Product Design Internship

UX & Product Design Internship – A glimpse into how people grow at RebelDot

Hi. My name is Viviana, I am a UX & Product Designer at RebelDot and in this article I am going to talk you through my recent journey as part of this team, trying to give you some insight into the growth opportunities that you’ll find at RebelDot.

Since I too started out as an intern, I am going to take this opportunity to remind you about the UX & Product Design Internship happening this summer.

If you’re a team player who wants to grow both personally and professionally, who is passionate about design, and wants to solve real problems, then you probably might be a good match for us. You can find out more about the role here.

But anyway, let me first tell you how things worked out for me.

Becoming a design intern at RebelDot

After completing my bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences in Romania and being drawn by the aspects of society and culture, I continued my undergraduate studies abroad, in Cardiff, where I studied Product Design. From medical design to creating gaming devices, I explored as many areas of design as possible in order to find the one that I truly like. During my final year of studies, I focused my attention on UI/UX projects, and after working as a UI/UX Designer for nine months, I decided that this is what I wanted to do.

However, this time I was looking for a different Design experience.

I wanted to find meaning in what I do, to constantly fuel my curiosity, to find an environment that challenges and allows me to grow, and, equally important, a place where I feel appreciated and cared for.

And, from the first glance at RebelDot’s website, I felt that it might be the right place. I loved the vibe which was very different from the other tech companies I looked at, I loved how everything was revolving around people and how the values that were promoted resonated with me.

Applying for a design internship

Unfortunately, there weren’t any job openings for Juniors or any Design Internships, but that did not stop me from trying my luck and sending an email. To my surprise, I have got a response and I was invited to the first stage of the recruitment process.

The whole process was a glimpse of the challenge that I signed up for, and a constant reassurance that my initial feeling about RebelDot was more than right. I was straight away introduced to the company’s culture, and I was thrilled by the warmth, kindness, and professionalism that I have noticed from the very first interview.

Getting to know the team and the culture at RebelDot

From the beginning of the internship, I was convinced that RebelDot is a place with an amazing culture and with people that share the same values; a place where I felt included and appreciated right away. Over the span of three months, I met wonderful people that helped me develop both from a personal and professional perspective, and I have always received the support and guidance that I needed.

What I loved the most was the approach towards the internship program which provided me with a hands-on experience of what it means to be a UX & Product Designer, covering all the aspects and the steps of a design process. I was taught how to take ownership of every decision, how to be in control during presentations and client meetings, and how to communicate effectively. I was always encouraged to explore, to question everything, and to find the answers to different problems by myself.

I really enjoyed the fact that my mentor, Tom, did not tell me the answers straight away, but instead, guided me towards finding those solutions myself, allowing me to use my creativity and to develop my own way of seeing things.

Getting to know the job

Going deeper into the project, tasks were becoming more and more challenging, but my level of confidence was also rising. Having people that were constantly encouraging me and giving me constructive feedback was accelerating my progress and was helping me to change my mindset.

Instead of being scared and anxious about the challenges that were coming, I started to see them on a more positive note and to make of them an opportunity to grow. Tom went above and beyond to make this internship experience as close to reality as possible, being both a mentor and playing the role of the client, in such a credible way that I was perceiving him as two separate individuals.

I like how the theoretical aspects were perfectly combined with the practical ones, and how I always had the chance to take a step back and reflect on the things I learned, on the things that went well and on the ones that didn’t, getting a chance to learn from my mistakes, and to understand how I can improve my skills.

Actually doing the job

The most challenging aspects were the ones that involved talking in front of people, especially during the client meetings, and during my first usability test. When conducting the usability testing, I actually wrote my whole speech down (including the “hello” part), so I won’t forget anything, but the fact that everyone was open-minded, relaxed, and willing to help, made it very easy for me to get over those constraints and made the whole process really enjoyable.

Having access to stakeholders was also a great opportunity as I was able to see how things work from multiple perspectives, to understand the different needs, the technical limitations, and to learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively. As it is not only about creating beautiful designs, but also about creating feasible products that address the real problems.

See if RebelDot is the kind of team you're looking for

Maybe you’re not a student anymore. Or who knows, maybe you didn’t even enroll into formal studies. Perhaps you’re just really into observing the smallest of details and designing beautiful, minimalist or edgy, yet practical pieces. Point is, those skills that you’ve been polishing for a while now could keep on delighting the human eye while also solving some real problems and support communities of people that you haven’t even thought of.

I for one realised that this could be a fulfilling alternative thanks to a module that caught my attention. To you this breakthrough might happen only by taking a shot at trying something different. Or not. Who knows. Maybe you’re better off designing concert posters or stock doodles.

That’s still freaking awesome.

However. If you feel like there’s exploration to be made in this field, just send your protfolio over and let’s see if that’s the kind of team you’d like to be a part of.

Emilia Zagrian designer

Rebel tech stories: How problem-solving can shape your identity.

We are challenged to find solutions from trivialities to deep issues. What breakfast we choose in the morning, how we tackle a difficult task, fix an argument, even write a poem. Where’s the need for effort, there’s problem-solving. Some of us get nervous, while others already have a system that helps them thrive through agitating times.

Decision-making isn’t easy, but it is required for progress. And grit is the invisible ingredient for long-term changes.

If we think about the approach of problem-solving, we can mention design thinking, which is mainly a mindset that works by looking at the fundamental downsides of a problem and try to solve them.

There are other techniques like the six thinking hats, the 5 whys, or the design sprint.

What I’m interested in is not to emphasize the success of a specific method, but to share the potential of time and effort invested into ideas, with concrete examples about how commitment can improve not only your results, but yourself too.

The baseline is that if you prioritize greatness, it will eventually choose you.

Commitment by Ghani Pradita

If you have a vision, set an intention

I’ve always been a dreamer, even the Adobe Creative Type quiz I’ve taken – developed in partnership with Anyways Creative and Caroline Gregoire – confirmed it. 

