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Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network enables staff members within a company to nominate their colleagues for a positive workplace contribution, through their employee recognition platform.

After identifying mobile as a significant way to grow their product, I was able to help them design and create a recognition tool that was successfully received and is actively used.

Blackhawk Network quote

Where things were at.

RewardCentre, the employee recognition platform established in the 2000s, provides a fully-featured web platform for companies and staff subscribed to the program. As companies continued to ask for more unique features, it became cumbersome to use and over time reduced the feasibility of continuing to develop the platform.

Since "employee recognition" was a big selling point, the subscribed companies began to flag the inefficiency of the platform and asked for a more streamlined process. Blackhawk Network understood the current solution wasn't hitting the mark, and if they were to apply resources to create an updated version they weren't necessarily compelled to go down the web path.

What happened next?

The web-platform had three primary functions; sending ecards, sending nominations, and cashing in points for rewards. The idea was to create an MVP that would solve two of these problems so employees could quickly recognise their colleagues.

As RewardCentre was mostly utilised in retail locations and manufacturing environments where staff were predominantly away from a computer, creating a mobile app made complete sense. We helped Blackhawk Network figure out how they could translate those web-platform responsibilities into a mobile-friendly tool, and build an app around it.

The Outcome

The RewardCentre app was launched that focused on 3 key areas;

  • the ability to recognise a colleague in a short space of time, by recommending a preset of messaging themes, and a searchable directory

  • scaling the experience to meet the needs of staff operating in retail environments likely carrying a smartphone in their pocket during their shift, and staff in manufacturing environments where a communal tablet positioned on a wall would allow people to walk up and recognise their colleagues

  • the ability to dynamically personalise the UI on-the-fly matching the brand of each company, to provide the notion an internal app

RewardCentre App Image 1
RewardCentre App Image 2

The app successfully hit the mark on its quick and easy way to recognise employees and has helped Blackhawk Network expand RewardCentre's services to more large companies around Australia.


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"Mike helped craft our first-ever mobile app. After stepping us through how to appropriately strategise and architect our mobile platform, he was able to follow up with creating a product that we're able to scale with confidence. He's done an amazing job to continue maintaining the mobile arm of it expertly."

Dan Libbesson - Product Owner (Recognition) of Blackhawk Network

Dan Libbesson, Product Owner (Recognition)
Blackhawk Network

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