UXDI 30 Case Studies
Project 1: INTERACTIVE PROTOTYPE OF A MOBILE APPLICATION
The exercise below was the first project given to us on week 1 of our UX Design Immersive course at The General Assembly on 5th February 2019. After getting on the course, we were teamed up with a partner (the course instructors had chosen for us.)
The objective was to identify a problem that could be solved with the design of a simple mobile app.
Every day we explored a UX technique that we could use in this first project.
In total it took 3 days to complete, including creating a presentation for the 4th day of the full project; it was based on everything we learned this week.
This was then presented to our thirteen classmates and a panel, which included our course tutor, TA, and a course curator.
Below you can see the full design brief given, processes used and the interactive clickable prototype of the design.
So what have I learned so far?
We have been taught how to successfully conduct user interviews, to keep pressing on until we find what the user needs are, the issues that confront them and to figure out from the questions, the problem.
Our next step was the create analytics, using various types of mapping systems we were able to determine how to create a solution from the ‘problem’.
I learned that the first solution isn’t always the correct one, it’s great to understand the user in the first place but then it’s also great to get other eyes on the project to see if you have exhausted all possible solutions to the problem in question, it was good to present the initial findings to a group that had no idea about the project and for them to question various aspects of the outcome to further develop the project in hand.
I believe continuous iterations played a huge part in the molding of what I thought was perfect to begin with, to what I ended up with.
The result finally became a lot clearer throughout the process, my user had lots of various physical activities she enjoyed doing but just didn’t have the motivation to do them. Especially when she just came back home from work, she follows influencers on social media channels and strives to be as good at particular physical exercises as her influencers, however, failed on most occasions to go and do them. She loved the feeling it gave her while she was doing them and after but, the motivation to get up again and go to the place of the exercise was the issue.
The idea of the application was a huge success with the user as it met all her problematic needs and more, it became more motivational not just with the quotes it would give via notifications, the competitive streak the application started to take shape that she would also be competing with her friends and would be able to share those too. Maybe even become an influencer herself.
· We’ve selected a partner for you to work with for the rest of the week.
· Quiz your partner about their interests, and identify a problem that could
be solved with the design of a simple mobile app.
· You’ll design an app to solve the problem simply and effectively.
About my partner: Martina Hanouskova
· Trying to get out of city life to enjoy her time effectively, with various and exciting physical activities.
· She loves experiencing the outdoors.
· Finding out things to do, searching through Google
What is motivating Martina?
· Not a lot is motivating Martina during the week, only when she’s out doing something physical, she is glad she went and did physical activity.
· Likes enjoying life from her busy city schedule.
· Competitive with her friends.
We were given several various exercises to assist us in the process of obtaining data, the first was interview techniques! Once I had understood this process, we were then tasked to start the first stage.
“Wouldn’t it be easier to just ask what she wants or needs? No! I don’t think that’s how this works…”
I completely understand, good interview takes practice, and this was my first time at this. I had questions written down, went through it a few times and we basically had a nice chilled conversation. (I voice recorded this — in case I missed something and made notes), so after my initial introduction and to make sure this is the correct person, I made her feel at ease, explained this is purely confidential and I had written down some questions to ask, these were the results:
· 1st Interview discussion
o It was a great conversation, I didn’t know who my partner was beforehand (we literally just met). I got to know all the things she likes to do, things she doesn’t like, kind of person she is, what platform of mobile she has and try to dig deeper with the 5 whys… Didn’t really get anywhere. (Relax this is the first time you’re doing this!)
· I started to dig a bit deeper
She loves activities and she has lots! But my Spidey senses are still not tingling!
I have quite a bit of information about my partner, but no problems or issues have been discovered yet!
· 2nd Interview — Let’s go deeper still!
I knew all the things she liked to do, let talk about these activities… Eureka moment! Although she loves to do a lot and with friends, she’s very competitive, she has the time, but often she doesn’t have the drive or motivation to do any physical exercises during the week! When she does have the motivation and does something physical, she loves the feeling it gives to her during and after. — We’ve got somewhere!
I have established that Martina is trying to get out of city life to enjoy her time effectively. She loves various and exciting physical activities during the week and on the weekends, Martina loves experiencing the outdoors however, she lacks the motivation or drives after work during the week to do some type of exercise. Martina is also very competitive amongst her friends.
The issue I have found out is Martina doesn’t have much motivation during the week, only when she’s out doing something physical, she is glad she went and did a physical activity or exercise is: yoga or a class at her favorite studio. So, I now need to find out at what times she is having these issues, time for the next step, lets conduct user mapping…
Martina is feeling pretty good about herself as she has left work and now is on the way home. During her journey, she browsed through various blogs and Instagram posts of influencers to see what they have been up to today and feels motivated to do something tonight!
When she gets home, the journey into getting to do a physical activity really starts…
My ‘User Mapping’ explained:
· She is at home now and after going through her social media accounts, she is deciding what to do.
· What has she recently missed? Her yoga class in her favorite studio.
· She has decided, this is what she wants to do tonight and feel pretty good about it. She goes through the time table and she can make it, there’s plenty of time!
