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By John Biggs
October 8, 2018
When Procore debuted on the Apple App Store in 2010, it occupied a unique space in the marketplace. No other construction company had its own project management app at that point, positioning the company to test the waters and set the standards.
Since then, Procore has become synonymous with project management apps in what's become a crowded field. The company grew, and the Procore app grew along with it.
“Our primary focus over the last few years as Procore has grown was to add more tools. As we did that, we made the app very big and it got somewhat complex for users to understand how to get to the tools they want quickly,” said Jon Hoover, Procore’s Senior Product Manager for Mobile.
Needless complexity is a productivity killer, so in the name of efficiency, and drawing from a decade of mobile app design best practices since its launch, they gave their app a complete overhaul this summer to make it more visually consistent, more modern, and easier to use than ever.
They took a holistic approach to the redesign, looking at the app like a single suite of tools, and brought everything together to be easily switched between and accessed. Rather than awkwardly cramming a website onto a mobile device, the app was built from the ground-up with a mobile-first mentality.
A major goal of the redesign was to bring the app in line with what Procore customers have come to expect from their products.
“We knew that our customers expected a world-class app, so it has to look and behave like a world-class app. That was really about modernizing it, that’s what we called the effort. It felt old, it looked old, and it didn’t act like the other apps on your phone, so it needed a refresh,” Hoover admitted.
A frequent request was to include better offline capabilities and document access for times working in an area without Wi-Fi or a cellular signal.
“So we’ve made it easy just like Netflix or Spotify to tap the items you want to download to your device,” Hoover said. “So you have that document with all of its attachments and the confidence that when you go out on site you’ll have the drawings and submittals and punch list items you need, even without a data connection.”
Another desired feature users often mentioned was better access to their drawings. The new version of the Procore app provides easy access from almost anywhere within the app. The new version introduces a modern tab bar, ensuring drawings are always just a tap away.
The new-and-improved Procore app brings together every tool you need in a single intuitive and meticulously designed package.
“It’s a one-stop shop. A user knows no matter what they have to do to manage their construction progress, they press the big orange Procore icon on their home screen, it launches and it’s got all the information they need. They don’t have to open different apps for inspections, drawings, punch lists and documents. They don’t need to remember who put what where, it’s all in one app and our users really appreciate that,” Hoover said.
If frequent or even daily use of an app is fundamental to a worker’s job, changing that app is not something to take lightly. With that in mind, the functional and aesthetic changes were intentionally made to be so subtle as to go almost unnoticed.
“Users don’t like change. They don’t like redesigns. They don’t like when they open up an app the next day and it’s different. When it’s an app you use to do your job, that’s really risky,” said Hoover.
“Nobody’s going to come up and say ‘hey you guys did a great job, we love the redesign!’” But the fact that we didn’t hear anything about our customers coming to customer support or their account managers saying they wanted to go back to the way it was is kind of the best outcome we could have hoped for.”
If you liked this article, here are few ebooks and webinars you may enjoy:
Breakthroughs in Mobile Technology in Construction
The Rise of the Construction App
Going Mobile - Why Construction Needs to be on the Cutting Edge
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