REVERB

REVERB

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING READER

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING READER

Reverb were a short lived company started by lexicographer Erin McKean known for her TED talks on the future of words and how the concept of the dictionary applies to the future. She and her partner received seed money, collaborated with a natural language processing guru and built an app. We were #1 on the Apple app store when we launched and were quickly sold to a company called Inform. I led the effort to design an elegant and very consumable reading experience that resonated with the inference of the brand: Reverb.

READING

READING

The central design task for our application was that of creating an effortless and elegant reading experience. The finest details wer considered and fussed over until it was just right - we needed people to forget the UI and enjoy a frictionless reading experience.

The central design task for our application was that of creating an effortless and elegant reading experience. The finest details wer considered and fussed over until it was just right - we needed people to forget the UI and enjoy a frictionless reading experience.

CUSTOMIZATION

CUSTOMIZATION

Our NLP engine needed somewhere to start. The concept is that by examining the semantic inferences in people searches are reading choices, an intelligent understanding of their tastes and interests may be created. This is the essence of natural language processing in our context and without some initial configuration the task would be slow. Erin liked to refer to the AI of the time as 'Artificial stupidity' and suggested that our nuanced way of drawing inference form context would lead to real intelligent suggestions. This onboarding led to the notion that our first time user experience would show our new users both how the application worked, and let them tell us a little about themselves.

The architects we quite enamored with the newly popular Grindr and wanted to leverage the swipe to like/dislike paradigm. I storyboarded this and a couple of other options. The swipe UI was selected and I designed and prototyped it.

Our NLP engine needed somewhere to start. The concept is that by examining the semantic inferences in people searches are reading choices, an intelligent understanding of their tastes and interests may be created. This is the essence of natural language processing in our context and without some initial configuration the task would be slow. Erin liked to refer to the AI of the time as 'Artificial stupidity' and suggested that our nuanced way of drawing inference form context would lead to real intelligent suggestions. This onboarding led to the notion that our first time user experience would show our new users both how the application worked, and let them tell us a little about themselves.

The architects we quite enamored with the newly popular Grindr and wanted to leverage the swipe to like/dislike paradigm. I storyboarded this and a couple of other options. The swipe UI was selected and I designed and prototyped it.

Storyboard and specification

Category slides

BRAND

BRAND

The most important and interesting work I did was with respect to alignment with our brand. We had secured the services of a top branding house to create our identity and then left many of the creative decisions to development in between the time the branding exercise was complete and the time I joined. I reworked a lot of the materials with the concepts of reverberation and resonance in an effort to create a more powerful signature that was in alignment with the name of the company and our product.

I was not happy with the upside down R but my protestations were overruled. I was required to preserve the color palette and the inverted R. The R also had 2 layers of detail: a pattern and a gradient. I chose to remove both of these and suggest that R itself was reverberating. This improved identity was adopted.

The most important and interesting work I did was with respect to alignment with our brand. We had secured the services of a top branding house to create our identity and then left many of the creative decisions to development in between the time the branding exercise was complete and the time I joined. I reworked a lot of the materials with the concepts of reverberation and resonance in an effort to create a more powerful signature that was in alignment with the name of the company and our product.

I was not happy with the upside down R but my protestations were overruled. I was required to preserve the color palette and the inverted R. The R also had 2 layers of detail: a pattern and a gradient. I chose to remove both of these and suggest that R itself was reverberating. This improved identity was adopted.

reverb

RETROSPECTIVE

RETROSPECTIVE

Working in a startup is always a challenge, even when it is with a group of really bright people. This experience was fantastic and I learned a great deal, mostly with respect to working in a very small high performance team who was accustomed to making decisions very rapidly, sometimes without any apparent process. It was essential that I keep up, not get attached to anything, and roll with the punches so we could release our app in a timely manner. This speed to market approach was validated by our #1 appearance on the Apple app store and subsequent sale of the company, much to the delight of the founders and investors.

Working in a startup is always a challenge, even when it is with a group of really bright people. This experience was fantastic and I learned a great deal, mostly with respect to working in a very small high performance team who was accustomed to making decisions very rapidly, sometimes without any apparent process. It was essential that I keep up, not get attached to anything, and roll with the punches so we could release our app in a timely manner. This quite enamored was validated by our #1 appearance on the Apple app store and subsequent sale of the company, much to the delight of the founders and investors.

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