What It Was
Beam is an iOS app. It started out as simple little app called Photo Dialer that let users call their friends by tapping on their picture instead of using the standard iOS contact list. Photo Dialer had been neglected and we were there to give it a facelift. Along with our team, we completely rebranded, redesigned, redeveloped, and re-released Photo Dialer as Beam.
We started by taking a look at Photo Dialer and set out to enhance the features to make the app a bit more useful. Text messaging was a natural extension of phone calls so that was in. FaceTime? Why not? Email integration? Yup! Twitter was an easy next step thanks to their awesome API. Facebook? We need to talk to you about your API, Zuck.
The team working on Beam was small and we followed an agile (not THE Agile) development process. That meant that sketches were used to convey design ideas and video chats were frequent. In fact, the entire project was completed in less than a month. However, it wasn’t easy. Adding the features meant creating many complex rules and flows for the user to be able to easily use the app while also being able to edit default contact functions. For example, contacts with multiple email addresses had to be able to select which email address would be the one-tap default. Same thing for text messages. And phone numbers. You get the idea. Challenging but fun!