· Her friends and family have called her, she is now busy with that and starts to relax on her sofa, she gets off the phone and sees a notification from her social media feeds, gets comfortable and sidetracked.
· Now she is in chill mode, motivation to do some physical activity has stooped low and not feeling at all motivated.
· Martina has decided tonight isn’t the right evening to do some exercise and relaxing on her sofa in front of the tv and starts to cook dinner.
· Martina feels disappointed, once again didn’t do any type of physical activity she was hoping to do. She feels guilty after going through her favorite Instagram pages and looking at other people’s achievements.
Now I understand where the issues lie, it’s time to create our first ‘User Flow’.
Here are the first steps of how the app would work: (First time doing these steps)
· Open the application on your phone
· Type in your name (We all like personalization)
· From a dropdown, the user (Martina) selects what type of activity she would like to do from a predefined list.
· Creates a schedule when she needs motivation by toggling the days, she needs to be active.
· Schedule at what time she would need the app to give her motivation.
· What strength of motivation is required.
I had a great feeling about this, everything should be only on 1 screen! I had decided the motivational app would work by notifications when and what time the user requires it if need be there would be a ‘motivation button’ to press for instant motivation!
So, I had collated the user research, understood my users interests and what problems she faces through the interviewing processes, after another meeting conducted a ‘User Flow’ to get to grips with what she is experiencing and when she most needs motivation in order to assist her going out to do a physical activity after work. The app would need to be set up by the user, and it would work via notifications sending the user motivational support at days and times she needs.
First team feedback
It was time for a quick presentation about my findings with my classmates, thinking I had gone through all scenarios and had created something intuitive that would fit the users needs perfectly… (How wrong was I?)
After I went through the project with all my research and findings, we had a critique session which I was very much looking forward to… The kind of feedback I received was constructive and it really helped me see the application I had so far designed with fresh pair of eyes! What was said?
The app so far was great but there was so much more it could do…
· On one of your interviews, Martina said she was competitive with her friends?
· Yes, she is competitive!
· Why did you not include this on your app?
· That’s a very good point and I did not think it was worth pursuing, given that her problem was the motivation itself.
· What about Gamification, have you thought about that?
· What is gamification?
After some research and its processes, I could also include this within the application. Why didn’t I think of this and use the data deeper she had already provided? I was blinded with what solved the problem that I missed this aspect completely.
· This could be a game! What better way to motivate?
· You can add challenges
· Friends can compete against each other
· There could be badges awarded to your circle of friends that had this app…
All very constructive feedback and I took it on-board and excited too!
Reiteration of the User flow
User flow 2 explained:
· Home screen
· Slide 1: Motivational quote 1 — Easy
· Slide 2: Motivational quote 2 — Medium
· Slide 3: Motivational quote 3 — Strong
· Screen with: Join and Enter Account details
· Fill screen with some personal info
· Tell about yourself
· Birthday (Special motivation or award on your birthday)
· Create an Account
· Motivation setup
· Fail days
· Friends achievements
· Share achievements/Awards with friends
· Motivation setup
· Screen with:
· Enter Activity — Type in your activity (Max 10)
· Select Hours and Mins with toggles
· Select days with toggles
· Level of motivation required with toggles
· Compete with friends
· Daily steps (Most steps between friends wins)
· Completed activities
Sketches — Wireframes
Maybe a little too excited…
I went overboard with the initial setup when I needed to concentrate on the UX Design for when you’re already logged in. (First time I did this, how far did I need to take these steps?) After showing these to my tutor it was recommended, I take out all the procedures that were there for the initial setup. So, I trimmed down the processes and kept what I felt showed what successfully met the design challenge.
Let’s have a look at the prototype…
I had created a prototype based upon my user Martina’s needs, she was lacking motivation at certain times of the day and needed coaching in order to do the physical activity she wanted to do, which when she came back from work. The app also became a competitive game amongst her friends, there would be an award system depending on how well the user does, missed days, achieved days awards were given for the hard work, there was also a section on the screen to tell you what the fail days were too. The awards system is also sharable with your friends either through the app or through social media, I mean who doesn’t like to show off their achievements?
For instant motivation, I also created a button where the user would be able to get the support needed straight away and within that screen, I had created button if it was useful and you did something or not — This data would go towards the awards system and fail days, exactly how the motivational app works, through notifications, but the app only works once the motivation setup was completed.
I had presented the app and there seemed to be a mixed response, I had achieved the set goals which were to find out the issues Martina faced when she got home from work. Martina didn’t have any issues with doing the activities, what she didn’t have was motivation to get up, make the journey and do the physical activity she set out to do. During the activity and after she loved the feeling she got, it made her feel closer to the Instagram and blog pages she follows and have a real sense of achievement. The app was designed to give her the motivational support as and when she needed it, I also added the feature of how strong the support should be and once set up the app would provide the user with notifications that would come up when they were programmed to do so. Upon asking Martina what she thought of the app, she loved the concept and would like to see it in action as it would help her with the problem she faced during the week.
Next project case study will be in 2 weeks… Really looking forward to understanding E-commerce within UX Design.