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Interview: Peek Calendar

Posted on May 6, 2014 by Themethodcase

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Why you built Peek?
We believe that there is an opportunity to apply design thinking to the existing products and make them more useful for bigger groups of people. We did not want to just come up with a new idea and introduce another gadget that only a small group of people might find useful.

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Tell us about your Design approach.
We have an approach which is very simple: understanding what people really value, coming up with new ideas, and then pushing technology to bring those ideas to life. Our goal is to apply the same approach and principles to other experiences and create more innovative products for people by using design.

How it started?
It all started with one question: “ What do people really value when it comes to managing time on the go?” so we went out and talked to people! We learned that there is a bigger group of people that simply need to manage time on the go without being overloaded by unnecessary information and features. We also noticed that some people don’t use calendar or gave up using calendar apps after a short while.

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Who is Peek designed for?
We talked to people about their everyday life, and the way they feel about scheduling and time management. Soon we knew that we wanted to design Peek for a group of people that are not necessarily considered as ‘power users’. Not all of people are CEOs or managers that go from meeting to meeting throughout the day. In fact, the majority of us don’t a need powerful tool to manage time.
If using a calendar app is not easier than remembering things or writing them on a piece of paper, then people would not use the calendar on their phones.

Who are you?
Two friends that met in Umeå university in 2011.
Amid Moradganjeh: Designer. I previously worked at IDEO and Microsoft. I have also been consulting multiple startups in Europe. I am a graduate of Umeå institute of design in Sweden.
Patryk Zoltowski: Technical development. Patryk’s background is in enterprise web app development. recently he has been mainly focused on innovation in the mobile market. He is a graduate of Poznan University of Technology and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland.

How it is working from distance?
The design of Peek started when I was in San Francisco and Patryk in Poland. we used email to communicate the ideas. Using email allowed us to be able to communicate more accurate. This really helped up work together. Later I moved to Europe to finish the app in Tallinn, Estonia.

Which is the work style?
Peek was a one designer + one developer team work. The collaboration between a designer and a developer made it much easier for us to try ideas early enough and helped us to be more innovative. Developer had the chance to influence the design.

Design is about creating new options rather than making a choice out of the alternatives that already exist. If we know what people really need coming up with new ideas wouldn’t be that difficult.

So what is Peek all about?
Peek is designed to be an easy to use calendar for on-the-go context. For a mobile experience, users prefer to achieve their goals with minimum engagement. We wanted Peek to give people only the information they need in a quick and intuitive way. This does not mean Peek is designed to be minimalist, but it manages the complexity by layering the information so people get what they need more quickly and easily. Swipe gesture is an example of layering that the user can control; users can swipe on an event to see the length and the location of an event without opening the event.

Time management is not the most delightful thing to do. We wanted peek to be a fun experience! This becomes possible when Peek feels natural and playful. Time picker, for example, was one of the features we designed from the ground up for Peek to make input experience more playful and easier.

We wanted Peek interface to be at-a-glance! Peek does not look as crowded as other calendar apps. Also we used visual indications and different color themes communicate with the user at a level that can be still useful.

I made the Peek video to tell the story. The video shows moments of lives of seven people and demonstrates how Peek can fit in their lives.

Peek Calendar

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