We build cashback apps loved by millions
Investors like PayPal flock to DOSH. See how we built the hottest mobile cash back app for iOS & Android.
Businesses of all kinds use discounts and specials to attract new or returning customers. But the return on investment for using deal-finding websites wasn’t worth the traffic it brought in. There had to be a more useful way to promote all kinds of businesses while also advertising to a large audience. It needed to be fast, automated, and sleek, and Rocksauce was ready to do all three.
Likewise for customers, finding deals is a pain. Some apps have you take a picture of your receipt and wait a few days. In an online world, rebates don’t hold up. How can someone always be able to find a deal no matter what they were looking for or where they were going? Everyone has a smartphone now, so it only makes sense that the days of coupon clipping should retire too.
Getting Design Right
Flexibility, deliverables & great tools mean design satisfaction
Enter DOSH, a mobile app that does all that and more. By adding a credit card, any purchases made by participating businesses will automatically give you cash back in the app that can be redeemed for anything you want. Want to save up for a rainy day? Or donate it to charity? Or just use it for more of the same purchases you’re already making? DOSH can definitely do that.
With DOSH you can find small and large businesses that offer instant cash back, as well as book flights and hotels. There’s no need for paperwork, saving receipts, or mailing in rebates. Your reward is sent to your DOSH balance, to be used any way you like. Find a new place to eat or shop among thousands of businesses. Plan a trip, or just plain deposit funds to your bank. Finally, the balance of deals between customer and retailer has been restored.
Creating visuals to disrupt a market
Strategy & UX
Rocksauce was there to help the founders of DOSH, Ryan Wuerch and Ed Mock, as they began to form the basis for the product. Always the original idea rang true: take the marketing dollars that companies normally spend on traditional advertising, and reallocate that back directly into consumer’s pockets, engendering loyalty as part of it. We took this idea and began to form the foundations for what would be the final product, though initially, travel wasn’t nearly as prominent as it would eventually come in the released product. At this point, the goal of the work was to help stoke the imaginations of potential partners and investors, enticing them to get involved with DOSH at this early stage.
CEO Ryan Wuerch always knew that for DOSH to gain a critical mass, it would need to become a viral hit. Something that was spread amongst the target audience, serving as its own advertising model. Early on, we concepted numerous ways to help make that happen. Things like monetary incentives, leaderboards, sharing programs, animated GIFs social reach, and multipliers were part of the mix, with an understanding that the magic bullet would depend on what specifically tapped into the current zeitgeist at the time of the app’s release. Our goal was to build an initial prototype that addressed the options and built enough leeway for success to happen.
Early stage DOSH on-boarding & Doshboard
Concepting bank details for DOSH
DOSH notifications & leaderboard
INITIAL BRANDING & DESIGN
One of the fundamental truths of creating an entrepreneurial project is that the product you initially plan out will most likely pivot before finally entering into the market. Iteration, and listening to audiences, is what makes success possible. Usually, it takes months or years for visionaries to get buy-in from investors, to help bring an idea fully to life. DOSH originally skewed to an older, more female target audience, so the branding of the product was geared towards that.
Early branding was geared towards appealing to audiences of apps like Gilt or Poshmark, with a decidedly metropolitan feel. Black & white photography, with city skylines from all over the world, were important branding elements. A richer, more plum-shade of purple was used, alongside a strong dose of orange for accents. Didot was the first corporate font, supported by either Gotham or Century Gothic, further adding to the more refined feel. Sharp, diagonal lines played a huge role in defining the brand, and carried over to the rebrand that happened a couple of years later.
DOSH initial branding font guide used Didot
Black & white photography of city skylines was a vital part of DOSH's initial branding
Photos of shopping were also black & white
A warmer palette for a different demographic
Always capitalized, the original DOSH logo was much different than the iconic mark shoppers know today
Though eventually rethought, DOSH's initial branding was vital in securing early investors
Sharp angles abound, and browsing Offers was much less of a focus than it would become
REFINING THE BRAND FOR A NEW DEMOGRAPHIC
Once the project was ready to go in 2016, however, it became clear that much of our initial branding and visual concepts had become outdated. Outside of design trends having changed in general, the demographic landscape had started to shift as well. Attracting users of all ages was important, of course, but the target demographic was the demographic of social influencers, who skewed younger than our previous target.