I’m deeply rooted in emotions and imagination. However, I didn’t identify it as a flaw. Dreaming created space for new possibilities and the only thing that it could hurt is my imagination.

The deeper I dove into it, the more opportunities I’ve started to see in the real world.

It fueled me.

As a creative, this trait is of massive importance. Anytime I have an assignment that requires problem-solving, I go through the brief repeatedly and extensively until the vision of the product is formed.

I start to create scenarios of it being used and tested, but of course, I come to a solid result only by trial and error. I see myself succeeding.

Why having an intention in your work is important?

Since I am a visual person and this greatly influences my daily work, it is crucial to see my goals before I take action.

Ideas need to be sheltered and nourished to take place. You don’t have to be a visionary to attempt accomplishing a goal.

Having that WHY in your process makes you more likely to plan for success. Try creating a vision board, or doodle a better version of yourself, or simply imagine where you see yourself 5 years from now.

Commit to the practice and work deliberately

I have a mantra that helped me survive my creative jobs over the years and persist in my practice:

Surrender to your craft.

You see, whatever job I had, I always looked at it in the grand scheme of things and didn’t think of it as just another service that I provide to a company.

I wasn’t defined by my job title and its requirements but by my creative pursuit.

What does the mantra mean? I’m not trying to infuse you with bukowskian knowledge and suggest you should let your work consume you in a self-destructive manner. I think in today’s framework, a more mindful approach is required for success.

What I mean by this is that you should enter the process from a humble place and be open to change.

Say you think you can be more productive, but you don’t have a clear structure for making this a sustainable practice.

So how can you get into a routine and be persistent?

Firstly, you need to choose a specific goal, in this case, be a better designer and invest 100 % focus into making it happen. Then you have to be open to receiving feedback to update your process.

The core of the deliberate practice is doing iterations on the idea and get feedback.

Expect to fail and fail again. Will you see it as an opportunity to get better, or will you drop it?

The motivation you have determines the amount of effort you are willing to put into it, which can greatly influence your achievement.

Maybe tackle the exciting part first.

Commitment by Ghani Pradita

Choose to work efficiently, but learn to love the process

Productivity basically aims for getting more done in a set period of time.

It can be difficult to grasp, especially for creative people. We don’t like pressure, and deadlines often seem like a bold demand. We simply do not operate in the same way, and some of us need to fit in the box, even if the box has space for more.

You cannot rush things to greatness all the time.

Sometimes your process is slow, but when the chance occurs, try to do your best. When is this important?

This is especially important if your lifestyle requires great responsibility or if you are ahead in your career and you need to manage several tasks with different priority levels. Being more productive doesn’t look the same for everyone, but it comes down to having good habits and a work ethic.

You might wonder where’s the spark in that.

Do I need to get comfortable with discomfort? Every day? Yes. But there are good parts to this too and you can make the process more enjoyable.

Take advantage of the zest of beginnings – when you are truly excited to meet your goal – and optimize for that: getting started.

Could you translate that into a long-term practice?

Start by creating a productive framework that works for you. If you have flexibility in your program, that’s amazing. Cleaning up your desk might be an old school advice, but it works every time you need to clear your head. Little adjustments might go a long way. You probably know this by now, but the chances to commit to it are greater if you love the process.

If you would ask me how my ideal productive workday looks like, I would definitely say diving deep into my tasks without interruptions. This is how I extract the most benefits from the hours I put in and how I access a flow state that keeps me engaged and enchanted. But I will tackle more details about this in the next section or the article.

Grit Angela Duckworth

How grit looks like in my practice

My mom is the grittiest person I know. She is an example of perseverance, especially when things fall apart. In her 40 years of work, she never called in sick or missed a day. Before she went to bed, she made sure she did her best, and if something wasn’t fixed yet, she didn’t wait but took care of it.

She has a strong influence on me and never forced me into doing something I dislike. When I got tired of pursuing without a reward, she reminded me of my journey, and I managed to see the bigger picture.

It was the support I needed in order to get back on my feet. Soon enough, I was able to get gritty again.

Analyzing the premise, but get savvy on its details. Have a holistic approach, but polish the result. Angela Duckworth, an American psychologist and a popular science author, wrote in the book Grit that sustained effort for long-term goals is what makes people successful.

What about talent?

It turns out it is the rate at which you increase at something while that effort is being invested.

Why working hard and long enough is the way to support your dreams?

Think about it. If you were just to work hard but give up when the results cease to show, this means you would sabotage your own efforts.

On the other hand, doing it without a vision doesn’t ensure success.

I want to take you into my process so you can see my approach to problem-solving through grit.

A few months ago, I had a visual project for a freelance job – I had to design a whale symbol. As soon as I got a grip on the brief, I didn’t jump to sketching immediately, but instead I’ve done extensive research on whales first, documenting real-life shots, videos, illustrations and other stylizations.

I studied them, then offered my own input on the subject and eventually ended up with 18 variations.

I think passion for the craft made it easier for me to put in the work. Think about it. What are you passionate about, and what is it that you really want to make happen?

Try to implement habits that cultivate grit into your life, whether it is working out, improving your lifestyle or generally bettering yourself.

See the value in transformation

You probably have people in your life who have visibly changed in the past years. Maybe you are familiar with their journey, or you’ve just recently stumbled upon them and you were amazed. You’ve asked yourself: how did they do it?

Change is alchemy. And when the output is positive, we like it and want to keep it.

There is interest in the self-development field because people see the value of self-care, self actualization and even the way this can be translated into bringing a positive influence in the company you work for.

Concepts like kaizen, atomic habits, and the compound interest effect might sound familiar to you. They all contain an incremental approach to goal achievement.

Flattery doesn’t usually last, but what sticks is intention and commitment to progress. This has much to do with having a growth mindset – the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, but it can change with your efforts.

In his book, Atomic habits, James Clear depicts four habit formation stages: noticing, wanting, doing and liking. He also writes that if you believe something new about yourself, you create Possibility. The effort you invest in improving a habit or learning something new requires traits like perseverance, resilience, patience and consistency. Once these are developed, they exercit in other aspects of your life as well.

