Onvi Ecosystem - Zero to Hero

To help small restaurants and cafes navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic, Onvi released a mobile order and pay system that allowed customers to place takeout orders and introduced QR-coded menus — an innovation needed to comply with UK COVID safety regulations.

After the world reopened following the pandemic, Onvi needed to shift its offering to a best-in-class point of sale and order management system. To differentiate their product in a flooded market, we focused on tailoring specifically to small to medium-sized operators (a niche not previously catered to in the market).


Is this actually a problem? How does it impact users? What is the full context?


At all phases of the product design process, our decisions were deeply rooted in user data and insight.

Gathered cross-company Expertise

We opened up lanes of communication across the company, including organizations like business development, support, and marketing

“Iain’s presence was quickly felt and his work has been transformative at Onvi, working closely with our CPO to launch and evolve our solution.

It’s not just his hard skills that make Iain such a valuable member of the team though. What makes him exceptional is his phenomenal attitude and the extent to which he cares about the business, our operators & customers, and the team as a whole. ”

- Prask, Chief Executive officer @ Onvi


Onvi's organization had recently transitioned to operating fully remote with team members across the UK and Europe. I utilized my past experiences with remote and asynchronous collaboration to help the company collaborate from afar. With everyone safely at home, I was able to help the C-level leadership team solidify a cohesive product vision, enable individual feature teams to explore and ideate, and even pushed to have the organization recognize success without being in the room.


I planned and facilitated several remote workshops with the c-level leadership to document a user-centric singular product vision. Balancing business priorities, engineering capability, market insights, and customer needs, we crafted and documented a vision and roadmap.

In collaboration with other product leaders, we broke that vision into actionable pieces, either as Shape Up pitches or small KANBAN cards.


Utilizing remote tools like video conferencing and virtual whiteboards, designers on feature teams were tasked with facilitating a kickoff workshop with their team of engineers, data specialists, and quality assurance technicians.

The workshops had a variety of activities, all geared towards helping the team explore the problem space and walk away with a breadboard-fidelity layout of the data, features, and user flows.

Hidden feedback in #shoutouts

One of the most significant drawbacks of remote work is an overall lack of positive affirmation for a job well done. So I partnered with other leaders to institute a public #shoutouts channel in Slack for everyone on the team to celebrate each other's successes.

As an unintended consequence, when we shared designs as part of a shoutout, the designers opened themselves up to a broader audience and gathered more feedback than we received through traditional mediums.


How can we solve the problem? Is the design accessible?

On-Brand Design Library

In collaboration with the company's Creative Director and the broader marketing team, we built a pattern library from the ground up for a cohesive UI steeped in both brand consistency and UX best practices.

  • The new UI components were designed with accessibility first, then aesthetics.
  • We held weekly design critiques involving all the product designers, product managers, and marketing creatives to ensure our experience was cohesive across the brand experience.
  • We partnered directly with the front-end engineers to ensure the interface was built with inclusivity at its core.

Flexibility for our users

Operators in the food and hospitality domain have different locations, menus, and fulfillment modes (sometimes varying even between various sites of a single operator).

We designed a refined and flexible architecture for operators that was intuitive for their entire staff while meeting varying needs.

By creating isolation between menus, sites, and fulfillment modes, operators across the industry could efficiently interconnect the unique pieces together on a single platform without sacrificing the experience for their teams or customers.

Design Results

The Till

Online Ordering

Intuitive back office

Iain built out our design system, adding rigour and logic to how we think about components across our web app and native app (mobile and tablet) products. He is an excellent researcher, covering every step from discussion guides to synthesis. And he’s an efficient, effective UX designer when he’s needed to fill that role.

- Raoul, Chief Product Officer @ Onvi


Problem solved? Is it usable?

Unmoderated Usability studies

Understanding the ebbs and flows of the designers’ workload, we were able to add usability testing while maintaining a manageable workload in the standard 6-week cycle.

To speed up results, we utilized unmoderated usability studies focused on participants performing a series of tasks with the proposed solution to understand possible experience issues. We then used an online service like UserTesting to get results from a large pool of eligible participants within hours instead of weeks.

open Company-wide Feedback

Opened sync and async communication channels throughout the company to keep everyone involved as we rolled out the new product features.

  • Followed a transparent model where the feature roadmap was well documented, available, and in a single up-to-date source of truth on the product vision.
  • We maintained a transparent and open channel hierarchy in slack, encouraging everyone to keep conversations in the open by avoiding DMs.
  • Partnered with the broader leadership team to create and maintain relevant synchronous rituals that encouraged feedback and kept the entire company informed.

Customer validated designs

We coordinated product validation testing with the support and sales teams to understand expectations and feedback regarding usability and broader product vision.

We also coordinated user interviews with potential customers to better understand their needs and bring that feedback to the product roadmap.

We partnered with the support team to discover and understand current product usability issues, coordinating directly with engineering to prioritize the resolution.


How do we build this? Can we iterate while still delivering value?

Embedded designers

Designers were embedded in feature teams staffed with with a range of engineers, data-scientists, quality specialists; all operating on a single 6 week timeline to deliver value to our customers.

  • We collaborated with the data team to utilize available qualitative and quantitative data to understand the problem better.
  • The entire team was included in an iterative design process, working from basic wireframes to high-fidelity prototypes to ground the team in a single product vision.
  • We collaborated closely with the engineering team as they built the solution, answering their questions during the product development process and providing usability feedback along the way.
" Bringing welcomed organisation and structure to working processes across the design and development teams, Iain enabled the teams to work effectively to deliver features and updates to the products at speed.

On top of his ability to lead a team he has great attention to detail. Ensuring high standards of design and usability are delivered across platforms. It was an absolute pleasure working with Iain and he would be an outstanding addition to any team.

- James, Senior Product Designer @ Onvi


What value did we deliver? Is it being used? Did it change other behaviors?

Truely Minimal viable product

Collaborating closely with internal teams and outside stakeholders, we built a genuinely minimally viable product that entered the market within three months.

Within six months, we released a broader market-ready offering and were able to successfully onboarded 75 new operators to the new system. We intentionally kept open communication channels with these customers to ensure our solution met their needs over time.

Mobile till

Based on a flexible infrastructure, we built a fast and efficient till that operators could use to place orders from customers quickly. In addition, we implemented a responsive solution for both tablet and mobile experiences to meet users where they were.

Order management

We created a flexible infrastructure that enabled operators to manage their orders in the kitchen via a tablet, a kitchen display system (KDS), or even in the back-office. No matter where orders were always in sync.

customer interaction

We facilitated conversations between our operators and their customers with branded menus, receipts, and live order updates. To cast the widest net, we ensured the best responsive experience for our operator's customers.


customers in the first 6 months


orders successfully processed

4.9 stars

rating on Apple App Store