Product Manager
Product Design
Interaction Design
OCR Technology

A digital journey to paperless living.


Building a tool that takes your physical data and turns it into something tangible that you can read, modify, and create content out of — by digitizing it.

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Introducing Scannr

Onboarding screens to highlight the exciting features to new users

Scannr is perfect for capturing, storing and categorizing your physical data, while easily saving a digital version of it to the Cloud.

Product Overview

Meet the mobile app that takes you on a digital journey to paperless living. No kidding! It takes your physical data and turns it into something tangible that you can read, modify, and create content out of — by digitizing it. All these, while ensuring that the data is made available to you whenever you need it in real-time. Pretty cool, right? Now let’s back it up a little.

It all started as a fun  project to work on over the weekends..”
(Bootstrapping this as a side project with help from a few friends)

Discovering a Problem

Scannr came about as an idea for a side project. We wanted to work on something exciting. Preferably a new technology that we hadn’t yet interacted with. We decide on OCR technology after being inspired by this think-piece article written by Fu’ad.

The idea is, what happens when you take 18,000 days of print, archive digitally, and make them available at the speed of a web search?

Asides from it being a clever way to essentially save the planet — by reducing the world’s dependency on paper — we were interested in the problem he had highlighted and the sheer idea of digitizing documents.

How might the average person digitize their documents?

In a way that is seamless in comparison to the current solutions for it. In a way that would ensure that their information could always be readily accessible to them? We decided to find out. But since this was relatively new terrain, we had to take time to understand the context around the problems we were hoping to solve.

Gathering Insights

Who needs Scannr to digitise their documents?

We set the criteria for people that recognised the need to digitise their documents and had previously tried out a few solutions. Most of which were also OCR enabled. This allowed us to hold a couple of interviews with potential users.

We approached the interviews by asking these people about how they handled their documents. Curious as to why digitisation was not more of a widespread practice.

Our main aim was to understand what their motivations, triggers and abilities were. From this, we hoped to gain insight into the basic decision-making process as they figured out what and when to digitise their documents.

Synthesizing the data from the interviews enabled us identify the following user behaviour patterns:

We were also able to get leads on other competitive apps that these people were either currently using, or had previously tried before.

Exploring Alternatives

We carried out a competitive analysis of other existing OCR apps and took the time to analyze how their processes worked by doing detailed landscape assessments.

What have other people been able to accomplish with this?

Trying out firsthand experiences with some of these applications enabled us note down the things they had done right and connected with my current understanding of why they had done it, or how they had gone about it.

I also noted down the functions that could be improved on and market opportunities in which they were currently lagging.

Creating Personas

As part of the research, we asked people how they had tried to digitize their documents using offline and digital methods in the past.

This revealed two major categories of potential users:
• The first-time novice user
• Experienced users that had tried other OCR apps before i.e like CamScanner

The users that had prior experience with OCR apps had expressed that they were either not impressed, or had been entirely put off by the inaccuracy of the scan results.

This inspired a new opportunity which I mapped out with the use of a customer journey map, along with the rest of the data from the interviews.

We used a customer journey map to organize the themes gotten from research and mapped out the flow of the users’ interaction with the application

Interesting Finds

Solving for Inclusion

During the interviews, we also discovered that a lot of people didn’t necessarily prioritize having phones with great cameras. Yet OCR relies heavily on the quality of the document or the camera being used.

For a larger market reach, this meant we needed to factor that into the design of the application.

We wanted to make sure that the users would still get to meet their goal regardless of the initial camera quality. This inspired a new solution that I implemented as a user flow for the logic of the application.

Subsequently, we used a customer journey map to organize the themes gotten from research and mapped out the flow of the users’ interaction with the application

Narrowing Expectations

Big, starts small

We sooner realized we couldn’t start out tackling the very broad problem of digitizing documents and needed to make necessary tradeoffs for a simpler version that satisfied the needs of a minimum viable product, so we narrowed it down to the next best thing — Receipts.

A receipt is a financial reporting document that represents proof of a financial transaction. The average person is issued a receipt in business-to-business dealings, stock market transactions, etc. Each time they make a financial transaction, it generates a paper trail on a weekly basis.

The frequency of use of receipts recorded from the average person during the interviews meant that I already had a substantial amount of data to work with.  Likewise, reframing the problem enabled me to close the knowledge gap about how and when this solution would be used.

Product Showcase

Onboarding screens to highlight the exciting features to new users

Get started as easy as pie

It only takes a minute to get you started. Less, if you’re already signed in with a Google or Facebook account on your device.

Initiate and engage your document in split seconds

From top to bottom, Scannr is built to help you stay efficient. Fire it up and get ready to go digital in just split seconds!

Directly influence the results of your scan

You no longer have to wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes. Scannr gives you a piece of all the action, by keeping you in control of the final outcome of your document.

Easily correct possible machine learning errors

Humans aren’t perfect, and neither are algorithms. Easily correct any of Scannr’s errors and watch it get better every time.

Transfer or maintain access to all your valuable data from any device

Why use paper when your data can always be right above you? — Scannr helps you store your valuable receipts in the clouds or transfer it across multiple digital formats.

Embracing Structure

Leading with content

Research determines content, and content determines the design. In that order. This is what drove our content strategy and copy-first approach for this design.

The personas had my attention on:

We considered what the personas would want to do with their receipts and how best to ensure that they could easily find them amongst the documents they have saved on the app.

Scenario: Derin needs to confirm his warranty at a store he recently bought a product from.

What factors are likely to be considered in order for him to accomplish this task?
1. Vendor’s name
2. Receipt number
3. Items
4. Date..

This enabled us to make some necessary adjustments to the user flows and informed the user stories for the application.

As a user...

Testing, Testing

Do you copy?

Design is only good if it works. This sounds obvious but it meant we had to aggressively test out our assumptions for this project. I created prototypes and tested the usability of the design on real users. The tests required them to carry out tasks on Scannr. A few people reported that the flows had left them confused.

This took us back to the drawing board and inspired a new solution to be designed as a feature — a correlation flow

The second round of testing yielded more positive results. We were able to evolve the product through multiple iterations and feedback gotten from peers.


This was a really exciting and fun project for me to work on as it provides real value, involved a ton of research, and detailed interaction work.

I learnt the following important takeaways from this project concerning product and business processes:

  1. Start small. It’s okay to start the journey to save the world from paper dependency from a single feature. Prioritise experience over features.
  2. Do not be overly precious about an idea. We had to go through multiple iterations of Scannr to arrive at a version that works, and it wasn’t a perfect replica of the original idea.