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iXpand Drive

Better Mobile Backup
for Millions of Users


Storage Devices


Product Design




User Experience
User Interface

Introducing SanDisk

Helping people shoot, store, and share every experience

SanDisk is a global leader in flash memory storage solutions such as memory cards, readers, and USB flash drives. The iXpand is a portable flash drive that allows users to transfer files from their iPhone to their computer to clear cell phone space while backing up photos and videos in a non-cloud environment. With cell phones functioning like our second brains today, the iXpand is arguably one of SanDisk’s most important storage solutions.

Improve Sandisk iXpand drive’s performance

The challenge

Although the concept of the iXpand was sound, user sentiment for the app was low, and SanDisk was averaging a 2.5-star consumer rating on the App Store. Users complained that the app’s functions were not understandable, and the user experience was far from intuitive. What’s more, the app’s visual design did not integrate cohesively with the overall SanDisk brand, so a full UX/UI refresh needed to go hand-in-hand with the new functionality.

With a Japanese telecom deal on the line and 15 weeks to launch, we designed and developed with speed and efficiency.
Improve Sandisk iXpand drive’s performance

Our approach

Establishing KPIs and key metrics

We started by identifying the key use cases for the iXpand Drive and the key user groups. The priority was to focus on the reason the app exists, which is to help users clear space on their cell phones. In the Product Strategy Brief we identified the following key metrics:

Number of Times
the iXpand is Plugged In
Average Number of
Files Transferred
Number of Media Files
Types of Media Files
Standard Retention

of Work


Project Planning



Visual Moodboards
UI Design


Stakeholder Alignment
Persona Development
Information Architecture
Product Roadmapping
User Experience
User Interviews


Quality Assurance

Usability Testing
Accessibility Testing
Performance Testing
Functionality Testing

Improve Sandisk iXpand drive’s performance


Identifying different types of people and their needs

Our researchers spoke with iXpand users to identify their needs and where they struggled while using the app's current version. With the product KPIs and the users’ feedback in mind, the design and development of the interface began.

We focused on simplifying the four core features of the app through a dynamic card-based interface: backup and restore contacts, record directly from the camera to the drive, stream videos from the iXpand, and backup photos from social media.

Improve Sandisk iXpand drive’s performance


Improving the core
app experience

Before bringing the app design to life, we created a strategic blueprint that made high-level recommendations for simplifying the overall app experience. We wireframed a completely new user experience that focused on reducing confusion and frustration and building confidence and trust among users of all ages and across different geographical regions.

Improve Sandisk iXpand drive’s performance


Sandisk iXpand drive - user testing

Sandisk iXpand drive - user testing


Asset 3@4x

Asset 1@4x


Mood Boards & Visual Design

In this phase of the project, we focused on creating the best user experience. We set up a mood board (a showcase of potential visual design approaches for the interface) to help identify what would and wouldn't work for the end-users and to validate with SanDisk the visual approach for the UI.

Defining a visual approach for the UI provided us a clear roadmap and allowed us to reach a consensus on the overall tonal experience of the product.

Due to the short timeline, we had to tackle more than one task simultaneously in order to get faster approvals from the client. Because we were a team of only 2 designers, we prioritized flexibility and worked on multiple steps at the same time. Even while designing, presenting, and delivering the wireframes and the mood board, we focused on the architecture and the interaction design.

Different views of Sandisk iXpand drive


A set of custom file types

To achieve consistency across all platforms, we created easy to understand icons for every file type.

Icons for file types

Sandisk iXpand drive – improving app experience

Home Cards

Made with careful attention to Apple and Google guidelines

Sandisk iXpand drive – home cards as per Apple and Google guidelines
Sandisk iXpand drive – media transfer and storage screenshots
Optimize drive memory - Sandisk iXpand drive

Free up memory to make more memories

We developed a system to automatically backup your photos everytime you connect your Drive. This frees up space on your phone.

Group 4125

Easily manage files
accross your devices

Users go to Connect Wireless Drive app when they want to manage their files accross their devices. Our aim was to simplify this process.

Sandisk iXpand drive – simplified cast to TV

Cast to TV via Apple TV,
Chromecast and Amazon Fire

We simplified the process to play videos
and music directly from the Drive.

Summing it up

Design for the win

Since releasing the app and drive, SanDisk has shipped over 4 million units in the U.S. and Japan. Also, the SanDisk iXpand app went from 2.5 stars to 4.5 stars on the App Store in the first 30 days and has retained this rating.
Sandisk's iXpand app designed and developed by Nagarro introduced new design standards that are now used across all of SanDisk’s new product lines.

4 million
units of the app + drive shipped
4.5 stars
rating on App Store in first 30 days
I purchased the 128GB version and really love it.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“You just plug it into the lighting port of your iPhone and the app for the device comes up on your screen. You can then back up your photos and videos from your iPhone to the expand and free space on your iPhone.”

App Store

This device has an easy to use app.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Quickly move photos off your iPhone or back on! Can also choose to send photos off the usb directly to social media. It is the only reliable game in town. Trust me, I’m a technology buyer.”

App Store