New flagship features that contribute to an all-time high in various metrics

Product strategies and the new for native iOS, Android, and mobile web that impact business valuation.

✻ Mobile Design Team Lead
✻ Aug 2015 – Jul 2017

Freelancer Mobile App Design by Kocha

Design Challenge:

Freelancer (ASX: FLN) is a freelance marketplace website that allows potential employers to post jobs, and then freelancers can bid to complete the projects.

Employers and freelancers post and manage their jobs through the web, while our app V1 only captures a few project statuses.

We want to do more with our app V2 and give our customers a new tool to browse, manage and communicate their projects in the app with a seamless experience from the web.

Business Goals:

  • Allowing our customers to create and manage projects from their mobile will increase our growth metric.
  • Making the freelancer profile more visible is going to impact their visibility as well as our membership revenue.
  • The mobile initiative will dominate screen time from other competitors. Now our customers can get things done anytime, anywhere (pre-covid).

User Goals:

  • Post, bid, and manage projects—anywhere, anytime from their mobile.
  • A seamless experience between the web and the app.
  • Freelancers are more visible. Employers can find the right freelancers quicker and better.
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1. The opportunity creation

After a highly successful revamp of (Freelancer acquired), the SVP of Growth has asked me to transition to the Freelancer product, the mobile team. At that time, Freelancer was a web-focus company, and mobile was just a tiny team that mimicked some of the web features.

I never work with Freelancer products before. I don’t know what users need or how the app function in the business model. With minimal function in the app, we lack measurable data points, and it’s tough to form any hypothesis around the user needs or our mobile growth metric.

I interview senior leaders, designers, PMs, engineers, customer support and data scientists to fill the knowledge gaps. Then I realised we’re not being asked to improve an existing product; we’re being asked to invent an entirely new product. We’re going to create a new opportunity.

Regarding of creativity and user experience, Kocha always puts his best efforts to bring them into his production. He is one of the artists who make his products talk for him

— Tran To, iOS Engineer at (Jul 15, 2017)

2. Design thinking, learning, and making

Since I started from V2, understanding the current infrastructure helped me quickly release something to learn from. The first feature I designed was the explicit customer feedback embedded in the app V1.

We go from there, we design something, we validate feedback, then release and learn from the customers. We spent a few months on this process to shape our V2 vision and strategy. The more we design, the more data and feedback we collect, and the more confidence we gain as a team.

Kocha is a super talented designer and conceptual thinker. He not only has a meticulous eye for details, also can think holistically. He designs for users’ need as well as meeting business goals

— Lin Mei, Senior Product Designer at (Aug 27, 2017)

3. Core features

My vision for my team was end each week by validating our potential solution with real users and customers and with the remarkable observation of the teams, we spotted lots of opportunities and created new features such as:

  • Messenger: brings Freelancers and Employers closer and clearer; therefore, the project success rate increases (tracked by the Employer marks the project as finished and reviews the freelancer).
  • Multi-Roles: members can switch between employers and freelancers in the same account/screen in one flick—increasing the project creation rate (yes, people subcontracting).
  • Multi-Players: Select more than one freelancer to work on the same project. Boost our project commission fee per project.
  • Post Project: post or bid projects from the app—increasing the project creation and bid-time rates (the time the freelancers place the bid on the project after the employers post the project). Which later become our A-ha moment experience (Freelancer will bid on your project within a few seconds).
  • Milestone Payment: a payment paid in stages of progress throughout a project when agreed.
  • Rehire CTA:  the rehiring button helps our users work with someone who clicks again and creates a loop within our business ecosystem.
  • And many more:  e.g., freelancer profile page, membership redesign, new onboarding , etc.

Kocha leads the mobile design with passion and creativity. He redesigned both the iOS and Android app, created and brainstorm new mobile features which lead to a huge boost to our mobile stats

— Jack Lian, Android Engineer at (Jul 21, 2017)

4. A new way of describing old reality

While we busy create a positive impact through the new features above, I noticed that people are often confused about what’s next after posting or bidding on a project.

At that time, the V1 app gave people a non-linear experience called a project view page (PVP), but I believe people’s mental model was a linear experience, e.g. the employer must post a project first, then choose the freelancer to work with and so on, not the other way around.

I hypothesise that if we give them a clue of what’s next—with a single explicit action, we will increase our project creation and completion even more. That’s the birth of “Timeline”—a new experimental concept that we haven’t even on the web yet.

Vision: Provide and linear process for our customers to complete their projects.

Strategy: Ship iOS, Android and Mobile web, observe how people interact with it on—then repeat until success.

During my time at Kocha was the Mobile design team lead. He pushed user interaction, satisfaction and retention to an all time high

— Apattra Hongsuwong, Motion Designer at (May 1, 2018)

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The results

  • The most anticipated flagship feature that impacts our business valuation (2015-2017).
  • The most frequent experimenting, iterating and go-lives product.
  • We hit the first million downloads with significant positive reviews.
  • All-time high various mobile metrics & revenue.
  • From overlooked products to 3 product managers teams that won the Webby awards.

What could we improve

  • If what people feel after they use the product is UX, I think how people feel before they engage in the product (called Brand) can be improved.
  • I firmly believe that we should let people learn the values before creating an account, e.g. they should be able to post the project before they sign up.
  • I don’t believe we should suggested a project category when posting a new project—I believe we should do free from input and use the machine learning to detect the category

My role in this project

  • End-to-end mobile experience and its interface design.
  • Collaborate with PMs, Engineers, Data scientist, Growth Leaders, Art Director
  • Led design team on visual assets and design systems.
  • Conduct user research and usability testing.
  • Facilitate design workshops and stakeholders interview.
  • Ideate and creative experimental.

Project team

Kocha’s team at FreelancerKocha’s team at FreelancerKocha’s team at FreelancerKocha’s team at FreelancerKocha’s team at FreelancerKocha’s team at FreelancerKocha’s team at Freelancer

About Freelancer

Freelancer (ASX: FLN) is an Australian freelance marketplace website, which allows potential employers to post jobs that freelancers can then bid to complete. Read more

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Freelancer’s company eventPhotograph of Kocha’s memories at Insight TimerPhotograph of Kocha’s memories at Insight TimerPhotograph of Kocha’s memories at Insight TimerPhotograph of Kocha’s memories at Insight TimerPhotograph of Kocha’s memories at Insight Timer