Rewriting a classic

School lunches? There's an app for that. Flexischools is a payment platform and online ordering system that's deployed in more that 1,000 schools across Australia to make everything from ordering school lunches to paying fees dead-easy for parents.

So how do you improve upon an app that's already amassed 900,000 users? With deep collaboration, careful consideration and a lot of exploration and iteration of ideas. It's also a work in progress, so what follows is a sneak peak as the wheels turn.

Start at the source.

When embarking on any user experience redesign project (or any UX project really), it's crucial that you get real users involved early on. Without concrete feedback, you're working with assumptions and best guesses - which can often be right, especially for a business that's in tune with their customers - but still, why leave it to chance when you can just ask the questions straight up?

Luckily we had access to some existing Flexischools users to learn firsthand what was great and not-so-great about the experience of using Flexischools on a daily basis. To round out our picture of the main areas that needed improvement, we surveyed the customer service team at Flexi HQ; after all they're the ones that hear from users every day!

We presented our findings and initial suggestions for some new high level concepts that we thought would make life simpler for parents, and we were off.

Layer upon layer.

In addition to a visual refresh that gave the app a more polished and complete feel, our main task was to take the many layers that make Flexischools such a comprehensive product and present them in a simplified way to ensure users could easily navigate through the options and functions available to them.

The platform not only allows for online ordering, but also allows students to store real funds that get linked to their student ID cards for real-world payments. Parent's can also manage the accounts, balances and orders for several kids under one master account, adding an extra layer of complexity. Throw in different service types like canteen, events, fees and more, and you've got a lot of things to coordinate with just a few taps.

For our next trick...

As we continue to work with the Flexischools team to refine and roll out the new designs, we've now shifted our attention to helping the users on the other side of the platform - the school principals, canteen managers and other administrators. Our joint goal is to empower them to do more of their own service setup and maintenance; giving them more control and making admin easier, while also freeing up the Flexi team to continue to improve their service.

A flexible approach
to building great products.

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