HCDE 498 Final Project
Climb is a web-based application that helps users achieve lofty, abstract goals (Be happier, be a better Student, etc) through short “Sprints” where users focus on consistently completing a single activity that they believe will contribute towards their larger goal.
I created these two prototypes with the intention of using them to test the usability of the proposed system, as well as the desirability of such a system. The Paper Prototype was used primarily as an evaluation of usability. The paper format was perfect for checking user progression through certain tasks, the intuitiveness of my proposed UI, and the overall information Architechture of the system. I then moved to a high-fidelity interactive web prototype, which was primarily used to test the desirability of the system. The high-fidelity prototype was perfect for testing desirability because the high level of polish and interactivity allowed me to convey the “feeling” behind using the system, and allowed the users to experience and interact with that intention directly.
I simply made my paper prototype with paper from my sketchbook and sketched a wireframe-like version of Climb. The buttons and forms weren’t anything different than any other element of the prototype, but I think it did a good job conveying the basic interactions I had in mind for the project.
High-Fidelity Web Prototype
For my second prototype, I used Proto.io to create a fully interactive online version of Climb. I used a single screen for the entire website, with 20 different container states, which allow the user to navigate the site’s features.
User Test #1
I used my paper prototype for my first round of user testing. For this test, I had users complete a series of tasks in order to evaluate the usability of my design. I had the users perform a “coginitive walkthrough” where they completed tasks and thought aloud as they did so. This round of testing really helped me dial in the IA of the site, and especially helped make my UI and dashboard buttons more intuitive for first time users. Below you can see my initial dashboard idea (paper) and my revised dashboard after iterating based off of this user test (web).
User Test #2
After completing the first user test, I took the feedback from my test users and redesigned my UI for my High-Fidelity prototype. This prototype was used to test desirability among potential users. For this test, I recruited 2 participants who had both used goal setting applications in the past and had them complete a few tasks before asking them a set of post-test questions. The results of this test were very promising, as both users definitely believed that they would use a system like Climb. They especially liked the reflective nature of the application, noting that most current goal setting applications are more geared towards coaching users than towards facilitating self-evaluation. It was apparent from the test, however, that a future iteration of this system would need to do a better job of helping users choose their high-level goals. This will be incredibly difficult to do without compromising the strength of the app (the focus on freedom and self-direction), but both users felt that coming up with these goals entirely on their own would be a difficult concept to grasp for new users. With that being said, I think that this project does have a demand, and I hope to continue developing it as a side project in the future.