Don’t underestimate the power of investment.

Remember that the value of hard work and developing healthy habits can create internal change and a new identity.

Self Portrait by Conner Perry

The evidence of intentionality and consistency in product design

A well-designed product contains a core vision that translates into its behaviors and processes. You can see it in great aesthetics or the value proposition.

It takes a mindful approach on the reason why the product should exist in the first place and how it can perform in a satisfying way for the user. It goes through a cycle of continuous improvement. In the end, we all desire simpler, better, and high-performing objects. Dieter Rams says design is through down to the last detail.

These are a couple of some well-known and established companies that, through their products, ask essential questions on how they can sustain and improve their users’ experience and impact their lives.

What they all have in common is the value they deliver and the desire for continuous improvement.

Belo AirBnb


I’ve recently listened to an episode of the Design Better Podcast, specifically Designing for trust, where Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb talks about designing in the pandemic context and the power of having a clear company mission that all can align to. Airbnb’s mission is one of inclusiveness and authenticity. It aspires to create a landscape where anyone can feel at home in an accommodation, be satisfied with the experience and grasp a sense of belonging. You are an insider and you should be accepted.

This translates not only to their mission statement, but their values, branding and customer experience too.

The Bélo is the company logo and a symbol for people, places, love and the A letter.


Google is one of the most innovative companies, oriented around internal process and product innovation. Their culture encourages play and creativity, as well as continuous improvement as breakneck speed.

The backbone of Google’s continuous improvement system is the OKR approach (Objectives and Key Results), which aligns the organization behind a common vision and measures of success. This system gets every employee to commit to a set of measurable improvement objectives that support the organization’s broader mission, which is to organize the
world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Google’s mission and vision are reflected from their website copy to the content on their keynote presentation and product launches.


While most companies rely on surveys and market research to predict what customers will want in the future, Apple is built around timeless principles, like the need for beauty, truth, high quality, speed, convenience and self-expression.

This embodies the latest hardware and software technology. Apple approaches design in a holistic manner: from product quality to customer experience, market leadership and supply chain integration. A key component in the company’s strategy, which led to a superior product quality reputation, is vertical integration. Apple has great control over the entire supply chain, from components, manufacturing, distribution, software development and retail


Hopefully now you feel more motivated to get nitty-gritty. It doesn’t require much introspection to see the changing potential in every experience and an underlying lesson for you to learn.

Problem-solving is a muscle that needs regular training. It teaches us how to get better at identifying what needs to improve and how to choose the best strategies in order to accomplish our goals.

It supports our vision, develops grit, generates flow and results. It is definitely an essential skill to have and the better we get at it, the faster we grow and the more value we bring to every aspect of our life.

If you enjoyed reading Emilia’s personal story, check Cristina’s latest article, where she presents her journey as a QA Engineer, from starting out as a therapist to building web and mobile apps. 

2021 Web and Mobile app design trends

2021 Web and Mobile app design trends.

With the outside world being partially closed, this year we found ourselves evermore present in the digital universe. This was an immense opportunity for the organizations looking to step up their digital experiences, as well as for those brick-and-mortar businesses who transitioned to the online environment and switched from struggling to survive to thrive within this context.

Reflecting on some of the product design practices that lift the bar in 2020 in terms of innovation and efficiency, in this article I am going to present what are, in our opinion, the web and mobile app design trends for 2021.

As it is difficult to pinpoint exactly which of these trends are going to perform better, we advise that you don’t take the following list as a leaderboard, but rather as inspiration, an appreciation of what it is believed that will dominate the screens in the upcoming year.

Dark Mode.

We’ve all got excited when Apple introduced this feature. Being so widely adopted by most of the users in no-time, it became the norm for big tech companies such as Facebook, Instagram, or Slack, as well as small businesses looking to spice up their digital identities.

Slack Dark Mode design trend

Users seem to find the dark theme adding up a nuance of coolness to their devices, but besides this aesthetic factor, there are a couple of other reasons why this feature has been so requested recently and why we think will continue to dominate the UI guidelines.

· It reduces eye strain

· It provides safety in dark environments

· It allows highlighting and popping other design elements

· It saves device battery power

If you are thinking of adopting this trend for your digital experience too, there are some things that you should keep in mind so you can make the most of it:

Use a dark grey rather than a pure black (#000000); use lighter tones on dark themes, as saturated colors can create an irritating contrast on your UI; test your design in both dark and light appearances and allow your users to switch between regular to dark themes, rather than framing it as the only option.

There are more technicalities behind the simplicity of this sleek feature, but for that, we suggest that you read Nick’s Babich 8 tips for dark theme design.

Bold Typography.

Yet another design trend that seems to have found its way back into widespread practice nowadays, bold typography perfectly blends with pretty much every trend that this article will touch upon. Not only does it add an extra feel of modernness to your overall design, but it also an efficient means of driving users’ attention to certain elements on your web or mobile app.

Remember that when playing around with such heavy fonts, you should avoid overusing them and focus on short bits of text placed on more neutral backgrounds.

bold typography product design
Mobile Banking Service Website by Tubik

Micro interactions.

Micro interactions have become an essential part of designing great web and mobile apps. Being utterly subtle details, these design gimmicks articulate an enjoyable experience and ignite a priceless sense of excitement for those using your app or navigating your website.

Although the term might seem quite explanatory itself, one must remember that the word “interactions” refers to engaging human moments, that can be grasped within seconds, without overwhelming.

Microinteraction Bookmark interaction by Paarth Desai
Microinteraction Bookmark interaction by Paarth Desai

Beyond conveying an aesthetic aspect, these animations aim to:

· Provide immediate feedback about a completed action, playing on our natural tendency to seek instant gratification in everything we do;

· Teach the functionality of the visual interface through intuitive design elements.

· Or encourage certain actions on the platform, functioning just like a visual Call To Action, but rather an indirect one.

