Wire for iOS

Wire Swiss GmbH. 2012–2015

iOS, Xcode, Core Image, Objective-C++, interaction design, UI implementation, backend prototyping, audio/video signaling

Brief

Design, prototype, and build the iOS client interface of a new communications tool.

What I did

I was Wire’s first UI engineer and started prototyping the client software. It was important to get to the actual communications experience in very early stages and start dogfooding right away. Since we didn’t have any backend engineers yet, I put together a rudimentary backend using off-the-shelf pieces like Parse and Pubnub.

I learned a bit of C++ during this time. I wouldn’t say I became proficient, but I was useful enough to be able to interface the frontend with the audio engine, written in C++ at the time, using Objective-C++ bridging.

We had a creative license to not do just another messenger, but make a statement by rethinking some of the core concepts. I enjoyed working with great designers to build some bold new takes. We had to scale back some of it as the product reached wider audiences, as there wasn’t initially much focus on research or usability testing, and some of our solutions were too “out there.”

Outcome

We launched Wire after a few years of building. Initially Wire was struggling to find its focus, but since then, seems to have found its niche for the privacy- and security-conscious customers, an area that I believe will be more significant over time.

wire.com