Toshl Finance Blog

The Toshl Web App Gets a New Design: a Chat with Janez and Jan

We’re starting something a little different on our blog today. Instead of just telling you what’s new, we’ll have a chat with Toshl’s team members. Today we’re meeting Janez and Jan. No, they are not one of the Toshl monsters, they are humans and they are real. Or at least we certainly hope so. ;) One envisions the app’s unique design, while the other puts the ideas into practice by coding. In this chat, we’ll talk about the redesign of the Toshl Finance Web App and their work in this project.

Guys, could you introduce yourself? What are your main duties at Toshl?

Janez: I’m in charge of the design and illustration. This part is quite important for Toshl Finance apps. So my job is about creating the interface of our apps and graphics in general.

Jan: I bring designs of Janez to life. I’m in charge of web app development. In other words, it is my task to transform the data into web pictures in the browser, so they look like we imagined them. And, of course, we discuss how things should look like together with Janez. It’s constant teamwork.

Toshl’s web app has changed significantly with the latest release. What was the purpose of this transformation?

Janez: We wanted to achieve a new feel for the whole app, so that it looks lighter. We paid attention to optimising the entire experience, not only the bare graphical interface.  

Jan: We saw a chance to make the app look fresh. The previous version of the web app was developed about 4 years ago, and these are light years in the IT industry. Thus it needed some updates. The timing of the overall redesign coincided with the code refactoring that we did. Now the things comply with the latest industry standards and it is easier to make additional upgrades.

How could we see it in user experience?

Jan: The previous version was very flat and hierarchical relationships between view parts and elements were not really clear.  Now, when we added different shadows to the elements and made them look floating, when we put some things in the background and placed others in the front, it looks more clear. With the recent changes, it is quite simple to understand what you need to click next on the screen.

All in all, the whole experience became easier, didn’t it?

Janez: Yes. Now it is easier to understand things. Colouring and shapes of the elements help you orient throughout the app.

Jan: Web app navigation got better, too. We have developed advanced animations that show what happens when you click some element. Before, when you clicked something, the next screen popped up immediately. It was not easy to process this instant change for the user. Now it transforms smoothly. Also, when some element gets hidden, it animates into the button that can bring it back. So you know where to find it to revert your change. For instance, all toggles, steps, and buttons on “Add budget” dialog are dynamically animated to give a sense of where they came from or where they go when we don’t need them anymore. Everything became more intuitive.

Janez: We worked on the systematisation of the app’s design as well. It relates to the changes in the buttons, there are some changes in the fonts. In this area, we made the first steps towards a wider design system that could better evolve over time.

Jan: Or, for instance, we improved the contrast. The background got light white, the fonts got darker. So the app is easier on the eye.

Could this redesign confuse the people who use Toshl Finance?

Jan: Not at all. All the elements are in their previous places. Some important parts are just more emphasized. Some less important things are in the background. The first contact with the overhauled app should be quite effortless.

Could you remember any funny story that happened on the way of this project?

Janez:  We are a serious company, no jokes.

You are serious but you have Toshl Monsters. Did they change somehow?

Janez: Monsters reflect Toshl’s humour. They stay the same.

Jan: Monsters are eternal. No need to change them.

Are there any hints you would like to share with Toshl users?

Janez: Overall, the app stays the same. So far functionalities did not change with this web app design update. It is just a refreshed look.

Jan: We didn’t want to complicate… Gradual changes are always a better option.

Otherwise, do you use Toshl Finance in everyday life?

Jan: Yes, I do.

Janez: Yes. Sometimes I fall asleep and forget to enter some cash expense in Toshl. Then I wake up and come back to the app… You know, we must use it because we’ll get lower salary otherwise… (Laughing)

Posted in Development, Opinions