Dec 2018 — Nov 2020
Sr. Product Designer
Calendars by Readdle is a smart calendar app for iOS, iPad OS, and Mac OS platforms with more than 10-year history. The first version of the application was published in 2010, only two years after the App Store had launched.
The app's last version was called Calendars 5, and it hadn't been updated since 2013 and until I joined Readdle in 2018. Before that time, the Readdle team had been working hard on other Readdle products, so the Calendars app hadn't got much attention.
In late 2018 was decided to give a new chance and re-imagine what the best mobile calendar experience should be. The main challenge was to bring a new life to the old-good product. We had to figure out who our current users were, why they decided to use Calendars App, and how we could help them be even more productive and achieve their goals while not breaking the user experience of millions of loyal users.
In this case study, I don't cover the process but mostly the result of our work. If you to learn more details about this project, please contact me.
According to our user's insights, one popular feature request was connecting multiple accounts as well as iCloud and Exchange calendars to the app. The old intro screen design proposed users only one choice, connect a Google calendar or a local Apple calendar. The challenge was to redesign the intro screen to allow people to connect calendar accounts they want.
In the previous app version, we noticed that people used the default calendar view and didn't use other views (i.e. Day, Week, Month, List, Tasks). We assumed that's because the calendar views were hidden under the burger icon; people simply couldn't discover them. In the new version, we revealed these navigation elements at the top and increased the usage.
In the horizontal view, we removed all top and bottom bars and focused only on the content. Besides that, we designed an ability to pinch your timeline between 7 and 3 days view.
The event details component got a massive update with a dynamic popover. The popover's height depends on how many elements the event card contains. Moreover, to allow users to join meetings from the app, we added Zoom and Google Meet integrations and the ability to book a room in the office (if they use G Suite).
The task manager in Calendars had never been so intelligent and powerful. We designed the inline task creation with the ability to set a reminder based on a location and add subtasks, notes, due dates, and more.
While designing the dark mode, we were thinking about making the color contrast in the app pleasurable for eyes in a dark environment, so we refused high-contrast colors such as pure black and pure white.
Besides my primary design duties, I was responsible for creating colorful illustrations for the What's new and promotional screens.
While working on the weather integration for the Calendars app, I had an opportunity to design weather icons. These icons are available across all platforms (iOS, iPadOS, and macOS).
To measure the outcome of the redesign, I compared metrics such as revenue, downloads, and MAU before the redesign (on December 2018) and after the redesign (on December 2020). As you can see below, we significantly increased the key metrics: revenue, downloads, and monthly active users.
Monthly active users (MAU)
Monthly active users (MAU)
During the two years and a half, I worked closely with a product manager, engineers, and a lead designer to bring the best calendar experience to iOS and iPad OS platforms. I was responsible for designing crucial parts of the user interface, from rough sketches to interactive prototypes. Besides designing the user interface, I was also responsible for marketing design; I did a lot of experiments with subscription and promotion screens.
The redesigned version of Calendars by Readdle was featured as one of the best calendar apps on the platform in 9to5mac.com, DenseDiscovery, iMore, Engadget, TechCrunch, and more.
At the end of 2020, we started working on Calendars for Mac. This app was released in 2022; you can find that case study next.