AppLock by Sensory, Inc.

Android Native App

AppLock makes it easy to lock apps within your phone keeping data safe from intruders. It is an alternative to PIN/Pattern protection by recognizing your face and voice to unlock apps only for you.

Break Out of That Shell

Overview

When we were first introduced to AppLock, it was already available on the Play Store with over 50,000 downloads. The technology was there: Sensory Inc., the app's inventor, was founded in 1994 and has put speech recognition into close to one billion products. AppLock was able to recognize a user's face and voice with such precision that it slightly creeped-out our team. The main issue was a complex and unflattering interface that this innovative software was wrapped in.

1. User Testing

2. Redesign

3. Retesting

The key objective was to make AppLock more accessible to an average user. To achieve that goal, we divided the project into three main phases. First, we introduced the existing version to a focus group to target usability issues. We then redesigned the flow and interface of AppLock based on our findings. Lastly, we tested the new version to ensure that all problems had been resolved.

The new UI looks fantastic. Current Haus is responsive, easy to work with and delivered everything on time. It was a pleasure working with them. Jay Rawlings
QA Automation Engineer – Sensory, Inc.

The Ugly Duckling

Previous Version

The first thing we noticed about the initial AppLock interface was an outdated, obscure, 90s' look. Unclear and technical instructions, and a confusing UX sent a unfriendly message "Don't use me, I'm too complicated for you. Grrr…".

  • before unlock screen after unlock screen
  • before app select screen after app select screen

Getting the Feedback

Testing

To gain a good insight to how users interact with AppLock, we conducted focus group testing. All of the participants had never used the app before and were categorized based on their technical abilities using a smartphone. Each group showed patterns in their user scenarios, tendencies, opinions, and goals.

candid shot testing with users

One of the initial questions that we wanted to test was either to keep the UI on the dark side or bring it to the light. We conducted A/B testing online with over 60 subjects providing light and dark versions of the same screen for their preference. 71% responded in favor of the light version of the screen.

light versus dark versions
circle chart

The Makeover

UX/UI Redesign

The main objective of our design team was to make AppLock seem as if it was a default Android feature rather than a separate app. We decided on Google Material Design because it created a seamless user experience that is perceived as a single continuous flow. Components of Material Design are instantly recognizable and understood by users – effectively gaining successful registrations and reducing abandonment.

AppLock UI design screens

Material Design was used as a guide, but not as a strict set of rules to abide by. Our goal was to design an app that functions seamlessly in the Android environment while defining the brand and overall identity of AppLock.

AppLock security levels screen AppLock terms & conditions screen

Security, stability, safety, professionalism, and reliability are all connotations that we were aiming to achieve. We also wanted to create a feeling of modernism and technology to support the functions of the application. Based on these factors, rich and vibrant tones of indigo blues were chosen to represent the base of AppLock. Cyan colored "action" buttons highlight to the user functionality and clear commuication.

To make AppLock feel more personal, new features were introduced. Face and voice libraries allow users to review their previous unlock captures. For instance, when your younger, snooping brother tries to view your personal photos, his face is saved in the library as proof of his malicious attempt.

AppLock UI design screens
toggle instruction

The first thing you have to do as a new AppLock user is to go through the enrollment process. This registers your face and voice for the first time. The challenge was to make this onboarding as easy as posssible to increase the number of successful registrations. We divided the process into three steps and supplied an animated tutorial to help users move through smoothly.

Making it Easy

Copywriting

Language in the initial AppLock was a major weakpoint as it was too technical for a broad audience. The lack of descriptions left users confused and not willing to use most features. The tone of the new app is more friendly and accessible. Technically advanced settings are provided with icons and short descriptions.

AppLock onboarding instruction AppLock advanced settings screen
AppLock popups with instructions

Final Testing & Outcome

Outcome

After the beta version was ready, we conducted one more round of focus group testing. This time, we tested two groups: one from the first round that could compare the versions and a new group who had never used AppLock.

AppLock print case study

The redesign of AppLock tested on users from focus groups proved to be a success. We were able to change AppLock's image from "Old-fashioned", "Outdated" and "Doesn't convey safety and pofessionalism" to "Nice and fun", "Professional", and "More personal". The number of successful registrations in the onboarding process increased by 62%.

  • +29%
  • +36%

After releasing the new version of AppLock, the number of downloads quickly doubled, reaching over 100,000 and still growing.

Really Love This App! Best Face & Voice recognition app in the Play Store

Love it! Keep up the good work at making another unique way to unlock an app

Great app. The features are EXACTLY what I wanted, you can choose what is locked and you can disable it at anytime