July 29, 2020

Turning 4 years old and how we’re coping through the COVID-19 crisis

Ritika Bhagya

The last year turned out to be a year of really high highs and really low lows. We had some amazing new members join our team, as well as wonderful new clients who we’ve been working closely with over the last year. However, like any other business, we also faced new lows; the major one being due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People Of Flolab

Flolab is nothing but a bunch of people who love Design and have come together to work on a shared purpose and a common goal. At Flolab, we stress over having a team that’s diverse with their skillsets even within the field of design. No two designers in our team are the same, each one comes with at least one skill that’s unique to them. Which is why we’ve been able to create a team that compliments each other through the design journey on every product that we work on.

People of Flolab

We had some awesome new members join our team this year — Steffie and Haikal. Adding them to our team has leveled us up and we’ve been able to venture into areas we never had before. Steffie brings in expertise in the field of Research (combined with her unique outlook which comes from a background in Architecture), while Haikal is one of the most hard-working person I’ve come across till date, who brings in his expertise on some really top-notch Graphic and UI Design. At the same time, two of our employees — Rafly and Rizqi, completed 3 years at Flolab (we’ve been calling them ‘Flolab graduates’ ;) and two others — Gilang and Jeje, completed 2 years at Flolab. All of them have been an invaluable asset to our long-term clients ever since they joined us.

People of Flolab: Lunch Outing

Having said that, what’s keeping our boat floating through today’s crisis, is that we have each other’s backs. While a lot of companies have had to very unfortunately take the route of laying off their employees in order to cut down expenses and keep their businesses afloat; we have tried to avoid that situation as much as possible by cutting down on a whole lot of other expenses — that does not include anyone's salary. We’ve gone lean on tools, entertainment costs, we gave up on our office space and a lot more. And the best part is that the team has been super understanding and is working towards the same goal — designing the best possible products for our clients.

People of Flolab: At work

Today, we are where we are because of our dedicated and hard-working team that works tirelessly to take Flolab to new heights with every passing year and every passing project. And we’re definitely coming out of this crisis stronger as a team and as a company.

We moved to a new office and then gave it up to work remotely!

After more than 2 years of being with the Block71 Jakarta community, we finally moved out to make room for a more spacious and comfortable office space. We started operating out of WeWork — Noble House, Jakarta. Our office was spacious and had a view of the gorgeous Jakarta skyline. We’d spend every evening basking in the light of the golden hour that came in through our floor-to-ceiling window. We miss that now. :(

View from our office at WeWork Noble House, Jakarta
Rihaan (Ritika’s baby boy) and Aqila (Rizqi’s baby girl)

Having said that, there are plenty of benefits to working from home. Two of our team members (including me) became parents this year. Rizqi to a gorgeous baby girl and me to a lovely baby boy. The pandemic came in as a blessing in disguise at least for the two of us. We feel blessed to be able to spend a lot of our time working from home, so closely with our respective babies!

Besides that, because we don’t need to deal with the insane Jakarta traffic and spend hours in traffic jams, we’re able to use all that time we used to spend commuting on some extra side-gigs — whether that’s some freelance design work, or catering home-made food for friends and family. It’s definitely helping us make some extra bucks for our family during this difficult time.

Indah’s catering side gig

We signed our first BUMN (State Owned Enterprise) client

Talking about new feathers in our cap — it’s been almost a year since we’ve been working with Pegadaian, our first government organization or BUMN (Badan Usaha Milik Negara / State Owned Enterprise), where we have got the opportunity to design digital products that have the potential of reaching close to 5 million Indonesians. It’s been an exhilarating experience to work on a product this huge and work closely with the organization towards their larger goal of digital transformation.

We conducted our first UX Workshop

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to conduct a UX Workshop for KPK — Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Corruption Eradication Commission). Over a period of 2 days, we trained about 20 attendees from backgrounds in PR, Media and Data Processing on UX Design and Research Principles and the basics of the UX design process. The workshop aimed to provide the team with insights on identifying who their users are, understand their users’ goals and motivations and how they can build an experience that prioritizes the user.

