Destress_UXDI-Sharpies Project 1 Retrospective

Scope:

For this first project, we were to partner up and interview each other. From that interview, we needed to find a problem in order to solve by designing an app.

Tools:

paper, sharpies, pen, a camera, Scannable by Evernote

Duration:

3 days

Overview of the Process:

User interview, research of other apps, first sketches of the app, more sketches of the app, user feedback, more sketches, and presentation

User Interview:

My partner, Nari, is a fun and social person who keeps busy. She told me she is always dancing and loves cooking. We talked more about her everyday life and her small frustrations that she doesn’t believe can be solved by a mobile app. At one point, she revealed to me that she does not drink water, but she would not use an app for that. Then, near the end of our conversation, she told me she would like an app to help her destress from those frustrations she has.

The Problem:

Although it was difficult at first to identify one sole issue my user had in order to solve, we found a common theme. She gets stressed out easily and often. She doesn’t have the patience for common destress activities like physical exercise, reading, and breathing exercises.

The Solution:

However, she does like laughing at humor, playing games, sharing her frustrations, and being social.With my user’s very clear request and her preferences in mind, I wanted to create an app that would help her destress frequently and efficiently.

Research:

COMPARATIVE: Whisper, Imgur, YouTube

My user said she has Whisper and Imgur often. Whisper is a platform where users can share secrets. They write it on a picture, it posts anonymously, and users can talk to one another through comments and private messages. However, my user deleted the app once Whisper began categorizing the different posts. It was too complicated for her convenience.

Imgur is an online image sharing community, and my user uses this site for funny gifs and photos. What about funny video clips? Imgur doesn’t have videos but a platform like Youtube does. I also wanted to include games in the app as a way for my user to destress.

COMPETITIVE: GPS for the Soul

This app specifically targets people who want “Better Living” for people who want to fight stress. It provides a lot of articles for wellness, has breathing exercises, and the older versions in 2013 advertised it has a way to measure stress levels. Its current version has a list of articles about wellness. The big issue here is that my user doesn’t like spending time reading wellness articles. However she does like reading psychology articles, which GPS for the Soul did not have readily available.

Ultimately, there was not yet an app that combined all these aspects of writing, humor, games, and articles to my user’s liking.

The Design:

First, we storyboarded, and I focused on portraying my app as convenient and efficient.

After, I got to share my storyboard with my user for any feedback. She liked the scenario and agreed I was solving the right issue.

Now that I confirmed I was going to create an app that would solve the right issue, I started sketching the user interfaces. Though I did what we were not supposed to and fell in love with my first idea, I cheated on my first idea and sketched out two others.

When you first open the app, imagine seeing calming clouds as your buttons to chose how to destress. This was the idea I had for the first and second iteration. The difference is that the second one has immediate access the option rather than being led to another page in order to use that option. The third was in a list format on the left with a randomized option list on the right. I presented this to my user, and she told me the simpler for her the better. She liked my first idea the most, and I went with it.

Above is the general flow of the app. In the beginning stages of my user interface sketches, I talked to Susan about what I had and she got me to think about continuity in terms of the different controls users, which is why I chose to sketch both “Laugh” and “Play” to show the continuity of the formatting.

From speed dating, I got a lot of valuable feedback as well like having the option to direct message other users which is an aspect that my very social user may enjoy.

Results:

Nari was happy with this app, and she said she wanted to use it. Here she is being productive and unstressed!

Next Steps:

In order to make it more user-friendly, I would like to incorporate some of the feedback from the speed dating and collect even more user feedback. I think this goes hand-in-hand with more prototyping, perhaps I can utilize Marvel before wireframing, and get feedback during these stages as well.

Another important step is to improve on is the presentation in order to clearly and concisely convey the process this app went through and its functions.

Self-Reflection:

This project enabled me to identify important steps and skills to have for UX Design, and it helped me recognize which I needed to improve upon.

Even before I started pursuing UX Design, I found myself design thinking, not knowing the term for it yet, and I always considered myself a people person. Therefore, I predict human behavior and design around those predictions. However, this project has opened my eyes to a lot I still need to consider while design thinking, specifically the importance of research. The maxim “You are not your user” rings true especially here. Though I can sketch all types of designs out while in my own head, what I make designing that method will not be as effective as taking the time to ask for collecting multiple user feedback and doing comparative and competitive research. I need to restrain from assuming and having my own bias, take a step back, and research more.

Also, from the very beginning of this project, I found myself asking questions that affect the respondent’s answers instead of open questions. I hope to work on this skill and to utilize my empathy in order to improve the user feedback I do get.

Another point of improvement is my presentation skills. There were points I forgot to mention and points I didn’t mean to emphasize. I think better practice would have solved this issue. Mentioned in class was to practice standing up and aloud rather than sitting down and muttering to yourself, which is what I had done.