Micro interaction Loading XXI by Oleg Frolov
Loading XXI by Oleg Frolov

Whether you are thinking of a swipe animation, an unconventional loading screen, a delicate call to action, or just a cool button, when designing these micro interactions, you should always put yourself in the user’s shoes, strive for functionality, be as less intrusive as possible and use plain human language.


Designers from all over the world seem to have not got over this trend which is somewhat recent, making most of the lists of 2020. Still, researching it could get a bit confusing because some tend to state that neumorphism is just a more recent term coined for skeuomorphism.

But there is a difference.

Skeumorphism, implies designing elements in a realistic and minimal style, focusing on the similarity between the real and digital worlds.

While neumorphism also attempts to replicate the real feel and aspect of elements such as buttons, layouts, or cards, it is more focused on the color palette. Specifically, this trend refers to creating an interface in which the previously stated elements look like they are placed behind the background, and not on the background.

digital product trend neumorphism Apple Watch UI Design by Sanad Daniyal
neumorphism Apple Watch UI Design by Sanad Daniyal

This is a subtle touch that can be done by manipulating shadow and light.

The image below should be explanatory enough, but if you want to get a crash course into how to properly implement it, we suggest reading this neumorphic design guide.

Shazam Neomorphism Version by Nardi Braho
Shazam Neomorphism Version by Nardi Braho

Immersive 3D visuals.

It is still quite early to tell if VR and AR technologies have gained a maturity level, but what is noticeable is that an increased number of product designers are pivoting similar hyper-realistic visuals onto websites, as well web and mobile apps. This gives brands more immersive touchpoints, an awe-inspiring user experience that could easily translate into conversions.

3d visual Timescope by Peter Tarka
Timescope by Peter Tarka

Successfully jumping on the bandwagon with this trend implies, however, a fine eye for design, but also a series of diligent efforts to increase your website performance. You may have some sleek animations or a 3D visual ready to take up the entire users’ screen and amaze them, but a slow-loading and poorly optimized platform will have them leave your website even before that fancy hero image will pop up, so be mindful about it. 

3d Landing Page by Tran Mau Tri Tam
3d Landing Page by Tran Mau Tri Tam

Abstract data visualization.

With so much data being available online, cluttering both our feeds and our minds, it is imperative that you find more engaging ways of displaying it. Gone are the days when we would get excited glancing at a colorful infographic, consuming the information with more curiosity than we would from a dull spreadsheet.

Indeed, it was exciting to see this abrupt transition from plane tables to creative data illustrations, but just like with every visual feature, we seem to have got used to this too now.

You have to find novel ways of data visualization. Dare to illustrate your information abstractly with a futuristic design that doesn’t necessarily conform to some predefined patterns. Challenging the norms might sound cliché, but when it comes to design it is how you move forward.

Leaps in Space by Bureau OberhaeuserDrowning in plastic by Reuters Graphics
Drowning in plastic by Reuters Graphics

Microcopy & UX writing.

Talking about plain human language, there’s not much to discuss about it, but a simple statement. People demand less jargon, less of those vague standard notions, and more copy that sounds human. The goal is to write as you talk, ideally as less formal as possible, similar to a casual dialogue that you would have with a friend.

Although we were not the fans of the term “human-centered design”, as it kinda feels like BS, to our surprise, it is a thing now. And so should the human-centered copy.

It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an article or UX copy for a new fintech app, you should aim to define a unique tone of voice, based on authentic non-corporate messaging that people can understand and resonate with. Being a content writer myself, I have often fallen into the trap of wanting to sound just as professional as the other players in the industry, but, looking at the engagement metrics, I got to understand that I was heading to a dead-end.

It is fascinating how challenging it is to write just as simple as we talk when most of us were schooled in a specific formal writing style, but, luckily, there are some organizations that are already mastering this art.

Have a look on Ueno’s website to draw some inspiration on what engaging UX writing looks like.

Minimalistic design.

We can’t be sure whether this is just a temporary phase or a long-awaited comeback, but it is clearly happening. With so many distractions, flashy elements, electrifying colors, and nerve-racking pop-ups, going back to the basics of minimalism feels like a refreshing breath of air for most of us who need a break from the distractions of the current always-on life.

Having just mentioned that you should dare to be bold in your design and play with the abstract notions, it might seem a bit contradictory to now encourage you towards minimalism.

I’m not saying you have to ditch your experimental ideas to the detriment of a bare design. What I am suggesting is that you can do both. Simply keep in mind that, these days, as users, we tend to feel overwhelmed and anxious by the clutter we are surrounded with.

No matter the industry, a loosen-up visual interface will trigger a sense of peacefulness which often correlates with increased levels of engagement. Still, this practice is even more effective for those businesses selling complex solutions such as SaaS products or even financial services, as it simplifies their narrative, keeping users hooked on the specific platform.

minimalistic design Finance Mobile App Design by Ghulam Rasool
Finance Mobile App Design by Ghulam Rasool

Final thoughts.

The web and mobile app design area is crowded with ephemeral trends, but some of them determine the industry norm for a longer term. In this article, I wanted to present the popular design trends of 2020, while also anticipating a few more that will gain increased traction in 2021, based on our work here, at RebelDot, as well as an analysis of the already existing articles on this topic.

Although neither of these trends implied rocket science, I hope that reading this piece reinforced some basic concepts and got you inspired to design the next digital solutions that you users won’t get enough of in 2021.

As the design phase is also an iterative part of the product development process, you might also want to read our complementary post about building an MVP to understand exactly just what it means to innovate with rapid customer feedback. 🚀


Building a contact tracing and visitors management system. The story of Visidot, a product of RebelDot.

Hi there,

We are starting this article series to share the story behind Visidot, our own startup, with you.

As you might already know, this is the first article of the series. We are going to take you through the journey of building Visidot from the very first moment we identified the need for a digital visitor log, the decision to build it and everything in between. Ready?

