Assistant by First Agenda

Meetings made productive

The average employee spends 37% of their work time in meetings. When those meetings are ineffective, that adds up to a lot of wasted time and money.

FirstAgenda has taken a stand against unproductive meetings by developing the digital meeting solutions Prepare and Assistant. Their focus is to optimize all stages in the process of preparing for, organizing and following up on meetings.

Assistant app on iOS

Assistant app records not only the entire meeting, but your personal notes, public decisions, and tasks as well. Also, you can take photos and attach files. After the meeting ends you can listen to the entire meeting recording, jump to your bookmarks, search keywords and all their instances – the meeting is transcribed.

Assistant app on the Web

Prepare app does everything Assistant does, except it doesn't allow for speech recognition, which is where keyboard comes in. But, in addition, it allows for uploading, organising, and collaborating on documents.

The early days

I joined the team in mid 2016 when there already was a web and an iPad app called Prepare that managed the basics of preparing before the meeting and collaborating after: meeting dates, attendees, attachments and documents, document comments and notes.

It's a meeting page in Prepare app on an iPad, early 2016. The web counterpart was identical and had the same functionality.

At that moment First Agenda already had 30K active users in 400 organisations across Scandinavia wich amounted to 10K monthly meetings. Now First Agenda wanted to provide a tool for when you were in a meeting - Assistant.

First Agenda received $17 Mill at some point after we rolled out our early version of Assistant on iOS and Web. Later we caught up with the Android app as well. I continued to move the design of Assistant platform shaping it up into a more or less complete and consistent product.

Assistant iOS App

We've been through a lot of iteration and exploration. Eventually we stuck with the designs that would align with the Android and web app, although if we were building just an iOS app we would probably go with the FA iPhone 2b or similar. It's important that the user feels at home and the home is consistent throughout all devices.

We really did some explorations

The main flow is super simple. You start on your meetings list > go to meeting > everything you need is within one scroll.

The main flow on iOS

Below on the left is the screen of a meeting that has ended and contains all kinds of content.

Prototyping

Before I got to the final designs I had done quite a lot of prototyping. We were figuring out the flows trying to make the app super simple, almost simplistic (InVision), and then trying to enhance the look and feel of the app with interactions (Framer). Here's the full prototyping board.

Adding notes, decisions, tasks

Here's another very important flow. We were figuring out the easiest and fastest way for a user to add personal notes, decisions, and tasks during a meeting. When a user needs to take a quick snapshot of their thoughts it's done in 3 to 5 taps.

The flow of adding a task

Design systems

To quickly iterate but maintain the quality and consistency at later stages of design I had to keep everything really well organised. The same had to be done for Android and web.

iOS design system components on the left and screens built from them on the right

Web App

Getting the navigation right for the web was quite a challenge, since we had a lot functionality to squeeze into one view that needed to be consistent on all screen sizes and devices: 320px - 2560px. We already had our first prototype for iOS and now it was time for the web app.

Prototyping

After a few iterations in InVision I built this quick web prototype, we tested it and the development started.

First quick web prototype

This was another one of the many prototypes that helped us shape an idea of a product that we wanted to give to our users.

Final designs

Our customers are heavy users of all kinds of tablets. Tablet was our target device for the web app, even though we designed for it to work on phones too. Laptop goes without saying.

The main flow on the web

There were many challenges with the navigation and just the concentration of the UIs in a view.

Player on iOS, Android, and web on mobile. Minimize it, go back to meetings, settings, etc.

The player was a particularly tricky one. Just the timeline had to accommodate bookmarks, keyword marks, loading progress. Also the player had to work everywhere in the app, so it had to show the title of the meeting recorded and provide a means to go back that meeting page.

Player on the web on a laptop

Future

First Agenda is moving forward, becoming better every day and it's just getting started. Even though we generally figured out how to put it all together and make it work, there's still so much room for improvement. Now FA is launching in the US App Store and I'm excited to see how it will evolve over the next few years.