Wellness App — B·Balanced
An app for finding your work-life balance
This report will go over the whole process of an app development, from the initial topic research to the different exercises with which the different prototypes were tested and how every asset and flow was decided.
The process started with Emphasize phase, which covers the research, understanding of the information we know and the information we want to know and definition of our users and the questions we want to ask them.
After the research and defining key takeaways from the user's surveys and interviews, I started defining and prototyping. This report shows the different iterations until a final low-fi prototype animated in InVision.
The initial brief was to choose between the different types of wellness covered in this article and develop an app based on one of the topics.
“You will be proposing a new mobile app designed to support wellness. Based on user research, you’ll identify an opportunity for an app to improve people’s day-to-day lives.”
The project was presented on Monday morning and had to be presented Thursday afternoon. Considering the time and requirements of the project I decided to create a schedule to make sure everything was covered and there was enough time for every step.
I decided to focus on Occupation Wellness. This emphasizes discovering your calling and engaging in work that is personally meaningful and consistent with your passion, values, and life purpose.
When researching the topic I found out that the main concern regarding occupational wellness was how people balance their work and leisure time, and how new lifestyles are challenging society to adapt to new situations.
After the initial research and having decided I was gonna focus on how people balance their lives, I jumped into the Lean Survey Canvas, in order to identify what were the things I needed to learn from my users, what was the information that I already had and what was the information I was expecting from every set of questions.
I set as an objective to learn about how people balance their work and personal life, and what are the causes of the possible unbalances. Also, understanding people priorities within their jobs and their personal lives (leisure time, family, friends, health, wellness…), and their habits when trying to achieve their aimed lifestyle.
Next step was defining the survey questions, and creating a Typeform Survey. I started by sending it to the cohort group on slack, sharing it on Social Media platforms and posting it on Facebook groups and Slack channels related to UX Research. Doing this was not only interesting because of how many people helped me answering the questions, but also because I got really good insights and people interested in discussing more the topic.
Some of the people who did the survey were willing to have an interview with me to further develop the topic and let me know about their experiences with Work-Life Programs at work and how they manage their lives in order to prioritize whatever that’s more important for them. I made 5 interviews with workers, 2 of these were to big companies employees, 1 to a small company employee, and 2 to freelancers. Finding people with different work situations was very important in order to understand if the companies were causing the imbalance in people’s lives or it was a matter of how users were organizing themselves.
Affinity diagram: Insights from surveys and interviews
I was quite shocked after going through the results of the survey and after talking to the people I interviewed. Seems like most of the people spend most of their days working, and even if they have a defined schedule, they work more hours than the amount they are contracted to, and when home, they still work. But when asked people to order by priority their life things, WORK was ranked as one of the least important things… while the FAMILY is the most important thing.
I have some interesting comments during the interview such as “Now that you ask me about my daily routines, I’m realizing how bad I’m organizing my life. I’m all day working and whenever I have a free moment to spend with my family or friends, I’m still looking out for work… I definitely have to change that”. Other people also mentioned their lack of control over this situation. “Is like when you don’t want to look at your account balance, you know you should, but you don’t want to see how bad the month is going”.
I got some other interesting answers in the question “Have you ever tracked your work-life balance? In case you did, what tools did you use?” such as “No but I think if I did I’ll be able to get the best out of both my working hours and leisure time” or “No but I would like to and see how much time I spend on every activity”.
Personas are a deliverable which helps us summarize and communicate findings from user research, embodying those findings in a representative user which other stakeholders can empathize with as well.
Defining a persona is key to the development of the project since it helps describe demographics, behaviors, and attitudes. It’s also very helpful during brainstorming, communicating and helping to build empathy.
Stating the problem in a single sentence helps you to focus on the main objective during the process and don’t get lost while prototyping on side topics or broad solutions.
When checking the surveys and interviews results, some patterns started to appear and I could see how there were basic features the app should have:
- Have a daily/weekly/monthly overview
- Add/Edit categories (Default categories: Work, Family, Sport, Eat, Sleep, Relax, Friends and Party)
- Set goals
The main action of the app should be focused on seeing your daily overview, where the user will be able not only to see what kind of activities he/she has been doing during the day but also add and edit these activities to the daily chart, according to the time slot they’ve used for such activity.
Log in → Daily view →Add Activity Screen→ Daily view updated
Although this is the main action the user will be doing, some other flows were defined, such as how to switch from daily to weekly or monthly view, how to add goals or see the general stats, and even how the app will be reminding you daily to record your activity (with a notification).
The first step when having features and flows defined and before starting to build the prototype was doing the Crazy 8s exercise. This is a great way to brainstorm about a specific screen or flow and lets you explore different options within 8 minutes. Since my main functionality was showing the user its daily activity, I decided to focus on exploring different ways of representing this data.
Prototyping and testing
I started with the first paper prototype and defined a simple flow which was based on how the user will be able to switch from the different views (Daily, weekly and monthly) and add an activity.
I moved to the testing phase and talked to approximately 8 people to see how they saw it, what were they understanding and if they had any insight. Most of the insights I got were about how some of the elements were not easy to understand, such as the buttons for changing the activity view, the date dropdown… I also got some comments on how the graph showing the daily activity could be improved by adding somehow the hours, so the user had clear it represented a “24 hours clock”.
I made some changes to the prototype and added some new screens on the stats page. This page was intended to be a summary of all the user’s activity since he/she started using the app. With the previous prototype, I could test and see that people were interested in having a general stats page, so I decided to add some different views and details to this one and test it again.
After the second test, and getting feedback not only from users but also from my classmates, I was able to jump to a low-fi wireframe in Sketch and build the first version in InVision.
I added new features such as the possibility of adding your own category to the Activity Type (during the tests I got some comments on how people track different stuff, and that even if the app had some default categories, allowing the user to personalize the experience could be a good idea).
Contrary to what I thought about the stats screen, users found really difficult to understand stats like hours/month or week. So I decided to go back to the first version but adding a % value so the users were able to see the number of hours they were spending on each activity on average every day, as well as the % of the day these hours represented.
As part of the process of the project, the class was divided into different groups and we run a Group Crit. This was very useful because we had the chance to show our classmates our prototypes and get feedback from them. Even though we had already tested and talked to users, sometimes people don’t know how to express what they think, like or dislike, so being able to share insights with people who are also researching and testing similar stuff, gave us very interesting information and possible errors or implementations.
One of the most interesting comments I got was about the possibility of setting up personal goals for the different activities so that the user can define an “ideal routine” and compare it to its actual routine. This new feature was added to the Sketch prototype animated in InVision. You can check here the prototype and see the last version.
Since the deliverable of the project was a wireframe prototype in InVision, there was no research or testing on any UI elements. All the parts of the prototype in color were made like that just for its meaning, and to show a difference between the activities.
LEARNINGS & NEXT STEPS
The main learning of this project has been how to manage individually all the different steps to follow for the development of an app concept. It’s difficult to focus on everything while trying to keep notes of everything and follow a schedule.
Since most of the exercises done during the project were new to me, it took me some time to figure out some of the findings, and I found myself a bit stuck while trying to translate all the information I got from the users into a visual representation on an app prototype. I had to accept that I had no time for trying again and again and needed to make a decision to move on, so I could deliver on time.
Although I had to cut down timings of some parts of the project, now that the deliverable is done I would like to make a test with the InVision prototype and make some improvements to the UX, and even get to work on the UI elements and build a style sheet for the app. I think since this project was completely done by me, it’s an interesting exercise for developing further the idea and see how to improve it.
As an extension to this report, you can find linked the results of the research:
Survey answers will be linked in a short period.