LIVING TOTO - TOTO USA
A bit of background
As part of my consultation for The Moderns (a design firm), I was asked to experiment with the development of an app that could serve the dual purpose of generating buzz internally within TOTO to coincide with their website relaunch, and also potentially be a consumer-facing entry point introducing new branding, messaging, and products.
At the time TOTO was heavily invested in developing internal apps using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution (DPS). To save on cost, and resources, I leveraged that platform creating an experience that was easily digestible, easy to navigate and update, but felt like a native app.
LIVING TOTO APP
This iOS application (built using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite), as well a new website, were part of a rebranding strategy to communicate a more consumer friendly, lifestyle oriented, and inclusive culture at TOTO.
Concepting and development
An interesting challenge I continuously faced during design and development was working with this relatively new platform with known bugs, and still in the early stages of developing new features and functionality. In many ways the limitations of the available functions sculpted the form of the app. For example, I restricted the display view to portrait mode because some functionality was lost or unreliable in landscape view. Also many sorting, filtering, bookmarking, and product information linking had to be driven by HTML build pages layered between containers on DPS pages (I felt like a hacker).
Besides the logistics of layout I undertook the rigorous process of editing and retouching multiple views of product and lifestyle photography.
There were a few questions I had to ask, the answers to which would help me make more informed decisions on the interface and experience.
- Who are we talking to? Homemakers/Mothers, DIYers, Contractors/Renovators/Interior Designer.
- What do they want to see? experiential / lifestyle / what it looks like, feels like in context, inspiration for their next home improvement project or client. And products and features that yield cost-savings in the long run
- When and where would this be viewed, used, and be helpful? At home, on the weekends, with spare time, gathering ideas for fixing up your home, at point of purchase to assist in deciding between a few options (aesthetically and functionally), and in connecting and planning for interior decoration and renovation.
- How do we anticipate use? Primarily as a nimble/portable visual portfolio and spec research tool to drive traffic to website, physical showrooms, and bridge the information gap between everyday homeowners and professional fixture and appliances service providers.
Distribution and metrics
Beyond the rigors of the ideation and execution I was also responsible for the rollout to company issued tablet devices and app stores. I worked TOTO support staff and tech support at Apple to gain a better understanding for appstore platforms, requirement, provisioning and creating certificates, and more. I worked with Adobe’s enterprise technology liaisons to circumvent issues of entitlement and push updates out to TOTO’s internal alpha testers.
In addition to managing the technical hurdles, I designed the appstore and app digital assets and promotional email marketing and printed communication pieces.
Lastly, as we began to see some success in the awareness of the app I began using the DPS analytic tools to track downloads, opens, progressions past landing, load time, most content viewed, and report back to our marketing and development teams.