An innovative User Experience Designed to simplify the smartphone experience


Lava International Limited is a leading Mobile Handset Company in India and has expanded its operations to multiple countries across the world. The company has been building mobile handset design capability including industrial design, mechanical design, hardware design & software design.


Lava International Limited


Target Markets



  • User research
  • Brain storming 
  • Design Thinking 
  • Information Architecture
  • Taxonomy Interaction 
  • Design & Prototyping
  • Interface Design & Design Systems 
  • Visual Communication Design 
  • Development Support


LAVA had a vast reseller network in the Tier 2 cities and were rightly positioned to sell a budget smart phone and upgrade existing feature phone users to a smartphone. They just had to ensure that these smartphones could in fact be easily used by a target segment who desired a very simple operating UI or even a first time smart phone user

Invendes was invited to help LAVA design an operating layer for their smartphones targeting a segment of users who desired a simplyfied user experience

Business Landscape

The feature phone market was seeing a steady decline and was getting replaced by the proliferation of smartphones.

The Task

Our job was to validate the findings during LAVA’s exhaustive ethnographic studies conducted over 3 months and design an experience layer over Android simplifying it still further for the specified user persona. While this was a delightful project to undertake when we had the luxury of time, we had to crunch the whole project to under 8 months so that the client could catch the next shopping and festive season in India

Primary Persona

The primary persona was a tier 2 city working professional. He had to use the phone extensively to be in touch with his employers and associates.

The Task

Our job was to validate the findings during LAVA’s exhaustive ethnographic studies conducted over 3 months and design an experience layer over Android simplifying it still further for the specified user persona. While this was a delightful project to undertake when we had the luxury of time, we had to crunch the whole project to under 8 months so that the client could catch the next shopping and festive season in India







65, Retired Music Teacher

Bangalore, India

Tech Skill Level: Low

Needs: Large icons, straightforward navigation, and essential apps only (calls, messages, camera).

Goals: To make and receive calls, send messages, and occasionally take photos without the hassle of sifting through complicated menus.

Pain Points: Small text, too many unnecessary features, and difficulty in updating or installing apps.



30, Receptionist

Mumbai, India

Tech Skill Level: Moderate

Needs: Quick access to email, calendar, and essential work apps without the distractions of games or social media.

Goals: To streamline daily tasks and enhance productivity.

Pain Points: Notification overload, complicated settings, and time-consuming updates.



65, Retired Music Teacher

Bangalore, India

Tech Skill Level: High

Needs: A clutter-free interface with only essential apps, focusing on functionality over features.

Goals: To reduce screen time and enhance real-world interaction.

Pain Points: Unwanted bloatware, complex menus, and excessive features that lead to procrastination.



28, Small Business Owner

Varanasi, India

Tech Skill Level: Low to Moderate.

Needs: Simplified UI for basic smartphone operations like calling, texting, and internet browsing.

Goals: To stay connected with family and manage business communications.

Pain Points: Too many pre-installed apps, complicated settings, and difficulty in locating frequently used features.

Uniform X

Understanding that modern smartphones serve functions beyond mere dialing, we prioritized a seamless experience by overhauling all stock Android applications. This redesign spanned the dialer, contact book, camera, media player, radio, and file management, all fine-tuned to conform to a singular UX and UI standard. This uniformity aims to simplify navigation, especially for users transitioning to more advanced devices.

Process & Tasks

For Invendes, this project marked uncharted territory, demanding innovative strategies to meet LAVA’s R&D expectations. Essentially a design-focused endeavor, our role was to transform client-provided insights into actionable app designs. The challenge lay in aligning our delivery with the agile development cycles of a 40-member developer team—a task easier said than done.

To best address the unique demands of this project, we organized ourselves into four specialized teams, each aligned with specific functional areas.

Thinking & Innovation

User research, design thinking workshops, discovery workshops, white boarding, team alignment

Team of 3 UX Consultants

Function & Interaction

New functional and UX paradigm called Uniform X. Interaction Design, Information Architecture

Team of 6 Interaction designers

UI & Design System

UI Design, UI Standards, UX Writing, Iconography, Typography, Brand and Colors

Team of 5 UI designers

Development Support

Design assets, Sync with Design Sprints, UI Specification, UI Documentation

Team of 2 UI designers


Every project has its unique quirks, and at UXD, we often print images or quotes to unify our teams around a central theme. For this endeavor, two key points stood out: 1) The core objective was to design an ultra-simple operating layer, with a focus on simplicity. 2) It posed a significant project management challenge, coordinating between 14 designers from UXD and 40 developers from LAVA. Both teams had to operate in alignment with insights provided by LAVA’s research and strategy team. To crystallize these focal points, we printed out two posters that served as our north stars throughout the project.

The two quotes we printed served distinct yet complementary roles: one acted as the strategic north star, guiding the overall vision, while the other functioned as a managerial mantra, ensuring we stayed aligned with project objectives. These became the pillars that inspired and steered both teams throughout the project.

Every project requires a guiding UX philosophy, and for this endeavor, we dubbed ours “Uniform X.” The project kick-off involved outlining the broad guidelines of Uniform X, which were to be elaborated upon as the project progressed.


One of the best things about Android is the option they allow for customization and the phone launcher offered a great opportunity. To simplify the usage we suggested that we use clear visual cues with arrows and pulsating indicators. This was used as a Uniform X throughout all the apps we designed for the phone


The team opted for skeuomorphic iconography and design, as it resonated well with the intended user persona and simplified the user interface.


We simplified the home screen in three key ways: A) Single Screen: Eliminated multiple home screens for focused navigation. B) Essential Apps: Featured only frequently-used apps to reduce clutter C) Intuitive Icons: Used skeuomorphic design for easy recognition.


To create a more user-friendly camera app, we introduced one-tap access to essential features, eliminating the need for intricate navigation. We also implemented a smart auto mode that automatically adjusts settings, allowing users to focus on capturing the moment rather than fiddling with controls. For any remaining manual options, we opted for clear, straightforward labels to ensure ease of use. These refinements aimed to deliver a hassle-free yet robust camera experience.





For the radio app, we streamlined the user experience by introducing a preset stations feature that auto-tunes to popular local frequencies, reducing the need for manual scanning. We also simplified the interface, eliminating redundant options and retaining only core functions like volume and station list. To enhance usability further, we integrated an easy-to-find “favorites” section where users can quickly access their preferred stations

Media Player

We introduced a “Swipe Preview,” allowing users to swiftly skim through tracks with a swipe gesture for quick identification. Coupled with the “Mood Match” and voice-activated controls, these features aimed to offer an elevated level of findability, streamlining the user experience in a unique and intuitive way.


Adding another layer of convenience, we integrated a natural language voice search, allowing quick, verbal queries to instantly filter contacts. These enhancements transform the contacts page into a dynamic tool that intuitively adapts to individual user needs.

In Conclusion

Spanning just over a year, the project saw continual collaboration between the UXD team and the client’s development unit. We not only met the set deadlines but surpassed them, delivering designs and assets ahead of schedule while maintaining a standard of work that exceeded client expectations.

As the project came to a close, the revamped operating layer and native apps garnered positive reviews. However, the feedback underscored the need for additional simplification to truly convert our target persona into smartphone users. One crucial insight was the necessity for multilingual capabilities, a feature pivotal to broadening user adoption. This constructive feedback served as both affirmation and a roadmap for ongoing refinement, ensuring that our solutions remain aligned with the evolving needs of the user base.