UXDI — Creating & testing the initial stages of a mobile app

The journey begins… and Week One at General Assembly is complete. Let me talk you through my journey.

The Challenge

Throughout this week, we were each given a task to identify a user’s problem and solve it by creating a new mobile app.

The process would include User Research, Concept Mapping, User Testing, Interface Sketching & Prototyping

The User

My user, Victor, was a Marketing Specialist, working for global organisations such as Amazon and Unilever. Being a French native and balancing various social groups from his travels across the USA and Europe, Victor has a busy schedule. Conducting user interviews and concept maps, a pain point I noticed was his ability to manage his time across various groups and commitments.

Further to this discussion, it seemed that there was a larger pain point regarding Victor’s ability to send gifts for his friends and family overseas.

The Research

Drawing up concept maps from User Interview results

Upon further interviews and concept maps, I gathered Victors shopping and search habits, as well as created maps surrounding his current shopping platforms, specifically Amazon and John Lewis. From this, I established that there was no way of identifying the perfect gift for his friends and family.

He described an example, involving his sister in France, as demonstrated in the story below;

Victor needed a present for his sister in Paris. Victor wished there was a way to find the best thing for his sister, using current trends. After sending it from UK to Paris, Victor is happy and his sister get the best present. It’s like he never left!

The Solution

Conducting further research in Victors social media use and his favourite apps that consume his daily activity, it was clear which style, structure and format I wanted to follow in my solution.

This developed into the initial stages of:

The Online Shopping App, using trends and likes of the giftee, in order to find the Optimum Gift

Gift-Ease would:

  • Provide recommendations based on trending topics and giftee likes and hobbies
  • Follow the similar process of online shopping with ideas based on selected trends, rather than previous searches
  • Give information on the buying activity of that item, depending on the giftee and location.

The Process

Initial steps were to outline the primary flow of the app and develop interfaces based on the decisions and processes. I also conduct testing with Victor and external users.

Drawing up the skeleton helped me refine the decisions when going through each stage
  • The interfaces started out very basic, with limited attention to detail. This confused Victor with navigation around the app and which screen he was at
  • With vague initial sketches, he found it difficult to follow the journey of the app, from choosing the trends to reaching a list of items based on those trends
  • Testing the advanced sketches showed that a ‘share’ function would be a good addition to the app. Considering Victor’s usage of social media, this seemed like a logical option.
From Left to Right: Initial designs of user interfaces, making adjustments based on testing results
Testing the interactive prototypes and adjusting the user interfaces

After finalising the features and building a paper prototype, I continued with testing. From here, I was able to see the issues in navigation between screens, the details of each options and the user journey.

Following further sketches, the final interfaces were made. Using Marvel, I created an interactive prototype.

Flow of user interfaces based on the basic skeleton of the app. Please see interactive prototype above for full details.

The Future:

Feedback of the app was positive. The user journey was captured well when using the app and the options to customise searches were clear and easy to relate to.

Considering that this is an early stage in the app’s development, I would be keen to work on this in more detail, exploring:

  • Research payment and delivery options to minimise the time between final basket and order confirmation
  • Do user interviews on share function, outline social media habits and activity
  • More testing to help improve the flow of the app and the user journey
  • Revisit each step and seek improvements, based on the testing and interview results.

This was my first project and most certainly not the last!

If you are interested in UX, or my journey through UX, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr.

Be sure to look out for more projects by me, here on Medium.