Fundi 254 (A Redesign)

The easiest way to find and connect with artisans

At a Glance

The Fundi 254 team approached me to do a redesign of their app after the first version failed to gain traction due to poor user experience. 

The original app was designed for both artisans and customers, but it was difficult to use for both groups. The artisan side of the app was cluttered and difficult to navigate, and the customer side of the app was not very user-friendly.

I worked on the redesign for three months, and I was finally able to deliver the designs for both the artisans app and the customers app. The new app was a huge improvement over the original app. It was easy to use for both artisans and customers, and it had all of the features that users had requested.

The new app was a success. It quickly gained traction and became the go-to app for connecting artisans with customers. The Fundi 254 team was very happy with the results!


3 Months


UX Designer


1 Founder

1 team of SWEs




Client's Need

Fundi 254 is looking to revolutionize how people in Kenya gain access to skill labour. They are also looking to change the decades long narrative that there are no jobs in Kenya.

The team, through their team of Software Engineers, developed the first version of the app, with most of the focus being on functionality, and very little focus on experience. The goal then, was to test out whether a product like that was actually feasible to build.

After their first launch, the reception was not very good, and most users complained about the substandard experience, dated UI and long processes to get simple actions done. 

It was at this time that the team realized the missing ingredient: A UX Designer.




According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kenyans below the age of 35 make up 75% of the Kenyan Population. 

Among these, a majority end up broke and unemployed, as they cannot find meaningful employment, even with the right skills.

However, this does not mean that the demand for these skills does not exist. Among the Kenyan population, trust is very important, as high levels of insecurity, and weak law enforcement infrastructure (eg. poor response times from police) leads many Kenyans to be weary and cautious of who they let into their houses.

The lack of a standard system of skills assessment and certification also means that it is quite difficult to differentiate a skilled artisan from an unqualified one.

This has brought the need to have an intermediary that can assure customers of the security of their houses, as well as an assurance of quality work, from qualified artisans.

At the same time, the artisans also require one platform where people with needs for their services can be found, with thee assurance that they will also be paid for their hard labour. 


App Before Redesign

The first Fundi 254 App was created with minimal focus on design, where a lot of the attention was on the functionality. The team was pre-dominantly comprised of members with technical backgrounds in software engineering, and hence the experience came as a second thought.

After the initial launch, the team quickly discovered the need to have a user centered experience at the core of the product, and this is when I was brought in.

The initial app had the following flaws:

  1. Long, complicated journeys with multiple clicks for the user.
  2. Dated UI, with imbalanced use of colour, use of accent colour as background, contrast disparities and other UI issues.
  3. Lack of proper visual hierarchy, where the user was often confused on what to focus on in the screen.
  4. Use of non-localized illustrations – A lot of the icons used to represent different crafts were often those of caucasian people, while the user base was pre-dominantly African, and this gave the illusion of a foreign service, and hence made them price sensitive.



When the team approached me, it was clear that their main challenge was the experience for both their customers and artisans, both of who were important in their value chain, as the one would not do well without the other.

In light of this, we decided to focus on designing a unified experience for both types of users, and have them use one app with different account types, as opposed to two different apps (one for customers and one for artisans)

This would allow us to further unify the experience, and even make it possible for a user to be both things at once. (eg. I could be an electrician, but I need a plumber to help in my own house)

This led us to the design of Fundi-254 V2.0 🔥


Design Constraints

In this project, I had the following constraints:

  1. Time: The team was rushing to give their already customers an improved experience and increase their retention. They also wanted to do a nationwide recruitment campaign in a couple months.
  2. Budget: The team runs a low budget operation, and so there was limited budget for activities like research.
  3. Branding: There was little to no branding as this was a very early stage startup, and I had to come up with the entire branding myself.



Due ton the constraints above, and the fact that a lot of the app’s inner workings had already been defined and under test, the design process was mainly in-house, with a lot of it being UI Design and rebranding.

A majority of the journeys were replicated with their underlying architecture, but with a keen focus on the reduction of click and simplification of some processes.


Visual Design

Where all the magic happens!

✍🏽 Low Fidelity Designs

After a long, iterative process, the result of the low fidelity designs were a much more streamlined user journey and with a more modern layout.

The most focus was on improving:

  1. Visual hierarchy
  2. Clean and simple layout
  3. Intuitive navigation
  4. Homogenized look and feel between customers view and artisans view.
  5. Simple and short order journeys to improve customer retention.
  6. Addition of after sales journeys eg. Artisan ratings, complaints and customer support.

🖋 Design System

One of my most interesting challenges for this project was coming up with the design system for the high fidelity designs.

I decided to take up the challenge before even embarking on the High fidelity designs, as this design has immense potential to grow into something even bigger, and a design system would go a long way in simplifying current and future work. It also came in handy in the effort to unify the experience across the whole app.

I focused on setting up the following:

  1. Typography (As well as setting it up as components on Figma)
  2. Colours
  3. Input fields
  4. Design Comomponents (eg. avatars, navigation, message, tabs, star ratings, etc.)
  5. Buttons and other controls
  6. Grid System
  7. Shadows
  8. Icon Pack (Imported)

🖋 High Fidelity Designs

After a long, iterative process, I was able to come up with the following screens for the landing page, car buying platform and dealer dashboard.

🖋 High Fidelity Prototypes

After a long, iterative process, I was able to come up with the following screens for the landing page, car buying platform and dealer dashboard.

👩🏽‍💼 Customer App

👨🏽‍🔧 Artisan App


What I Learned

I really enjoyed the challenge of designing this mobile app, and the satisfaction of working on a bigger cause, that will enable young people like me in Kenya to make a living.

I was also able to deeply test my skill all round, including it being the first design system I have come up with all by myself. Despite having experience developing design systems, it has often been with a team of other designers, and doing it by myself was a very interesting challenge.

Below are some things that I learned during this project:

#1. Beautiful UI's are a Means to an End

In our initial engagements with the Fundi-254 team, the assumption was that my role would be to make the app beautiful, and impress the users. The initial assumption was that beautiful cards, buttons and icons would be the difference between bad and good experience. This was quickly debunked, and the great experience was a result of more than just beauty.

However, the beauty of the app was the icing on the cake of good experience, and thus, one of the tool that made the experience stand out.

#2. Language is Part of Experience

Our users, especially the artisans, are people without the highest achievements in education (puting it nicely 😜), and thus they require clear, simple and concise communication throughout the app. During testing, I quickly realized that simple language made a huge difference in the comprehension levels of our users, and thus simple langauge translated to great experience.

#3. UX needs to be evangelised more and more

As digital products continue becoming part of our lives, more people, teams and companies developing them need to understand the value that UX Design brings to a product, and the importance of having a UX Designer in the team from Day 1. 

This approach saves time, cost and avoids situations like this, where you have to re-design, rebuild and relaunch a product due to initial poor experience.


Thanks for Reading!

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