Design is a critical aspect for businesses as it can enhance brand perception, attract and retain customers, and ultimately contribute to achieving business goals.

The importance of great design

Designing successful apps and websites is not just about aesthetics; it's about creating a seamless user experience that captivates and engages visitors. I approach each project with a fresh perspective, focusing on user-centric design and creating experiences that are both functional and visually stunning.

Design is a skill that requires a creative eye and a strategic mind. Designers not only know how to make things look beautiful but also how to create intuitive interfaces, anticipate user behavior, and develop seamless user journeys.

Design Thinking

I will use Aiko Mail as a case study to demonstrate my design thinking process, which involves six key steps. First, I will focus on branding, ensuring that the product's logo, icons and overall aesthetic align with the company's values and resonate with its target audience. Next, I will empathize with the users of Aiko Mail, gaining a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences through research and feedback. From there, I will define the problem and set clear objectives for the project. Then, I will ideate, generating a wide range of potential solutions and concepts.

Once I have narrowed down my ideas, I will create prototypes and test them with real users to ensure that the final product meets their needs and expectations. Throughout each step of the process, I will remain open to feedback and willing to make changes as needed to create a successful and user-friendly product.

Case study: Aiko Mail

Aiko Mail ( is the most advanced email software available. Awards: Best AI company of the year, Best Startup founded in NYC, Email platform of the year. Skip to a section:

Capturing the essence of the brand

To develop the branding for Aiko Mail, I followed a thorough and strategic process.

First, I conducted market research and competitive analysis to gain a deeper understanding of the industry and identify gaps in the market that Aiko Mail could fill. Based on this information, I created a brand positioning statement that outlined Aiko Mail's unique value proposition and key differentiators.

The branding game

From there, I developed a brand identity that captured the company's personality, values, and overall aesthetic.

This included designing a logo, selecting a color palette and typography, and creating a brand style guide to ensure consistency across all marketing materials. Throughout the process, I collaborated closely with the rest of the team to ensure that the vision was reflected in the final branding, while also staying true to the needs and preferences of their target audience.

The result was a minimalistic, clean white and blue brand to match the 'Inbox Zero' positioning of the company.


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The Empathy Experiment

White paper research
When email was first introduced in the 1970s, it was used primarily as a way for researchers and scientists to communicate with each other.

Over the years, it has become an integral part of our daily lives, with billions of people around the world using it to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues.

Focus group (18 participants)
During the research phase, I’ve come across dozens of startups claiming to reinvent or revolutionize email, but they fall short across the board, staying conservative and adding little to no new features.

I proceeded to interview 18 corporate email users and noted all their pain points.

Walking in their shoes

The 3 main findings of my research were:
◉ Too much time spent reading, writing, organizing emails.
◉ Most emails are unimportant, irrelevant or subscriptions.
◉ People use unread emails as to-do list which is inefficient.

Email should be a useful tool for communication and collaboration, it shouldn’t be a time sink that consumes a large portion of our day.

I am passionate about creating empathetic user experiences that not only meet users' needs but also improve their overall quality of life. By focusing on the user's perspective and incorporating their feedback, I can create a product that truly resonates with them.


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The problem

People find themselves spending hours sorting, reading, writing and organizing an excessive amount of messages.

While there have been some advancements in email technology, such as the introduction of web-based email and mobile apps, these changes have mainly been incremental and have not fundamentally changed the way that email works.

The solution

To create an email solution that saves people time.

One of the biggest challenges in redesigning email software is the need to balance innovation with familiarity. Many people are used to the way that the traditional inbox works and any significant changes to the interface or functionality could be confusing or frustrating for users.

The goal is to transform email into the great tool it was designed to be rather than the chore it is today which is why I need to focus on its biggest pain points.


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Back to the drawing board

Let's break down the keywords I found most important to fix the inbox user interface.

Email needs to be visual and focused, to find what you need quickly with no clutter. It needs to be intuitive so people know how to use it out of the box. It also needs to save time, so we’re going to need good automation.

Note: Due to the nature of this software, the user experience can be greatly improved by so-called accelerators such as keyboard shortcuts, touch gestures, or voice control.

Kanban is visual and intuitive

Kanban is a project management method that was originally developed by Toyota in the 1950s to improve the efficiency of its manufacturing process. It is now widely used in various industries and has proven to be particularly effective in task management and organization.

Kanban for email is truly novel and is a great way to visualize and organize emails for every industry, including that of our beta users:

Accounting: invoices, receipts, and bills.
Marketing: newsletters, promotions, and ads.
Sales: leads, prospecting, and follow-ups.
HR: job applications, interviews, and onboarding.

Adding focus and automation

Now that our app is visual and intuitive, we need it to be focused and automated.

I added focus by creating a Priority/Other switch, using AI to filter unimportant emails.

I added automation with what I call the Board Rules.
Using AI, this feature helps you automatically sort emails into boards based on their intent. Let's say Aiko Mail detects a scheduling intent, you can create a board called 'meetings' and all of them will migrate there automatically.

Prototype & Test

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Breaking the Mold

The CTO and I then created a simple desktop app which featured a clean and minimalist design, with some initial features like the Priority/Other switch and the Boards.

To test the usability and effectiveness of the email client desktop app prototype, I conducted a series of user tests with a group of beta users. The tests were designed to assess the usability, user satisfaction, and effectiveness of the email client in managing and organizing email.

The beta users were provided with a set of tasks to perform on the email client desktop app prototype, such as composing a new email, replying to an email, and managing their inbox. The feedback received from the beta users was overwhelmingly positive, with users commending the simplicity and ease of use of the email client.

The Good, the Bad, and the Insightful

Based on the feedback received, I made some minor adjustments to the user interface to further improve usability and user satisfaction. For example, I made the boards dynamic in sizes and decided to create 'Spaces' to make it easier for users to access their different topics.

Overall, the user tests confirmed that the email client desktop app prototype was highly effective in managing and organizing emails and provided a streamlined, user-friendly interface for users. The feedback received from the beta users was instrumental in refining the prototype and developing a final version that met the needs and expectations of email users.

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