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LocalBlip

local blip ordia creative home screen
Ordia Creative built this app from scratch,
up to version 1.0.1 on iOS, and version 1.0.6 on Android.

Small business owners have no time to spare. This is far from a new observation, and at its heart lies a truly age-old problem. They wear an assortment of hats, between finance, customer service, vendor relations, and marketing, which keep these titans of local commerce chained to their desks and running themselves ragged around the clock. They are the practical beating heart of our economy and yet most do not feel comfortable even taking a vacation. And, not through any fault of their own, they need someone to put time back into their day. LocalBlip saw this, and took an empathetic interest.

LocalBlip’s mission was to help these local businesses better serve their communities. Through the web, they built a series of tools allowing those businesses to better engage their own customers and offer discounts and coupons in a groundbreakingly simple way. It was an unqualified success but unfortunately, simple didn’t stay simple for long enough. As any good Samaritan knows, one customer request leads to another and the input quickly rose to flash-flood levels which threatened to drown out the user experience. Cluttered, bruised, and begging for a better way to give their customers access on mobile, LocalBlip’s web presence needed someone in their corner.

Small business owners don’t want to have to learn something new

The last thing small business owners want to do is consult the owners’ manual. They just don’t have the time. We thus engineered the app to be as simple for vendors to create deals and coupons as it is for consumers to redeem them. By lowering the barrier to entry for business owners, it’s more powerful because it’s more accessible. And by providing analytics, we’ve closed the loop on marketing reporting so that they can see what works and what doesn’t, all at the push of a button on the go.

How We Made It

Application development has finally burst out of its box

The story from here could have diverged down several paths. Until very recent times, mobile apps have been seen as an inelegant addendum to web-based offerings; basically a smaller website with fewer buttons. Because of this thinking, app development was trapped within a self-contained box which choked out creativity and kept it languishing in the shadows of the desktop.

This sort of development approach might have compounded LocalBlip’s challenges and made life harder on businesses. 

However, having seen the darkness, we here at Ordia Creative have been able to forge a new way under a new light. Our agency dares to dream bolder, to look upwards, and to see the pinnacle of what mobile-first 

local blip home screen ordia creative

development can achieve: a truly immersive user experience. For, by not trying to simply mirror the web but by building anew exactly what customers find valuable in a blue-sky arena, we’ve found that absolutely anything is possible. 

It’s where these two rivers converged that we at Ordia Creative met LocalBlip. LocalBlip’s web-centric approach to solving small business marketing challenges was stifling its mission to help them wherever they were, and at Ordia Creative we were looking for a partner who shared our customer-centric vision and desire for app-excellence.

Together, we sat down at the table and swept away everything that had come before in order to re-imagine the user’s experience. Here is what we built together.

Consumers and smartphones
are basically synonymous now

One of LocalBlip’s foundational principles is to leverage local consumers’ buying power to fuel the local businesses around them. By making it easier for them to find each other and giving them a compelling reason to interact, they power local commerce. For this reason we at Ordia Creative decided to create two divergent experiences, one for consumers and one for vendors.
For consumers, who primarily want to redeem discounts, the largest barrier to adoption and usage was the complexity of the web presence. We were able to clean it up into a much more elegant and functional design.

local blip stacked images ordia creative

Small business owners don’t want to have to learn something new

The last thing small business owners want to do is consult the owners’ manual. They just don’t have the time. We thus engineered the app to be as simple for vendors to create deals and coupons as it is for consumers to redeem them. By lowering the barrier to entry for business owners, it’s more powerful because it’s more accessible. And by providing analytics, we’ve closed the loop on marketing reporting so that they can see what works and what doesn’t, all at the push of a button on the go.

How seamlessly does it fit into people’s lives?

Good design should go completely unnoticed. It should feel smooth and streamlined, like an Apple product, and this is precisely what we wanted LocalBlip’s app to feel like in its users hands. The smooth finish extends seamlessly throughout our consumers and vendors’ days with geo-location, to know when to extend offers, push-notifications, to grab attention in the moment, and social media integrations, to allow these offers to flower and go viral from the device in their pocket.

local blip ipad tablet ordia creative

Cross-platform development

You could call us ambidextrous if you like, but we’re fully proficient with both iOS and Android and prefer to develop them simultaneously. This allows us to maintain a high-quality control over the UI and graphics so that the app doesn’t appear differently to two friends side by side on different devices. We built the iOS and Android mobile and tablet apps from scratch using iOS - Objective C/Swift and Android SDK - Java.

Tightening everything up so that it “just works”

Brilliant simplicity should shine like a light everywhere throughout our apps’ interfaces and wash away duplicated effort. Everywhere we found multiple contact forms where only one would do, we reduced them and implemented data storage to save their entries.

And everywhere there was lack of clarity, as we found with simple numbered buttons in the navigation bar or clunky zip-code entry boxes, we imagined it anew, with fewer steps and far greater effect.

Easy to understand and operate

Clarity is the most important element of UI design. UI design's purpose is to enable users to interact with an application by communicating function and meaning. If no one is able to figure out how an application works or where to go in an app they’ll get confused and frustrated. 

The app's elements offer a clean, uncomplicated interface, and it was important we match the functionality to the design. The app mirrors the functions of other popular websites and apps like Facebook and Pinterest to add a familiarity for users, while also providing a look and feel all its own.

search screen local blip ordia creative

THE RESULT

In the end, there were plenty of ideas that both of our teams loved but which didn’t make it into the app. Why? Because user-experience comes first, and the users weren’t feeling them. And we’re pretty pleased with that, because it allowed us to turn out a product that’s highly functional, imminently responsive, elegantly designed, and solves a fundamental business challenge.

Creating each app is in some ways like bringing life into this world and each comes with the realization that it has to venture off to mature on its own. We’re glad to see that LocalBlip has grown to be so successful and we are extremely grateful for their partnership on this project that has so much potential to do so much good!

We were able to successfully launch both apps in their relative app stores without a hitch. We kept the guys at LocalBlip in the loop throughout the creation of these applications. You can use one of the download buttons below.

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