In the beginning
Before coming a company that did expenses, travel, in-house customer support, & rewards located in downtown SF, TravelBank was a startup at the time I joined located in a apartment like office in South Park, SF.
As their first Android full time hire, I was tasked with nativizing their existing web hybrid code base to native, in addition to adding new features. It turned out to be a ton of fun, as I saw the app UX get richer in feel & features, as well as adoption rise. I started my job off challenging myself in accomplishing the following within the first 3 months:
- Redo Expenses in native.
- Add receipt capturing with native Camera.
- Polish UI & publish update.
Flight take off
Shortly thereafter, I helped grow the team to 4 developers and we got started on developing our very own Flight bookings feature.
Feature was fun with a number of challenges:
- Because of the Android API limitation set by Cordova, we couldn't use Lottie, hence had to build a custom animator for a flight loading animation which showed when users searched for flights after entering their criteria.
- User booking flow pages had to retain state should user leave & come back, which a challenge to do before Jetpack's VM library.
- UI was fairly rich & complex to nail at pixel precision.
- With a grown team, I found delegating tasks to developers to run in parallel as much as possible needed careful coordination & routine follow up.
In completion, I booked our first prod flight: a trip from SF to Las Vegas to attend the launch announcement party of Flights:
What’s business travel without hotel booking?
Both design & development after having done Flights found that early design collaboration is essential. We covered our walls with possible design flows and used it to debate & iterate it which lead to our quickest high product quality delivery of a feature: Hotel booking.
Below are screenshots of the app at the time: