Rounds video chat hangout network  

Rounds (Bought by Kik) - 2012/2013

Rounds had a Facebook app in which people could video chat with their friends, watch videos together, simultaneously play interactive games together, doodle on whiteboards, browse the web together and send virtual gifts to each other. I worked on the later iterations of this before we decided to transition the entire experience onto a mobile platform of its own. 

My role

I worked in a team of a dozen front-end, iOS, Android and backend engineers, a product manager, a marketing officer and CEO. It was my job as the sole designer to design a new iOS and Android native apps from scratch & any produce any marketing related output. This was my first mobile app.

Design objective

I had 3 weeks to design the first iteration of the app to get the engineers going

Increase user base & daily active users from the current legacy Facebook base

Reach call length as a KPI to measure more "meaningful minutes" between friends

I had 3 weeks to design the first iteration of the app to get the engineers going

Increase user base & daily active users from the current legacy Facebook base

Reach call length as a KPI to measure more "meaningful minutes" between friends

I had 3 weeks to design the first iteration of the app to get the engineers going

Increase user base & daily active users from the current legacy Facebook base

Reach call length as a KPI to measure more "meaningful minutes" between friends

I had 3 weeks to design the first iteration of the app to get the engineers going

Increase user base & daily active users from the current legacy Facebook base

Reach call length as a KPI to measure more "meaningful minutes" between friends

Collaborating with stakeholders on new concepts

Designing hi-fidelity interfaces

Animating interactions for engineers to implement

Preparing assets for implementation

Collaborating with stakeholders on new concepts

Designing hi-fidelity interfaces

Animating interactions for engineers to implement

Preparing assets for implementation

Collaborating with stakeholders on new concepts

Designing hi-fidelity interfaces

Animating interactions for engineers to implement

Preparing assets for implementation

Co-building and designing with engineers

Producing promotional videos

Delivering app store assets and other marketing

Co-building and designing with engineers

Producing promotional videos

Delivering app store assets and other marketing

Rounds wireframes

Making that first call

We started by building out the basic calling functionality. As we progressed we added a contacts list where the app would pull the user's friends from their Facebook account. When calling a friend, the circular progress bar would indicate how long it would ring for before hanging up. After the call had ended you could share it on Facebook the app go viral.

Rounds making a call
animated logo
Rounds Incoming call

Enabling users to interact more meaningfully

As Rounds was all about fun together now, we wanted users to be able to engage with one another they way they normally would up close in person. This involved watching videos together, browsing the web together and playing games.

Enabling users to interact more meaningfully

As Rounds was all about fun together now, we wanted users to be able to engage with one another they way they normally would up close in person. This involved watching videos together, browsing the web together and playing games.

Rounds activity bar

Watching videos together

Pulling from the Facebook web offering, I designed how watching youtube together with a friend might look. Users could watch any video on youtube and watch each other's reactions. With just a touch of a button, users could talk over the video like a walkie-talkie.

Rounds watch videos together

Letting users get creative

At the time, Instagram was gaining popularity. So visual effects were in. To grab users attention, I worked with the product manager and an engineer to let users generate video effects on themselves such as warping and colour manipulation.
As well as these effects, users could also draw all over each other. Both these features really helped capture our youngest audience.

Rounds scribble on and video effects

It's all fun and games!

We took the best performing games from the Rounds Facebook platform and implemented them in the mobile app. I modified Tetris and created this game. I worked with the front end HTML 5 developers to create this. I dubbed it "Sky Tumble".

Rounds sky tumble game
Rounds sky tumble game tutorials
Rounds sky tumble game score and share

Instant messenger

Along with any video chat application goes along an instant messenger too. A shift was happening where teenagers texted each other more than commit to and engage with video calling so it was paramount to retain this sect of users.

Rounds text chat

Browsing the web together

We started working on the co-browsing feature and on the 18th June 2013 we updated the app to be the first hangout network to enable mobile co-browsing during a video conversation. We integrated Channel.me's technology to allow users to synchronise their screens while browsing sites like on-line retail.

Rounds co browsing

Capturing & sharing memorable moments

Whilst users chatted with one another, they could take snapshots together and share them. This fed into a stream of photos that helped promote the Rounds hangout network. With the rise of Instagram, photos were becoming an increasingly popular way of sharing moments with one another.

Rounds moments
Rounds moments 2

A sizeable audience with disruptive impact

Rounds App store

November 29th 2012, we launched the first version of the iOS app and made it to the top listed apps on the iTunes store. By June 2013, 500K users had registered on the app, mostly teens. Users were making 13-minute calls on average, a figure above the industry standard. We had broken into the world of mobile video hangouts. I had learned a tremendous amount from the talented people around me set me on a great new path of designing for digital products. 

The outcome

By June 2013, 500K users had registered on the app

Users were making 13-minute calls on average, a figure above the industry standard

By June 2013, 500K users had registered on the app

Users were making 13-minute calls on average, a figure above the industry standard

By June 2013, 500K users had registered on the app

Users were making 13-minute calls on average, a figure above the industry standard

Selected Works

How can I help you?

See something you like?
Let's chat!

See something you like?
Let's chat!

How can I help you?

Send an email to greghster@gmail.com or call me on 079 355 17819

Send me an email to greghster@gmail.com