Yesterday, Rnovo, one of our most beloved creatures, just emerged from Nomadblue's kitchen, after having been cooked with love for months. This project has been very special in terms of design. It certainly can be said that it has been "design-led".
The business of intellectual and industrial property is a kingdom ruled by attorneys, big law firms, all charging their fees for having them file trademark applications with the government IP organizations for you. In Chile, the first country where Rnovo will start its operations, this organization is called INAPI ("Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial", in spanish).
This applications are more or less complex processes, depending on where you file them. Among the different actions to take into account, the applicant must know that there is no complete guarantee for their trademark of being granted. If they try to submit, for example, a trademark named "appel" and cover concepts such as sofware or hardware development, be sure that their request will be rejected because there is some "Apple" trademark already registered from a company also already developing software and hardware. Regulating those "concepts" is an international organization called WIPO ("World Intellectual Property Organization") that classifies them into "classes", grouped under the name of Nice Classification.
All these stuff is something most of the entrepreneurs and small companies don't know or dare to care. They launch their products and businesses, unaware that they are running them unprotected. Some of them may become successful, therefore their assets also become more valuable, including their trademark. But then some predator could take advantage of that, register the trademark before them, and impersonate the business or take profit of all the work done in terms of marketing, branding or company reputation.
In terms of product development, our biggest challenge was to create something that reached the goal of filing a trademark application in the easiest way. The process had to integrate all the filing requirements (which are really a lot) and glue them into a process that would guide the user seamlessly. The longer and complicated, the more customers Rnovo loses along the way.
Therefore, understanding the whole business war crucial for Nomadblue, as we needed to design the best experience for the user, without sacrificing any bit of completeness in the task of asking for information to the user. We run some presencial meetings with all the Rnovo expert team, and together we brainstormed a lot until we found practical solutions to overcome certain bottlenecks and potential misunderstandings.
Rnovo can be divided into two parts: the trademark application process and the user applications management.
For the first part we wanted to provide an extremely responsive flow where the user can go back and forth in their form completing task and learning along the way. Also, for the classification part (step 2), where users must tell which are the classes they want their trademarks be covered with, the interface is dinamically changing the keywords with the user type-ahead, and selecting them the list of correspondent classes (marked as available or not available for the current trademark) is also changing dinamically. To achieve this and much more, we used the Ember.js framework to communicate the frontend and the backend, all in a single page application that does not refresh the page between form transitions, thus improving the user experience.
Development for the second one was straightforward with providing views to list and see the details for each one of the applications the user files. In this management section called "my applications", users complete payments for applications they left in the middle of the process, and follow the evolution of their application status as the Rnovo team goes forward in their job of filing and other actions.
As an special mention, say that the database was a very sensitive part here, and we had to perform some previous hard work to scrape some official sites and incorporate web services or preloaded data from other institutions.
Now that we are in a first public beta, our main goal is to start gathering data, not only from the overall opinions and improvements submitted by our users, but also from their behaviour in the use of Rnovo. Do they understand how to manage the tools, do they find all the information they need in order to operate? How is the difference in devices and user interfaces affecting the user experience? And as we streamline the product while traction is taking off, we will also boost customer acquisition and leads.