Yavi – Communications platform for shift-working teams


Yavi was founded as an independent business, with initial financing provided as part of a spinout from Kotikan Ltd, at the time Scotland’s largest mobile agency, which was responsible for apps such as Skyscanner and Fanduel. I was initially responsible for leading an internal intiative, within the parent agency, to explore the HR opportunity-space. This resulted in the assembly of a team and initiation of an R&D project focused on automatically translating images of work schedules into a digitized format. This eventually led to a spinout of the team and IP in mid 2015.

The App

The initial MVP was delivered cross-platform, on iOS and Android, using the hybrid development framework Ionic and AngularJS.  Given the realtime communications nature of the product, we investigated a number of options for our backend, and settled on Firebase for our realtime DB, which allowed us to experiment with serverless Google Cloud Functions. After strong market resonance, we engaged in a re-architecting of the product as two independent native applications. One of the primary KPIs was daily engagement with the app, so a particular focus was placed on the UX for all key user journeys.  This was informed by heavy user-testing, lean UX, and included in-office sessions with our target demographic.

Schedule Processing

We developed proprietary image processing and table interpretation IP over the course of a 12-month R&D program.  This was focused on (a) recognizing tabular data in images taken on mobile phones, and (b) interpreting the meaning of said data within a particular domain (work schedules). Combined with some manual quality control through our operations team, we delivered this converted data back into the Yavi app, making it easy and painless for shift working teams to transition their paper processes into our app.


I assembled and managed a remote team that was responsible for operational quality control 7 days/week, 16 hours/day.

Culture and PM

(to be continued…)