User testing showed that the brand wasn’t resonating. Plum and orange, while lush, were deemed “too matronly” to appeal accurately. DOSH’s core concepts were still strong, but it wasn’t delighting the audience as intended. Market research showed us that people were being drawn to more energetic colors. Brightness was the key. We used different imagery for shopping, eschewing the black & white photography for saturated, vibrant photos of people shopping. Our color palette grew significantly, trading the plum for a more vibrant purple, adding in yellows, greens and reds, and salmon to really serve as powerful accents. Next was simplifying the logo, moving away from the serif-Didot driven font, to a clean, simple derivation utilizing Gotham Rounded, with specific tweaks to letter shapes to keep it distinctive to DOSH.
Diagonals remained but were adapted to fit the new design direction, while the solid-color overlays gave way to the addition of a series of branded gradients or combinations of colors that would serve as distinctive to the brand. So much so that, as DOSH began its rise on iTunes and GooglePlay, more established coupon-style apps began to adopt those gradients and roll them into their advertisements or screenshots, hoping to capture some of the fervor that was building for DOSH.
DOSH Brand Elements
DOSH main color palette
DOSH extended color palette
DOSH gradient examples
DOSH iconography redefining
DOSH logo usage
DOSH font guidelines
REFINING THE DESIGN
We worked hand-in-hand and side-by-side with the DOSH team, reworking every screen of the application to be as effective as possible. DOSH was not only trying to accomplish something ground-breaking, by giving people cash back without any need for scanning receipts or claiming coupons, but they were also giving cash back on hotel stays, plus allowing users to donate their DOSH to charity.
Too many things for one app? No, but it was a complex problem that required an elegant solution. We all relied on our own intuition where possible to start the process, but constantly put what we were building in front of users to verify, tweak, and modify to maximize impact. Each week, we would collect the feedback and roll changes in where applicable.
Everything about the original DOSH design changed by the time the BETA version of the software launched in 2017. Iconography was completely different–UX, UI, Branding, and even feature-sets were more robust than before. From the tone of voice and tagline to the usage of powerful videos we iterated where we could, even the on-boarding process, to determine the best way to get the message home as quickly as possible about what the app did to an uninitiated user.
DOSH has continued to change since the initial launch as well, as all software should. Audiences define what is needed, and our jobs as developers and designers is to listen, refine, and rethink, whenever possible.
SIGN-UP: Getting an account started
Offers: One of the concepts for the DOSH offers screen
Loading: DOSH offers screen as content is loading in
Travel: One of the versions of Travel for DOSH, focusing on hot destinations
Travel: Showing edit mode for destination, date and rooms
Hotel: Chosen hotel details
Doshpad: Early on, we toyed with a navigation that launched from a right-side FAB
Doshboard: Early version of the home screen DOSHBOARD
Social Share: Referring is a massive part of DOSH
Animation Station: For awhile, you could send an animated .GIF along with your social post
Success: Style of Success or Empty States on DOSH
Onboarding: Explaining DOSH
Onboarding: Explaining travel
Onboarding: Explaining referrals
Search: Empty state for search
Card Linking: Getting money for linking cards
Wallet: Seeing recent transactions
Onboarding: Social Media Explanation
Onboarding: Turning on notifications
Onboarding: Explaining Security
Onboarding: Explaining DOSH
Refer a Business
Password: Defining the password formula
Back-End, Analytics & Marketing
We built a massive back-end for Merchants to help promote DOSH to potential retailers or new partners. Because of the proprietary nature of this technology, we can’t really show much of it, though we want to. You can see some glimpses of it in the Microsite Design we completed which is showcased below. Rocksauce helped DOSH concept and develop an extremely robust yet granular portal that gave merchants the ability to not only build the offer that would show up in DOSH, but also track the various usage statistics for their ads.
Merchants know now whether or not a promotion actually pushed buying habits, based on buying habits–not guesswork. Giving access to real-time metrics, smaller retailers were able to get a level of sophistication they never dreamed of, from people who were coming in their establishments on a regular basis. Unlike traditional advertising, DOSH gives power to companies like Forever21 or Sam’s Club to track how well their various offers are doing, by area, demographic, psychographic, and more.
“I can’t relay how great they are to work with.”
Ed Mock, Co-Founder & SVP, Corporate Development, DOSH
Active daily users
# 1 APP
Q4 2017 apple store app shopping category
$ 44 M
Investment raised on a $240M valuation