April 12 2018

Sandbar client Notesmaster recently won a World Summit Award for digital innovation. The awards are a unique awards system, selecting and promoting local digital innovation with high impact on improving society. In general they are looking for positive impact on society, encouragement of young entrepreneurship, high level of diversity, global value / value to the United Nations.

Notesmaster was chosen because it met the key judging criteria for its product:

The quality of content. How comprehensively it covered the topics it was targeting

Ease of use, user experience, use of appropriate interactivity

Navigation, orientation and visual appeal

State of the art technology and quality of technical realisation

Originality and newness to targeted users, business model and its value to the market

How did we deliver on these key product differentiators? The key factor was the founders’ decision to allow enough design time, enabling the design team the breathing space to deliver quality solutions, rather than being reduced to putting together a last minute set of deliverables, which can often be the case when budgets are a concern - as was the case with this project.

Product Strategy

Our input started with the product conception, working with the founders on initial concepts and product strategy, identifying the unique target market and how to fulfill their educational needs.

Rapid prototyping

Using rapid prototyping techniques, we were able to create the bare bones of the interface. This involved using Adobe Muse and XD software packages to brainstorm how users could best interact with the content. This allowed us to quickly discard those ideas which did not work and focus on the optimum methods for delivering the functionality identified from the strategy phase.

UI Design time

To the credit of the founders, they allowed a great amount of freedom for UI design work, which returned fruitful branding and design concepts which could be easily translated into the complex interfaces required, resulting in a consolidated look and feel, consistent palette and a clean and simple UI.

Swift implementation

Thanks to the product complexities being largely considered before implementation, this allowed decisions on technology to be made quickly, and the implementation undertaken with pace, in the knowledge that there were few grey areas in functionality. This translated into reduced development timings and therefore costs - negating any of the investment in the design phase.


Without the founders’ confidence in the design team, there would certainly not have been the opportunity to deliver the quality of assets the time allowed, and the fact that the development times were greatly reduced proves this was a key factor in raising the quality of the product enabling it to catch the eye of the awards judges.


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