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Copyright 2022 Daniel McCarthy

Mycons – Aesthetic iOS Home Screen


Mycons is another one of my personal solo projects, and is a PERFECT example of possibly my absolute favorite format/framework/product thesis to work and live by… Lean, rapid, hyper-focused MVP prototyping! Warp speed planning + design + building, all while doing one of the hardest things there is to do in the Product world… Constantly monitoring and maintaining the perfect balance between sacrifice and quality.

While prototyping for a Minimum Viable Product, it’s so insanely critical to constantly be making sacrifices and cuts, but always ensure that you’re making the RIGHT sacrifices and cuts. It’s difficult to do, but you need the perpetual discipline, focus and clarity to make sure you’re sacrificing QUANTITY and not QUALITY at every step. Cutting every feature and option that doesn’t absolutely NEED to be there, while ensuring that whatever ends up being built gets meticulous attention to detail and ends up feeling premium and polished.

The Mycons project was the perfect embodiment of this Product ideology and process. News broke that someone discovered a way to use iOS Shortcuts to customize Home Screen App Icons. The idea for a user friendly design tool + marketplace to make this easier was an instant “no brainer”. So I took Mycons from concept, to live in the App Store and featured on TechCrunch in 4 weeks.

Birch – Organized Photo Notes

Birch - Organized Photo Notes

Birch is one of my latest solo projects. It is a different kind of Notes App, one that is built for photos instead of text! Most people have adopted this new trend of quickly snapping a photos of random things they need to remember later. Receipts, household items, product labels, bills, whiteboards, etc. However, the stock photos app was not built for keeping photos like this orgnaized and Birch makes everything about these new types of “Photo Notes” much easier and way more organized.

Everything from concept ideation, feature planning, logo & branding, UX and interface design, as well as all development was done as a solo project. It was also featured by Apple in “Apps We Love Right Now” & is installed in 175 countries 🙂

HqO (Mobile)

HqO (Mobile App)

As the sole product designer, I was responsible for all aspects of Product, UI and UX design for the HqO mobile app. As an app for commercial landlords to better connect their tenants to the physical space around them, “a remote control for your building” meant a ton of micro features bundled into one product. So the biggest UX challenge here was figuring out how to essentially make a bunch of micro apps feel intuitive as a single product.

I identified a clear and defined split between 2 high level buckets, functional utility and content discovery. So the core ethos was “give quick and easy access to the “Daily Immediate Action” utility items, algorithmically rollup key content items above the fold on app launch, and then neatly package the rest of the discoverable content so it would be easily navigable and digestible.”

HqO (Marketing Materials)

HqO (Marketing Materials)

Being an app that connects people to their physical office space around them, there was a lot of on-site work and promotion for HqO. Here is a small sample of some of the posters, flyers, banners, etc. I produced that were printed and installed on location for events.

Spaceworks (Branding Concept)

Spaceworks (Branding Concept)

Early concept work for a new brand. Project guidelines were “an app in the realestate space for tenants.” Product name, tagline, imagery, logos, and all other branding were created from scratch for the project.

Cheese Moon

Cheese Moon

My first shot at a mobile game. It was nothing crazy, but super fun to figure out how to build with SpriteKit on iOS. The mechanics were tap the left or right sides of the screen to fight gravity and bounce left or right. Don’t hit the ground, and dodge the falling obstacles.

The cool part about this project was the business model and concept. Cheese Moon was on a mission to help people. All revenue generated from ads was to be donated to charity, with a voting mechanic in the games main menu to determine which charity would be donated to that month. The idea was for people to help others, while having some fun and passing time.

HqO (Admin Panel)

HqO Admin Panel

A core aspect of HqO was the tenant users discovering content in and around their office, and the Property Managers of the client buildings wanted hands-on control over the content their tenants consumed.

The biggest challenge with the admin panel was blending super detailed functionality for power users to fully control their app’s experience, while also providing well placed UI restrictions which ensured the end users experience was always consistent.


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Stormy was a fun little personal weekend hackathon, that quickly gained traction. Back when “Tweetstorms” became a thing, I wanted to challenge myself to see how quickly I could ideate a concept, brand it, and build it.

Stormy went from “what should I make?” to finished in about 48 hours, and got covered by TechCrunch, Mashable, etc. the day after it went live in the App Store. Personal challenges like this are super fun and rewarding for me, and a couple of the big Dev Shops here in Boston used it as an example and case study to educate their employees on rapid concept ideation and prototyping.



Cloaq was one of my first startups with my co-founder, Ramesh Kumar. It was a social platform, focused on privacy. It was one of my first apps from both a design and development standpoint, so it wasn’t as polished as I would like it to be for a portfolio item… But the mission and results were pretty special.

Within a few hours of launching our beta, we filled up all 10,000 beta user slots we opened. Throughout the 10 months of this closed beta, we maintained a remarkable 85% engagement from this random 1st come 1st serve batch. But the truly special thing was while other anonymous platforms were being used for trolls to spew hateful garbage… only 6 posts had to be moderated from over 500,000, and I still get flowers sent to me on the anniversary of our launch from some of our power users. This was due to the branding, messaging, and strategic use of some key functional/mechanical components of how the app worked.

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