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Refresh for Success: Improve Your Process to Keep Designs Fresh with Tan Nguyen from butterfly-effected, GmbH


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Spring is here and it’s a good time to clean house in your digital world. From your design process to Galaxy Store presence, it’s important to think about changes that could make things more efficient. To help you get started, members of the Samsung Developers community have been sharing advice on how they’ve successfully refined their processes and their Galaxy Store presence.

We continue our series with Tan Nguyen from butterfly-effected, GmbH. A themes and watch faces designer, butterfly-effected has a long history with Samsung, having provided content for our first mobile content store, the Samsung Funclub. Read on to learn about Tan’s process for quality control that allows him to grow, while keeping their designs fresh.

How did you get into designing themes and watch faces?

Since 2006, we’ve been working with Samsung in different areas. For the UEFA Euro 2016 Football Championship, Samsung planned a promotion and asked us if we could create some themes for them. We were amazed at the number of downloads and created more. After seeing amazing results again, we continued designing more. That´s basically how everything started.

Has your design approach evolved over time?

Our process begins with collecting ideas, sketching and then selecting the best ones for production. Then we do extensive Q&A on the design and the technical part (e.g. are the colors visible in all combinations?). If everything passes, we send them to our partners for their approval before we upload them to the store.

In the past, we spent a lot of time on the technical part, because everything was new. Now we have more experience and the tools have matured, so we can focus more on the creative part and design. The Samsung Galaxy Themes Studio editor has an integrated visibility check that is a helpful tool when finalizing designs.

Geometric Perspective by butterfly-effected, GmbH

Geometric Perspective by butterfly-effected, GmbH

Do you have a system in place to organize your designs and the way you present them?

We created our own system to keep track of all the designs, designers, tasks, sales and revenue share for our brands. In addition to Galaxy Store, we use social media, mainly Facebook, to present new products to customers and fans.

How often do you revisit your old designs and update them?

We take the most downloaded designs (even the free ones) and update them on a regular basis. Time is allocated for that, and we update as many as possible without affecting the production of new themes. Some themes have more sales after the update, others do not. But in general, there is an increase, so it makes sense to revisit older designs — especially since products without an update tend to experience a drop in sales.

Black Fiber by butterfly-effected, GmbH

Black Fiber by butterfly-effected, GmbH

When new platforms are released, do you check to make sure all designs are working?

When a new platform is released, there are usually many different firmware versions. This can make the creation and the Q&A process quite complex if the tester’s firmware, Remote Test Lab (RTL) and our phones show different things.

We always prioritize checking on products with higher downloads. We use RTL when new issues arise (e.g. color combinations) that we can´t reproduce or fix in Galaxy Themes Studio.

What advice would you give a designer about organizing and maintaining their work?

Backup all source files and keep a file with all the layers. Also, it is helpful to use version control software to not lose track of supported devices and firmware.


Thanks to Tan for sharing helpful advice on improving the Q&A process and prioritizing updates to keep designs fresh. You can connect with Tan and butterfly-effected, GmbH on their Facebook Themes Page and Facebook Watch Faces Page. You can also check out butterfly-effected’s full collection of designs in Galaxy Store.

We hope this post helps you start your spring refresh for success. Remember, making Galaxy Store updates is key to keeping your seller account active. You need two activities every three months that trigger an app review by the seller portal team. An activity takes many forms, and can be anything from uploading a new app, to updating a current app, or changing the description or adding/updating photos. However, changing the price of an app does not count.

Stay tuned next week for the final installment in our ‘Refresh for Success’ series and follow us on Twitter at @samsung_dev for our latest updates.

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