I have been asked to combine 2 products into 1 mobile application.

The 1st application is an app for an NGO Institution which wants to received donations. The second one is a payment gateway which has its own app with many features like be able to scan a check and add it to a pre paid credit card. You can see your balance and send money to other people, pay taxes, etc We were asked to create an SDK for the second one but actually more than an SDK they want to put the whole product into the NGO app because they don't want to ask users to download 2 apps.

For me the user experience sucks because is confusing for the user the objective of the app which is a wall for the NGO news, receive donations and things related to the NGO.

How I can convince the owners of both apps that merging the 2 apps into the same one is not the right way to do that?


I can relate your question/problem to my recent project what i have been working for (in fact i just put the similar question on the stack exchange but unfortunately did not get any answer from anyone).

let me just describe my project (you may be able to relate or find approach). So mine was not a mobile app or small desktop application but it was an integration of 6 individual big data application. The CEO found it potentially the next gen big data solution. Out of these 7 apps many have already its own customer base and have been adding millions to the company's revenue. We received the business objective from the product owner, the VISION of the product were explained to us. Then there were lots and lots of meetings with the independent owners of the apps. You might imagine the complexity of the project. But as a UXer it is our responsibility to help product owner enabling them seeing the clear picture. We finalize to use existing codebase (html, css and jquery) as much as we can to reduce UI development effort, So we designers were suggested to pick up similar behaviour from the apps and split them into template like Table Grids, Header-Footer, Navigation Interaction, Canvas, Login etc. We liked the suggestion and designed templates and re-coded (edited) them to make it ready to be deployed.

I just want to ask you if you really find problem in designing the app because the problem you defined is not the problem but it has potential business solution. I believe your firm wants to solve problem for their customers and give them better experience by simplifying the process (I guess that's what we UXer do). You may find examples around that how different solutions may merge as one and serve to the users as a unique solution http://www.networkworld.com/article/2848465/uc-voip/microsoft-rebrands-lync-as-skype-for-business.html


  1. Conduct interview with product owners Try to understand the problem/ opportunity (business need), If required do multiple meetings with prepared questionnaire to solidify your understanding of the business goal.

  2. Analyse both the products with UI developers that whether you can use existing codebase for new UI which you will be proposing.

  3. If the developers feel that codebase will not require much of the re-do work then i presume you are good to go in designing single solution. Else convey the owner that it requires (70% or 50%) new codes.

  4. Estimate your design and development accordingly and ask if they aligned with it, if they don't agree you just surrender (Because you must support best design and should not throw any garbage into software industry with poor usability).

I believe it should help you!

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Show them the results of a usability study and how confusing it is.

Do some simple paper prototypes and put them in front of users and walk through workflows for them then present quantifiable results.

Worst case you might be able to use amaZon mechanical turk but I would try and put it in front of real users to similate the experience .

If possible video tape the interactions if you get permission to show them where they have issues.

There's also nice prototyping tools where you can make simple click through tests for better user testing some have done this with Axure I believe.

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  • This was our suggestion and we offered that in some sort of analysis phase but they say they don't need it so they don't want to pay for it. – Mood Apr 25 '15 at 3:13
  • do you have a mockup of what the new design is? You can do an informal test show it to bob in HR or someone who isnt familiar with the project or throw it on amazon mechanical turk and ask people to explain whats going on for 15 cents. Theres quick and dirty user tests that will show the smoke and may encourage them to put out the fire – Frank Visaggio Apr 25 '15 at 3:17
  • Great idea! Yes we have both products already designed – Mood Apr 25 '15 at 22:11

Make the argument that having 2 apps would increase their total number of users.

Do these two apps have the same user base? The apps sound so different that it's hard for me to imagine that the same users would be downloading both. Instead, one app will be focused on the NGO audience, and the other will be focused on the payment gateway audience. Because there is little overlap between the two, the combined user base of the two apps will ultimately be larger that the user base for a single app.

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