The Problem

Filipinos working abroad have been sending packages to their families in the Philippines regularly. In UAE, an estimated 10,000 boxes are sent monthly which doubles during the Christmas season, almost every working Filipino sends a box at least once a year and we have around 700,000 workers here.

The ordering of boxes, pickup scheduling and delivery tracking are usually done by calling the forwarders customer service. We need a tool to enable them to schedule the delivery of box orders, schedule a pickup and track their package through an app which will help them to speed up the process and reach more forwarders to choose from.

My Role

Product Designer.Conduct research on the market, prepare personas, user flows and UI design.


FAs part of the Filipino community, I am familiar with the process and faced some problems in sending packages back home. I asked some friends to confirm if they have the same experience that will support my assumptions below:

  • There are only 2 main forwarding companies that dominate the service but there are a few smaller unknown companies that deliver as good if not a better service.
  • Scheduling a delivery and pickup is hard because of our work schedule does not match the forwarder’s area schedule of delivery and pickup.
  • Forwarders have no online or automated tracking system that enables you to monitor your package. You have to call the forwarder’s office to manually follow-up on the status of your package.

I started by creating a business plan in which I defined the problem that needs to be solved, my proposed solution, market segment, cost structure and how I can I create revenue from the app. This gives me a general overview and will serve as my guide in developing the app.

Created personas for the target users and sketched the flow of the interaction from the user and forwarder side. When the user flow is somehow clear to me, started working on the identity and some design sketches to establish the structure. I skipped the wireframes this time because I’m working alone and the sketches are enough for me to start the UI design. Although you can see the design is using english as language, I’m strongly considering using our filipino language for the final product.

A simple business plan that serves as my market research and guide.

User flow of the user and forwarder.

Personas of target users.

Initial sketches before I started on the UI design.

"Kahon" is the filipino word for "box", in this context "kahon" is the physical box that we use as container of the things we want to send home via the forwarding comapanies. The colors are derived from the Philippine flag since the target users are Filipinos and this behavior is unique to us. The shape colored shapes are reminiscent of the "banderitas" hanged as decor during festive seasons in the Philippines where the contents of the packages are usually intended to be used or consumed.

Sample screens of the "Box Order" process.

Lessons Learned

You can’t do it alone. Here’s another clueless guy who wants to build his own startup. Ideas are easy but making It come to life is hard specially if you are alone. Surely, I can cover things related to design but once I get to the things that is outside my expertise, I get stuck. Talking to some friends for advise, It’s either I pay people to execute the work or partner with someone who shares the same goal.

Just do it. Don’t wait for the right time, it will not come. If you wait too long, your idea becomes stale or someone might have done it already by the time you start. Even if you fail, at least you learned something. Well, I just read and heard these wise words from someone else but somehow they are true. In my case, although I am stuck after I’ve made the designs, my consolation is that I am able to add this to my portfolio and practice my craft. My next step would be to prototype this in the future and that would enable me to test and communicatel the idea easier.

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