In Japan people will often split the bill when they eat out with friends. But the default calculator app on your iPhone is a little over-complicated for this task, and it’s a little ugly too. But Kamakura-based design studio KSKT had made something better. Its app, appropriately named Split Bill, was made just for this purpose.
And it’s beautiful.
It is minimalist in its feature set, allowing the user to just add and divide a given amount of money. Its smart design uses color gradation in a manner that leaves a lasting impression.
Split Bill is currently available for 100 yen ($0.99), in Japanese, English, German, Korean, and Chinese.
KSKT has previously designed apps for many startups, many of which we have already covered here on The Bridge. The company designed for the iPhone app for e-commerce startup Base, the logo and iPhone app for photo book service Niiice, and the logo, website design, and branding for PocketConcierge.
When I looked at Split Bill, I started wondering about what kind of benefit a design studio gets when it develops its own service or app, as opposed to designing one for a client. For example, we recently reported on about design studio AQ who will soon launch a subscription coffee service. But they also do client work, and I assume these efforts developing their own products have an effect on their work for third parties as well.
When it comes to developing web-services or applications, your work is rarely complete upon launch. Updates, improvements and maintenance are typically needed after release. Perhaps when a design studio develops its own applications or web-services it can gain more insights on this post-launch phase of the product life-cycle.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to launch a web-service or an application, you might consider finding a designer (such as those mentioned above) that has actual experience operating web services. It will likely result in a better overall product.