— written by Amangeet Samra —
Solid is a UC San Diego based iOS app that allows students at the university to hire one another for odd jobs. By consolidating this service into one location, we’ve made it easy for UC San Diego students to make easy spending money while they help one another out.
Solid was designed along with four others in a design course at UC San Diego over the course of five weeks during the summer of 2016, where each week had a different purpose in terms of development and problem solving.
WEEK ONE: Logo
This app started as an idea born in a Cognitive Science Class over a hot summer. Once our initial idea formed, our app gained an identity, so we moved on to making our logo. Each person on our team made his or her version of the logo, and we really liked the one designed by Jennifer, so we redesigned her logo as a team.
WEEK TWO: Needfinding
With an idea, identity, and logo established, we moved on to user research. We wanted to be sure that there was interest in the app before we went ahead and designed it, because what’s the point of creating an app no one will use? We spent a lot of time brainstorming the details of what makes our app different from Craigslist or the Free and For Sale Page on Facebook and why people would want to use this app over the others. Finally we conducted a survey asking the UCSD community at large whether or not this app would be worth their time, as well as ours. Out of the 169 responses we received, 72.8% said they would be willing to hire UCSD students to complete odd jobs and 78.1% said they would be willing to do odd jobs over the school year for petty cash, which sounded very promising.
WEEK THREE: Storyboarding/Personas
Based on these responses, we decided that this idea was a viable option because there is a huge potential market for the app, so we moved onto storyboarding and creating the personas for our app. We expanded our app from just UCSD to incorporate the larger San Diego/La Jolla community as well, so we ended up with five different personas who would be willing to hire UCSD students to complete odd jobs. Each group member took up one persona, and I chose to do a retired, widowed, elderly woman. However, we ended up making the app specifically for UCSD students, to build student-to-student relationships and tailor it specifically to students.
WEEK FOUR: Low-Fidelity Prototype
Week four came barreling at us and we began designing our low-fidelity prototype. Initially, each member designed his or her own version of the app and then we came together to form one consolidated prototype. Once we finished the low-fidelity prototype, we moved on to user testing, and based on the feedback we received from the low-fidelity prototype, we redesigned it to incorporate the changes we needed to make. We also edited our design based on a heuristics and usability evaluation.
The low-fidelity prototype was the part of the design that took the most time. We wanted to consolidate the look and feel of the app as much as possible and it took a while for us to reach a consensus. After many iterations, our team finally was able to agree on one coherent design.
WEEK FIVE: High Fidelity Prototype
Once we made changes to the low-fidelity prototype, we finalized our design for the high-fidelity prototype. We decided on a color scheme, back buttons, a navigation system, and the overall layout and finally came together to get to develop the final prototype. It was really gratifying to see the final app come together. I was in charge of designing certain pages of the app, but I went through and made sure everything was coherent and all the small details lines up.
This is a link to the demo of the app: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=plbbpsxSgjE .
Overall, this project was really fun! I loved the team that I worked with, and not only did I learn the design process, but I walked away with a better knowledge of what a good user experience should be. Solid has taught me to be a team player, and I can’t wait to take what I have learned here and apply it to future projects!