A look into Visidot, the visitors’ management system

If you have been following us for a while now, you might already know that we are a bunch of creative, solution-oriented Rebels. We blame it on our twelve years of experience in building various digital products, as it nurtured our entrepreneurial thinking and spirit*.

*always looking for the next problem to understand and a solution to develop kind of mindset

Just in the right moment, this spirit was the fuel needed when the opportunity to develop Visidot (back then named ‘’we have to find a solution for replacing the paper log”) arrived.

Identifying the problem

We’ve all paid a visit to another company or business centre. Most probably, we’ve all been asked to write our name, purpose of the visit, and signature to a notebook or some random A4 format pages left out there in the plain display.

Of course, this wasn’t considered to be something extremely sensitive until the GDPR kicked in. That was the moment when displaying our data on means that were available for all the other visitors and everybody from the company, we were paying visits to became prohibited.

Everybody could see that you were coming to an interview, at exactly 12 a.m when you were supposed to be on your lunch break. *Busted*

As 99% of the companies in Romania, we at RebelDot had the same pen & paper log that was not compliant with the new regulations. So, we had to come up with an idea to make it both digital and compliant.

“We started with a clear vision in mind: to transform our visitor’s experience in a smooth, hustle-free and GDPR compliant one.’’

The challenges

Building a startup, and especially a new product comes up with multiple challenges. No matter how much experience you have, bumps in the road will always come to teach you some valuable lessons.

  1. What should go into the MVP — One of our challenges was prioritizing what set of functionalities will go into the MVP — trying to balance the features so we can create enough value and get the feedback we needed from the market.

In order to make the decision, we conducted user interviews, with the aim to understand their needs and behaviour better. The data was translated into several prototypes that helped us decide the set of functionalities that will deliver the main value for the targeted pain-point. When building the MVP, we also had to take two different perspectives into consideration: one of the building administrator and one of the visitors.

2. Designing for business centres — We initially designed Visidot for our internal use. Once we started to dig deeper into the need on the market, we had an epiphany — business centres.

Business centres have thousands and thousands of daily visitors, and keeping track is essential for safety reasons. Once we realized the opportunity, we started to think about how we can adjust the app’s flow to satisfy the business centre’s needs.

The solution

Our solution is pretty simple and straightforward: A digital visitor log to help you track, measure, and improve your visitor’s experience — all in a 100% compliant environment.

Apart from the visitor’s flow, we also developed an administrative interface where users can customize the application, gather statistics, and manage multiple locations.

The process of building Visidot

As you might already know, at RebelDot we have a well-defined software development process in place, and our product was no exception to the rule.

01. Creating the user personas

First things first, we had to understand our users and what are their main problems to solve. After having a couple of users interviews, we managed to come up with three types of users:

  • The receptionist, responsible for welcoming visitors and smoothing the registration process;
  • The delivery guy that is recurrently coming to the company;
  • The admin supervising everything that is happening;
  • The visitor.

02. User Flows

After we understood more about our user personas: their needs, behaviours associated with the actions, and how they envision the app, we started to sketch the user flows.

We’ve covered different scenarios: check-in, check-out, recurrent visitors, group check-in and check-out.

03. Wireframes

User personas — checked.

User flows — checked.

What’s next? Wireframes. Right.

Wireframes Visidot


Early-stage wireframing sessions of Visidot.

Our team took the sketches and translated them into black and white wireframes.

We must admit that we love colours. However, at RebelDot, we have a different approach. We first bring black and white wireframes to the table so you can ‘’judge’’ the prototype by the functionality and not by the shade of the blue on the bottom left corner. This is the common approach for teams that have UX methodology in place.

04. User interface

Once we agreed on the user flows and wireframes, the next step was to select the colours, iconography, and typography.

Following our vision, we decided to keep it simple and as minimal as possible.

– light shades of colours on the corners of the screens;

– clear icons for the admin interface;

– intuitive input fields.

Visidot - tablet
Visidot Tablet 2

05. Prototype

Once we had the elements in place we built a functional prototype and run some tests to gather feedback and adjust the functionalities and flows.

06. Coding

Once we have completed the UI/UX phase, and we agreed on the plan moving forward, we’ve started coding.

Using the Agile methodology, we gathered daily to discuss the progress and the bottlenecks that came on our way.

07. Usability tests

Once we released our first version, we showed it to the world. Making sure we gather insights and observing the user’s behaviour when using it.

08. Launching Visidot

The truth is that, as Buffer wrote in one of their articles until you get that one customer you are blind. You don’t know exactly if what you’ve built reached the problem-solution fit stage.

So we leapt faith and launched Visidot.

Our first client is Cluj Business Campus. One of the most well-known business centres in Romania with an excellent appetite for digitalization.

Visidot - Announcement


Announcing the launch of Visidot on social media.

We were so excited when we saw their first visitor using the app and getting fantastic feedback for the user experience.

We must admit that we got butterflies.


Visidot’s first day at Club Business Centre.

09. Improvements

Following the Lean Methodology, after we launched the first version and we gathered feedback from the users we’ve made improvements by adjusting some of the functionalities and wording within the app.

What’s next?

Immediately after launching Visidot, COVID-19 kicked in. Since our product is a solution designed for visitors and the restrictions applied meant ‘’no visitors allowed,’’ it shook us a little bit. We had so many plans, and we were talking with lots of potential clients for our solution.

However, like Rebels, we are adaptable and look every time for solutions. Plus, we built Visidot as an easy to pivot solution so we took advantage of the lockdowns to continually work on making the app better and think about other functionalities that would help companies adjust to the new normality.

As we speak, countries around the world are ‘’back in business’’ and implementing all sorts of solutions to prevent the spread of the new, COVID-19 virus.

Visidot is here for them and for you. We help you with contact tracing in COVID-19 times, making sure you have access to real-time information, across all your offices- all in a 100% compliant environment.

Looking for more information on Visidot? You can visit the Visidot website and get back to us if you have any other questions.

Visidot - extract


Prototype first. Fail fast. How to ship products that delight.

