About meWork

iPad Calculator App


I was trying to charge my friends through venmo, but since I was using my phone to look at venmo, I decided to use my iPad to calculate–except I searched thoroughly and found no calculator app on the iPad. So I googled this.

Rumor has it that when the iPad was designed, the designers simply scaled the mobile/desktop calculator up. When the iPad reached deployment, Steve Job’s caught the calculator app for the first time and said “Absolutely not, it’s hideous,” so it was scrapped. Because it was so last minute, a new calculator was never made.  

This project was assigned through the UX Academy of Design Lab, in which I was responsible for research, UX/UI design, and asset creation.

Goals & Objectives

The Basics

This project spanned two weeks, in which I worked alone and acted as the user experience researcher and the user interface designer.

Pinpointing a Persona

Before trying to find a persona, I thought back to my time when I owned a Google Pixel and my own use of the calculator during that period. Using the Apple calculator now, I realized I took the features of the Pixel calculator for granted. With that experience in mind, I conducted a competitor analysis.

Determining a persona for this project initially seemed complicated–after all, do calculators really have a specific demographic?

Apparently yes. After I conducted interviews, I found that in general, millenials were using calculators mainly for things such as splitting bills between friends at brunch or housing bills between roommates. This noticeable pattern led me to do some secondary research on demographics and their dining habits to confirm the pattern I was seeing so that I could create a more accurate persona.

Apart from creating a persona, I also performed contextual observations on each interviewee to see what features could benefit or should be taken off the Apple calculator.


Defining the Details

Building out the user/task flows for this project was peculiar to say the least. Because calculator tasks are already pretty informed, I illustrated that direct path.

Building Blueprints

Due to the straightforward nature of a calculator, I dove straight into a high-fidelity wireframe/prototype.

Testing the Prototype

After finishing the prototype, I reached out through several platforms to find participants for the user test in order to find features I may have overlooked.

Below are the link to the prototype that was used for the initial user test as well as the collected data.

Prototype v1

After the initial round of testing I went back and made a few changes based on the findings. Changes included having the pull-out menu open at the start of the app as well as creating a more clear difference between the menu buttons and the pull-out button.

Prototype v2

Next Steps

Given the time constraints, only so much could be done. However, in a real-life application, the next steps would be:

  1. Repeated user tests and changes to the prototype until satisfactory.
  2. Hand-off to devs.