about native navigation, we recommend using what is common and expected for users throughout the device. The menu and tabs are great features in the BlackBerry10 platform. Use them, as they are what BlackBerry 10 users expect to see in their apps.

TimmyMe_nav before

Figure 1 – Before Update Grid Menu

TimmyMe_nav after

Figure 2 - After Update and BFB certified

When planning out the UI/UX flow, we wanted to make sure that users could easily navigate within the app, focusing on the fact that most users are only using one hand with their BlackBerry devices. This is reflected on the Tim Card Page and the Tap to Pay flow. Users would be able to pay, reload and use the Tim Card as simply as possible. Our goal was to minimize the amount of user interaction required. Examples included enabling peek and flow (a great BlackBerry experience) and minimizing the number of pages by creating only one reload page, opposed to the two it had before. This type of thinking is key. It’s important to make the experience easy for the user on every page.

TimmyMe_Screenshot 1

Figure 3 – Peek and Flow

TimmyMe_Screenshot 2

Figure 4 – Easy one finger navigation

Conclusion

When designing and planning an app you should think about your end user. How can you make the experience better? How can you make it easier and faster? The design should be tailored to your audience to make it the best it can be. Understanding the native platform and using flow and experiences users are already familiar with is a great way to go about this. TimmyMe was designed with these ideas in mind, and the result is that users everywhere are enjoying the newly updated app. The reviews speak for themselves, with many praising the app and its updated experience.

TimmyMe Review_1

TimmyMe Review_2

TimmyMe Review_3

For more information on creating great mobile experiences, drop us an email at dev@clearbridgemobile.com.

TimmyMe with mobile payments is available for BlackBerry 10 now!

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