A fresh take on mobile
July 30th, 2014
Yesterday, we launched our new iOS app. When we set out to update our mobile apps months ago, we knew we had a big task in front of us. Despite great customer growth and our devotion to being a product-led company, our mobile apps lagged behind. Our new iOS app is just the first step towards tackling our biggest opportunity for growth, and represents a shift in both our mobile and overall product strategy and process. While it takes time to build a multi-platform product and company, we are excited that we have entered a new era for Asana. We’d like to give you an inside look at how we got to this point and where we are going with mobile.
The evolution of mobile at Asana
For previous versions of our apps, we spent time on a technical approach that did not ultimately deliver. Like many companies, we tried to make an HTML-native hybrid app be a fast, simple, and feature-rich experience. We thought we could offer you functionality faster by writing code that works across platforms (iOS & Android), rather than rewriting the same features over and over (which obviously slows us down). We made this decision before Apple had introduced auto-upgrading, so the hybrid approach had the added advantage of code pushes and updates being simpler, without requiring you to update the app.
But the hybrid approach didn’t result in an app of the quality teams came to expect and need from Asana, and demand for a better mobile experience was the top user feedback by a large margin. We’ve always been committed to a great Asana experience across all devices–on computers, tablets, and phones. After learning the hard way that the only way to deliver that on mobile is through fully-native experiences, we are giving all our apps, starting with iPhone and iPad, a fresh take.
Building our native iOS app
We began designing the new iOS app around common mobile behaviors and incorporated feedback from the thousands of teams using our first generation app. We also developed a new, cleaner, brighter visual design, which will roll out to Android and the web in the coming months. Here’s a look at the process, from wireframing to designing, that we used to create the new homescreen: The result is an iPhone and iPad app that helps you run your day, your team, and your company. You can record an idea from anywhere in the app, recall information quickly using search, and see a glimpse of your day front-and-center. We are excited to share the new app with you, and that so many of you seem to be benefiting from the experience already.
“Asana’s brand new iOS app is incredibly fast and makes it easy for me to focus on the things I absolutely need to do today. I love that the “Today” view is shown when you first open it up because it completely fits with my current workflow.” – Kanjun Qiu, Product Manager, Dropbox
“Asana’s new mobile app is fast, smooth, and intuitive. It has as much functionality as the desktop version so I’m now able to use Asana entirely on the go.” – Frank Yang, CEO, Simplehuman
Our plans for Android
While we are excited about what teams and users who rely on iOS can achieve with our new app, we are not stopping here. We have already started working on a comparable (but Android-customized) experience for your Android phone. We chose to develop for iOS first since the majority of our mobile users are on iOS (nearly 75%), but we are excited to reach even more teams who rely on Android with our new app. We will be working to deliver the same quality experience we have on iOS devices and the web over the next few months. If you’d like to get updates on our progress, please sign up for our Android email list. In the meantime, check out a couple of our early Android designs: Thank you for your continued support while we work towards our vision of making teamwork more effortless, across devices. To download Asana for iOS, visit the App Store. For more more details about the new app, check out our launch blog post.