VivoKey Apex

A futuristic NFC security app that strengthens user defenses against hacking threats

My role

Sole product designer




Dec 2022 - Apr 2023

The team aspired to expand beyond their niche audience

VivoKey initiated this project with the goal of reaching mainstream audiences in their next app release. Despite the small audience they already gained, they believed that making their advanced app easier for a broader audience to use was a pivotal step in scaling their business.


A quick and convenient digital menu

  • All menus are visible
  • “Scroll to top” button for convenience
  • Shortcut to the sides menu

Catered to the guests’ needs

  • Star icon next to popular items
  • Stronger visual hierarchy
  • Seperate vegetarian and gluten-free menus

Landing page redesign

  • Pop-ups integrated into hero section
  • “Order online” and “Make reservation” removed from user flow

Understanding the app’s intricacies

I learned about the team's thought processes behind creating certain features and user flows, and the app’s technical elements. From this, I created a user flow chart to help me organize all of the app’s screens and the interactions.

In addition to the user flow, I conducted a heuristic evaluation of the app to identify opportunities for improvement. Using insights from both artifacts, I created and shared wireframe sketches with my team to ensure alignment on the design’s feasibility and explore additional ideas.

Limited access to users

Although I knew the team’s intended use for the app, understanding how users were actually using it was essential to my design approach. Unfortunately, not only did I struggle to get access to current users, but I wasn’t able to do a usability test with potential users as the NFC device was needed to get beyond the loading screen of the app.

Unable to talk to current or potential users, I used what I and the stakeholders knew about these users to create two proto-personas. Creating these artifacts helped identify target users and uncover their motives and goals while using the app, both of which would guide my design decisions.


I mapped out the user journey of a guest navigating the current online menu to help me identify additional pain points and opportunities for improvement.


Using my research insights and user journey, I came up with possible solutions and opportunities for improvement. I used a feature prioritization chart to help me plan the order of which features to design were most important to users.

If I was working on a team, I would have collaborated with developers and used this chart to decided which features were feasible.

The app was at a disadvantage

In the absence of talking to users, I ran a competitive analysis to understand how other apps solved the pain points I discovered in my heuristic evaluation, which I had planned to gather user feedback on.

The competitive analysis allowed me to see where the app could improve it's position in the market, especially with being a polarizing product.

Through my competitive analysis, I made a significant discovery: other apps are easier to use. By using similar apps, I only then fully understood what the VivoKey app was trying to accomplish, faster and by using each app once. This was a problem.

I began to question our app’s user flows, and my questions led me all the way to the beginning: to the discovery of the website where users purchase the NFC device.


For my wireframes, I used inspiration  from websites I analyzed in my competitive analysis. There were no constraints for this project so I was able to come up with creative solutions to test and validate with users.

Assumptions I made:

  • Users would prefer an interactive menu instead of a PDF
  • Guests would use geolocation
  • People would use the filter feature for dietary needs
  • People would want photos on the menu for every item
  • The restaurant would benefit from promoting a food item on the main menu

Next steps

The intended result of this strategy is a cohesive customer experience that guides users from the point that they purchase the NFC device on the product website, to when they add their first one-time password in the app. This will strengthen the startup's brand identity and make it easy for anyone to take steps toward protecting their digital identity with VivoKey Apex.

If this project were to continue, my first priority would be to validate the proto-personas and user flows by interviewing and testing my designs with people familiar with two-factor authentication.

Thanks for reading!