UX Design & Research Workshop at KPK

It was fun and a great learning experience for us while working closely with a talented group of people. The video below contains a few snippets from the workshop.

In the wake of the current crisis and the new normal, we followed the necessary safety protocols and social distancing measures while conducting the workshop.

The work we’ve been doing

The last year brought in a varied range of work to Flolab — from enterprise dashboards to mainstream consumer facing apps. We worked on the redesign of a few products and there were some which were designed from scratch. Here’s what went live over the last year:

Cekaja: We worked on the redesign of the complete web product, collaborating closely with the internal product team at Cekaja. Our goal was to redesign the information architecture, improve usability, as well as launch the credit scoring feature within the platform.

Remush: A video content creation and consumption app built for India. Since the ban on all Chinese apps in India, TikTok being one of them, this app has grown viral within the first couple of weeks since it’s launch. The app’s UX is being especially appreciated by its loyal user base.

Ayopop / Ayoconnect: We’ve been working on Ayopop’s B2B business called Ayoconnect for all of last year and it’s been an exciting journey to work on the new enterprise dashboards for Ayoconnect’s partners and billers.

Have Halal, Will Travel: This is a product that’s targetted towards Muslim travelers with dietary restrictions when traveling abroad. We worked on redesigning the website to increase sign up conversions and user engagement.

Emporio Analytics: An enterprise dashboard that’s targetted towards enabling independent merchants and brand marketers to work together on realtime PoS data insights and targetted shopper marketing. These dashboards were designed while collaborating closely with the Product and Marketing team at EA. Tempat’s app and website was designed from the ground up. helps users discover places in their area which have ongoing deals and promos. It was an especially fun and challenging experience to work on a product that needed a very refreshing look and experimentation with the core UI elements. Our team loved the creative freedom the clients trusted us with for this project!

FUNDtastic: Continuing on our partnership with FUNDtastic from last year, this year we helped them launch features that would increase the value FUNDtastic provides to their existing users, as well as attract new users to the platform. Fazzdoc helps users book appointments with doctors. We worked on designing their consumer-facing mobile app as well as the dashboards built for hospitals.

What we’ve been doing for fun

While work was going on in full-steam, time and again we would feel the need to just make room for some playtime. We made outings a regular thing over the last year, whether it was for Karaoke, Bowling, Movies, VR Games or just a casual dinner! We spent time learning more about each other, understanding each other and of course having fun with each other outside of our office space.

VR game outing

That was until March 2020 when COVID-19 hit us, and all of that came to a pause. We waited a couple of months, hoping that things would get back to normal. But now that we’ve entered the new normal and have realized it’ll be a while before we can go out for a meal together, apps like Discord and Google Meet have become our best friends. We’re hopping on and off calls with each other every few minutes trying to get enough face time.

We also made a regular habit of doing sharing sessions, where each employee shares something about themselves or how they’ve been spending all that extra time at home; or share something on a topic which they think we could all learn from. We had people talking about their hobbies and share with us about their side gigs. We had some really informative sharing sessions right from how to invest to save for your future, right up to how to be a better professional, how to critique designs, how to effectively communicate and so much more!

It also goes without saying, that we’re participating in webinars and we’re also speaking at webinars.

To sum it up, it was a year of some serious ups and downs. There’s a lot we learned along the way and had a chance to strengthen our bonds more than ever. I am truly grateful to each and every member of our team and to each and every client we’ve worked with to date.

People of Flolab

I am excited for another great year for Flolab in 2020–21. Covid19 is going to bring around a lot of innovation in tech, and we’re hoping to be a part of many such innovative businesses over the next few months.

Thank you for reading!
Ritika Bhagya
Founder & UX Director at Studio Flolab


If you’re looking to build a mobile app or website, or just want to talk about design, reach out to us to have a chat.


Design Agency
Related Posts