HOBBIES with friends (GA London)
PROJECT 1 - Case Study
It is Monday afternoon and our first project in GA arrives. On Friday I should make a 5 minutes presentation slides explaining what I have done and how I got there. My task?, creating an app prototype which needs to solve some issue in the life of my classmate.
Interview > Participatory Design > Concept Map > Storyboard > User Flows > Sketching Interfaces > Prototype >Iteration > Presentation
It is our first day at the school and we do not know each other, for that reason we started the conversation talking about ourselves, our background, family, friends and suddenly, we were sharing difficulties in our lives. It was quite easy to discover some problems that could be fixed with the use of an app, because both of us have the capacity to identify details that could be improved in our lives.
My user is new on the city and she misses her normal day to day life. She used to visit the GYM mostly everyday and expend time with her friends in the afternoon or weekends.
It would be quite simple to find places where practicing your hobbies around your action areas but that can be slightly tedious when you do not have any idea or knowledge about the real quality of those places. She would prefer to ask some friend doing the same hobby she wants to do, taking advantage of his experience.
Our app is going to unify both ideas. It will be an easy helper for finding places or meetings and at the same time, it will provide the opportunity of reading opinions of experienced users with your same fondness for some matter or hobby, giving her the chance to become friends.
Before starting with the ideation of our app intensely, I had another interview with the user because I had some extra question to ask regarding different options to build this application, and her opinion would solve them.
These are the main ideas our user would be looking for into the app:
- Location and timetable searching options.
- Initially she wants to keep personal details hidden.
- Not scared by potential danger because the app creates a safe relationship.
It is the moment to put ideas out using different methods learned daily on this first stage of the course.
The first method I used, was the called Concept Map; thinking around the content should be included on the app, writing it down in words and linking them with lines.
Another method I used was drawing the Story Board, which converts the idea in something real as an image. After two days, the word “time boxing” became very familiar. All our examples and practises were pushed by time, small deadlines imposed by our teacher or ourselves to get some solutions, and posterior deadlines to discuss or correct them. It is a fantastic tool to stop procrastinating and keep going instead, even if the result is wrong, it is better than nothing and after the first draft, your brain is more open and your point of view expanded.
In this case for example, the screen crossed were taken out of the story board, because they were closer to the app than showing the story itself.
Once the story is in my mind, I need to think on the user and how she can navigate my future app. How she can reach all the tasks she is trying to attempt. This method is called “User Flow” and after some confused intents, the below ones were the most approximate to our final project.
This navigation is floating over my head, which is anxious for finally continuing the process of sketching interface wireframes of the app.
Screen by screen, wireframe by wireframe, I am supporting the user flows previously mentioned and new ideas or necessities arise during my journey. Before finishing the prototype, I also involved the user into my design, so in the last step of making up the prototype I am more confident it will nail her necessities and it will be understandable.
Iterations during the process refine our ideas, establishing the basics features of our prototype:
- It is going to work by itself. One user will introduce activities and other user will want to participate in that activity contacting with the creator.
- It has to be open and the basic information of the hobbies needs to be accessible without signing up.
- Once you find the hobby which fits with you, it will be necessary to sign in for contacting the group or person in charge.
- Add preferences to your profile to make more accurate the search of people that you are interested to meet or have your same hobbies.
- Add a hobby or select one already placed.
As a resume, this is the app on top of a table.
A Prototype into Marvel, awesome online software to have a look in how the idea works.
- User ratings and experience feedback.
- In order to have branding, the fact of including pictures onto the hobbies should not be done by the users uncontrollably.
- The visual design has not been important for this project, but obviously it could be implemented.