You want to build and launch an awesome digital product, or thinking about redesigning? You’re in luck! — We’ll talk about our UX process at RebelDot and why putting emphasis on research, validation, and prototyping will make or break your web or mobile app.

According to this research, by the time you’re done reading this article, 40 new digital products & startups will have been created. That’s 1 startup every 10 seconds. Truth is, 90% of them will fail in their first months, while others will go around for years chasing their tail without actually doing something about the sinking ship.

The good news is that you don’t have to be one of them. We’ve built dozens of products and even though there is no one size fits all, following a well-structured UX process will guide and take you closer to launching a delightful digital product that people want to use. Think of it as a fitness program: if you stick to it, put in the work and avoid shortcuts, you’ll end up with the results you have always wanted.

Before getting into this, it’s safe to say that following a UX process will definitely work to your advantage. Still, as every product is different in its own way, understanding that a good design process adapts to certain product needs is vital, therefore the needs and goals should define the way of approach.

  • The core part of our approach here at RebelDot is going UX first and building products through an iterative user-centred design process. Through iterative loops, we design, build and validate ideas, flows, journeys, processes, and test disruptive ideas that might never see the light of day. However, none of this would be possible without prototyping.

The RebelDot UX process looks like this:

From the automotive industry to food, health and of course digital product development, prototyping serves as the keystone in releasing successful products. Simply put, think of prototyping as the most effective step to accomplishing and validating things with minimum effort.

The primary purpose of a prototype is to validate if a process or flow works and lives up to the requirements, hitting the target goals. Essentially, the sooner you realise you need to adjust, the better. Sure, if you want to take the alternative route, you’re welcome to go forward with getting engineers to develop your idea and after at least 50k spent in 6 months time realise you built a product that no one will use. Historically speaking, this is a moment when many companies reach out to UX designers to fix their product but unfortunately fixing it only means rebuilding everything.

The most important lesson you can learn when building a product is that you’re not building the product for yourself. The primary focus needs to be on your users, therefore you must address their needs, frustrations and objectives, enabling them to excel through the product and reach their goals.

The tools of the trade

There isn’t one do it all prototyping tool. The tool used should facilitate building a prototype to fit the desired scope in the fastest time. Overextending will result in delays in delivery and validation time, therefore the versatility of the tool should match the requirements, and keep the effort to the lowest. You can’t call it rapid prototyping if it takes an eternity.

Prototyping models 

Depending on the stage of the product, there are a few prototyping models we opt for to make sure the journey suites needs and hits the goals.

01. Exploratory prototypes

We build exploratory prototypes when the product team, stakeholders or clients have an idea and want to visualise it in a real, tangible form. We start off the ideation process, reflect the objectives on our target user’s needs and define the goals and actions needed to get there. The idea can be a standalone idea, an extension of the current product which could become a candidate in the roadmap or a new way of approaching existing actions in the current system.

02. Validation prototypes

Validation prototypes are the result of thorough research, need mapping and are built based on the whole set of knowledge gathered throughout the research and iterative phase. The prototype is based on well-defined flows, user needs, goals and motivations and sets out to solve problems and reach key objectives. Its purpose is creating a realistic enough experience that can be put in front of users to be validated through user testing, so it can set the route for the next round of iteration.

03. Visionary prototypes

These are the coolest, most challenging, uber-cool prototypes that will, most likely, never see the light of day. The purpose of a visionary prototype is to test truly disruptive ideas that are so crazy they might never get built into an actual product. However, by forcing ourselves to think so far outside the box, we innovate and create solutions that may be applied further down the line. Think of F1 cars: — their purpose is to push the boundaries of motorsport through innovation, which will later become part of our future.


Designing a product without the prototyping phase is like wanting to build a car from scratch based only on your imagination. You will most likely end up missing the steering wheel. Start with listening to your users, launching assumptions and hypotheses. Reflect on needs and objectives, do the research and concentrate all these efforts in prototypes which can be validated with real people.
Prototype first, validate often and fail fast. Drive the product experience through your users to build and launch a product that delights.

🚀Did reading this really make you want to work with Tom? Reach out and let’s talk about building your awesome digital product. Make sure you, and we will get back to you in no time.

🤓Want to read more? Check out this article on How going UX first is a necessity for your digital product’s future.

🤔Reading this made you want to be part of the RebelDot team? We’ve got great news! We are in search of creative engineers that can help us ship digital products. Check our openings, here.

DSC_1581__1564482943_82.78.92.63-2000x1125 (1)

React Native or Native Development-iOS & Android: What should you choose for your next mobile app?

The dream of having one single framework to cover all platforms has been amongst us for years, and for a lot of us, getting here seemed nearly impossible.

A few years later, React Native has massively grown since it was open-sourced by Facebook back in 2015. Today, huge players like Facebook, Bloomberg, Uber Eats and Walmart have chosen React Native to build their mobile apps.

So, what’s better for your next great mobile app, React Native, or Native App Development?

A few months ago we had this very same discussion in house, with one of our partners. We were looking at two different apps, that could both be developed native or cross-platform. One involved sole iOS development and the other one was supposed to function on both platforms, Android and iOS. Now, most of our clients expect that in this kind of situations we deliver a straight, upfront answer with solid information to sustain our position. The truth the answer to this question depends on the project you are planning to build.

Taking the case of a mobile application that we would want to work on both platforms both iOS and Android, React Native comes in handy as a streamlined, cross-platform framework that allows you to develop two different apps, with the same codebase without compromising on your user’s experience. This simply means you don’t have to create an iOS and Android app separately and instead, one single codebase will have the output of two different apps. It also means that when there’s a bug, we’d only need to fix it once, which makes this whole React Native game loved by teams of developers around the world.

To cut to the chase and get a few things clear from the start, if you are only looking to build an iOS mobile application, building it in React Native makes zero sense.

So, yes, React Native is not an all size fits all framework, and there are cases in which we do not recommend cross-platform development as the best option. Switching the angle, if you are looking to build an iOS mobile application and later on add an Android one to it, the approach isn’t the same.

