Existing 'interactions' were built in silos over a long period of time, and the most disconnected and inconsistent features were causing our customers pain. Apptentive needed a new editor which conceptually mapped our planned and existing features together in one unified interface.
Greeting, Dialogue, and Conclusion
We knew early on that we needed a workflow editor, but we also wanted to stay away from a completely open ended one: it's dangerous, it's confusing, and importantly it didn't map with what our users needed. For inspiration on how to structure this, we looked inward: Apptentive's key differentiator is that we focus on conversation. Back and forth, two-way conversation.
Every real-world conversation is structured into three phases: Greeting, Dialogue, and Conclusion. Happily, those phases map to the best-practices we were already telling our customers.
Voilà, we have our skeleton!
Prototypes for this project started as whiteboard drawings, included several rounds of paper prototypes which I carried to meet with our customers in their office, and eventually settled into invision prototypes as the concept began to gel.