From our perspective, React Native comes with a huge advantage of cutting down on development costs. Our experience tells us that in most cases, the development cost is reduced by 30% per platform.

Besides this great competitive advantage React Native brings to the table, there are a few essential things we would want you to consider before making any decision regarding the tech stack of your mobile app. These are also some of the most frequently asked questions we get regarding React Native. Grab a cup of your favourite coffee and read this through with us.

Does React Native influence the look & feel of my mobile app?

The right answer is that it depends on the overall complexity of the user experience.

One considerable advantage that native mobile apps bring to the table is access to all mainly native functionalities, as well as some other animation tools. There is no middle ground, and you can take advantage of everything the platform has to offer. For some apps, which are a little bit more sophisticated in their UX, this might improve the overall user experience the app has to offer. Although React Native has the Animated API, which is a pretty good solution, some say it is still far behind the native capabilities.

In a nutshell, React Native simply does not provide all the power for complex animations and UX like a native app would. Still, for simple-looking apps, unless the quality of the code is poor, the user should not be able to tell the difference.

Does React Native influence the future scalability of my mobile app?

We recommend getting into scalability as a point of discussion long before actually starting to build an app. It not only gives your digital product a good start, but it helps in making sure you won’t have to support the financial costs of possibly rewriting your app later in time, as the product gets more traction.

By now, React Native should have all the capabilities of scaling with about 80% of the apps on the market. Having said this, there is no reason React Native should stand in the way of your app’s scalability, and there are a few good examples out there on the market to prove it.

Why are some people disappointed by React Native?

Because for apps that are resource-intensive and require a lot of interaction, Java, Swift and Objective-C might be better options. Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger can be a good example here, as in most cases, they allow a high degree of customisation and have a lot of background processing.

Also, there are apps like battery monitors and media players or various antivirus software that are more suitable for native languages.

Airbnb ditched React Native. Should I too?

The short answer is — no — but it gets more complicated than this.

If we take a look at the case of Airbnb, they ditched React Native after trying to introduce it in a reasonably big app, already written in native code.

Around 2009, Airbnb was just a web-based platform, with increasing traffic on mobile devices.

In 2012, the Airbnb development team realised that in order to keep pace with the increasing traffic they were having on mobile devices, they would eventually have to start investing in a team of iOS and Android developers. For almost four years, their team built iOS and Android apps using dedicated mobile development resources.

Four years later, in 2016 the landscape has shifted in such a way that they had to come with a faster solution to the increasingly mobile need on the market. Already having a fairly big team of experienced React resources from their web development teams, switching to React Native instead of hiring iOS and Android developers, seemed like a good idea. They started introducing React Native into their already existing code base and up to this day, 15–20% of their apps were written in React Native.

In 2019, Airbnb realised it takes more time and resource to introduce React Native into an already existing codebase, as often times they were bumping into functionality gaps that needed to be filled with native code.

Taking the case of Airbnb, transitioning from 0 to 1 was far costly than expected. The point here?

If you are trying to introduce React Native into an already existing codebase, expect to invest such amount of energy and time, it might not even be sustainable anymore.

Summing this up, React Native should, by now, have all the capabilities of covering functionalities for at least 80% on the market. To this day, it has been widely used by a lot of big brands that are out there and in some cases, it might be the smartest option for developing a mobile app for both Android and iOS.

If your team does not have any experience working with React Native whatsoever, maybe an alternative would be to hire a React Native developer

Did we miss anything?

Make sure you drop a line or

Curious to know what it’s like being a rebel? Come grab a coffee.

We are looking for rebel people to join our offices in Copenhagen, Cluj and Oradea.


Going UX design first is not a trend, it’s a necessity.

Here at RebelDot, user experience design has been an important part of our process from the very beginning. In fact, for us, design isn’t just a trend, but a way of thinking.

Of course, we aren’t the only ones who realized the importance of going UX first, as many companies, from start-ups to large organizations choose to go this route, as the number of advantages brought to the table is astonishing.

Since the importance of UX design plays a significant role in our company and the products we build/ develop, I’m going to share with you why going design first is not a trend, but a necessity.

Going UX design first

First, user experience design should not be an add-on, as it should be incorporated from the very beginning.

The biggest mistake many companies make is starting the UX design phase too late in the product development process. I know from experience that developers are much more comfortable thinking in features and user stories, rather than journeys and scenarios. Therefore, in development-oriented teams, products are built based on assumptions and requirements, and oftentimes they end up with a final product that doesn’t correspond with the user`s needs.

By going design first, we go through a series of steps, an iteration through which we define and validate needs, frustrations, requirements and assumptions, resulting in a validated product, which answers real needs. Only after the design phase, we hand off a fully working prototype and documentation for the developers to build on.

Good user experience is crucial. The aesthetic side is just a small part of UX, which makes all aspects (consistency, functionality, target audience, monetization, etc) work together in harmony. Essentially, UX defines how a product will work, and how users will interact with it.
If you have an idea, then this is the place to start!

Importance of going UX design first


First, every product, environment or experience starts with the users. After kick-off you need to find answers to the following questions:
What are the user’s needs?
What problems are we trying to solve?
What value will the product bring to the users?

Going design first will answer these questions through research, which on top of everything, will give you a better understanding of your audience and will allow you to adjust and set trajectory before the development phase begins.

When building a new product, it’s vital to dedicate as much time as possible in understanding how users will use the product and in which scenarios, to make sure their needs are met, and frustrations resolved, making their way of working simpler and hassle-free.


To solve complex problems and come up with innovative solutions we use an iterative design process, where we seek to understand the users, assess their needs, challenge assumptions, and identify problems that might not be apparent on first sight.

While every product is unique and has its own challenges, having an iterative design process in place is crucial to champion challenges and design the best solutions.


A designer will help you bring all ideas together, identifying features that are important for your product, features that can determine whether your idea will succeed or fail.

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Money Saving

It is easier and cost efficient to change trajectory, to tackle the unexpected during the design phase. The costs of changes and updates in this phase are much lower than changing an entire product which is already developed.

Building on 3 pylons

The end goal of a design is to create a product that is desirable, feasible and viable. This means that your product should not only satisfy the needs of a user, but it must also take into consideration the appropriate technology that allows implementing the right solution for the product and its business model.

Designers slow us down to speed us up

The design is important, and as mentioned before, to start with this phase from the beginning is vital, a must for companies and organizations that build products.
Start with the right foot, foresee, tackle and validate issues, before investing too much time and money into the development process. 


If you want to build a successful product you should definitely go design first, think outside the box, look beyond aesthetics, build a cross-functional team and most importantly, believe in your idea!


Are STOs replacing ICOs?

November 2018 has been a Blockchain packed month for us, as our CEO has been invited as an investor to two of the biggest conferences in the blockchain industry: Crypto Invest Summit in Los Angeles and Malta Blockchain Summit and now we’re packing again for London.

BTW, if any of you want to grab a cup of coffee, you can meet our CEO during the Blockchain Venture Summit that will take place on 21st of November.

However, before flying to London, we wanted to share with you the main key points from the L.A and Malta conferences.

So here we go:
The end of the ICOs is close:
One of the main takeaways is that the era of the ICOs is nearly over. STOs – Security Token Offerings – are taking the lead.

During the conference, there were various discussions from the types of assets being tokenized to all the legal implications and the infrastructure needed to support them. Although the infrastructure is still in its infancy, all the voices agreed that the STOs are the next big thing. Keep an eye on it!
Blockchain is a bubble:
Steve Wozniak was one of the star-speakers bringing different perspectives to the table. Although he doesn’t claim to be a big expert in the field himself, Steve clarified his position regarding bitcoin by explaining that he invested in it for the sake of an experiment. However, he said that he is excited about how technology is evolving but that there is one thing that the world must not forget: the human factor.

One of his most interesting remarks was that Blockchain is a bubble: “The Internet was a bubble, but the thinking behind it was correct, it ended up being integral to our lives. Maybe with Blockchain, it will be the same: it is a bubble, but in 10-15 years its value will show ” Steve Wozniak.
My 2 cents are that Steve is right, but I believe Blockchain’s worth will be seen in an even shorter period than what he predicted. I’m curious about your opinion: is Blockchain the new era, or is it a trend slowly dying?
Malta is the Blockchain Island

One of the things I liked most about Malta Blockchain Summit was the diversity of the participants: over 8500 (the highest number stated) with different backgrounds and perspectives regarding the industry.

But what truly captured my attention was learning about the efforts that the Government and institutions do in transforming Malta in blockchain heaven. The legislative actions seem to have created a sense of security and stability, Malta managing to attract top cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and OKEx. Thumbs up, Malta!

The gaming industry – the playground for Blockchain
Gaming, Gaming and again Gaming… the topic came up multiple times during the events and was related to how Blockchain is disrupting the gaming industry. The blockchain gaming advocates continuously emphasized that the main benefit of using Blockchain in this industry is having true ownership of your in-game assets.

However, not everything is pink as the main bump in the road is user adoption. It seems that there is a big challenge to onboard new users: ”Many gamers are blinded by what they are accustomed to.” Cristián González, CEO of MEGO

On the list of obstacles for mass adoption, we can also add the costs transparency and the quality of the games.
These are only a few of all the interesting things I learned from the conferences, but I will come back with more updates from London. In the meantime, I’m curious to see what you think about Blockchain and where you see the tech heading next.
Software development process

The Anatomy of a Successful Software Development Process | UX-UI Design.

Hello everybody,

Our team was present between 3rd–4th of October at IMWorld in Bucharest.

During the event, amongst the visitors, they spoke with a few of them about our end-to-end software development process. While having these conversations, they realized some important aspects of the current market trends:

‘’ We were surprised to find out how many business owners have difficulties in finding the right software partner for their businesses. When we showed them how we do UX/UI and the concept of Rapid Prototyping we even got replies like: It took me one year to find a company to offer something like that. This was again, besides the positive feedback that we had already received from our clients, a market validation about the value we bring through our digital UX process. ‘’

Among the key takeaways from the event we noticed that the combination of Agile Development and Lean Startup is something that is driving the market nowadays. Also, UX-UI Design stage seems to be the emerging trend and one of the most important steps in the web and mobile app development process.

‘’At RebelDot we already have a few years of experience in terms of introducing UX-UI Design as a first step in the development process. Our teams have worked on different types of projects and industry specifics and we already validated the effectiveness of our development methodologies.’’

How is the UX/UI step part of RebelDot’s end-to-end software development process?

When talking about our special end-to-end software development process, we are a technical partner that covers all services from: tech advisory, gathering specifications, risk assessment, architecture, UX-UI design to prototype, MVP or product development, quality assurance, maintenance and long-term support.

As you can see below, after the initial analysis and specifications gathering, we move directly to UX/UI Design.

Instead of writing hundreds of pages of technical specifications, most of our customers prefer to move into this design stage where they can visualize their future app. Moreover, they can provide their own feedback and also collect and bring in feedback from their future users/clients. At this stage, change is easy to embrace and everything is quick, cost effective and easily adaptable towards product-market fit.

RebelDot’s UX-UI Design process is following in general 5 steps:

1.      User personas – define who your users are and what their main characteristics are.

2.      User Flows – identify the processes and define, step by step, what the users’ journey through your future web or mobile app is.

3.      Wireframes – start designing the screens for the most important steps of every user flow. Initially, they will be low fidelity but enough to help you identify the items you like and which you don’t. After a few iterations and feedback rounds we will reach the high-fidelity stage and you will be able to see exactly how the screens will look like.

4.      Mockups – apply your branding elements and visual identity to the wireframes.

5.      Prototype – build a prototype to share with potential users and gather feedback in order to validate product-market fit before proceeding to development.

The process described above is just a small part of how we work, but if you are interested in finding out more details, drop us a line at and we’ll offer you a dedicated demo.