Project 1 UXDI General Assembly London: Ideating ‘SuperPin’ app for procrastinators

My first week in General Assembly London involved exploring & learning UX techniques and rapid prototyping. The objective of the very first project was to create an interactive prototype of a mobile application. In this 1 week sprint, I had a partner to work with (in my case, it’s Haseeb). I identified a need and aimed towards solving that with an app in a simple and effective manner.

UX Techniques
User research, interviewing, concept mapping, storyboarding, participatory design, sketching and paper prototypes.
Tools
Lots of black ink, plain white paper. Marvel app.

Haseeb’s Problem
Haseeb procrastinates when it comes to completing important tasks — messing up plans and losing time.

My Solution
I designed an app that can help to remind him on the important tasks to work on so he can better manage his time.


User Research: Interview
For the user interview, I prepared unbiased questions and wrote down potential follow-up questions. I found it useful not to jump straight into what issues he was having but rather, learning more about his personal background and habits. As I was conducting the interview, I treated my questions as a guide and tried to listen actively to my user’s responses. In that way, I didn’t ask leading questions and naturally found out more about Haseeb’s routines, interests, relationships.

Interviewing in progress!

User Research: Concept Mapping
As part of my user research, we had a concept mapping exercise to visualise the material I gathered from interviewing Haseeb. From the interview, he mentioned bad experiences of him procrastinating that caused him to miss deadlines and mess up scheduled plans.

Initial Concept Map

With that, I then worked on several simplified versions of concept maps where I focused on the problem domain — ‘Productivity’.

Some key findings that I gathered:

1. He likes it when things go smoothly, as he was in control of his plans.
2. “Getting up and doing things” made him feel disciplined and good
3. When procrastination kicked in, he felt that he didn’t utilise his time properly

I focused on his main frustrations on and what’s stopping him from achieving his tasks.

From my research, I gathered that Haseeb is looking for something that can help him value time and prioritise goals that were important to work on.


Sketching & First Ideas: Storyboarding
Storyboarding was so fun as I get to visualise my user in a way that keeps me focused on the end-goal! I found that this step was so critical as I kept referring back to it as I ideate what’s the most effective way to allow my user to reach that goal.

Storyboarding

Sketching & First Ideas: User Flows 
User flows were a great way to understand the steps that Haseeb will go through to attain the goal. I tested with him on some initial sketches and flows and observed as he went through them. He stumbled and pondered at certain points and mentioned a few things.

“Can you help me value time?”
“Certain goals are just more important.”

These helped me to be aware that the flow was not addressing his urgent need and I interviewed him further to understand the ‘why’ behind them. It turns out that I was focusing on ‘him being productive with his free time’ but rather he needed the app to ‘hit him in the face on the next important task to work on

Goal: Remind Haseeb on the task to work on

Refined User Flow (based on feed back)

Sketching & First Ideas: Idea Generation & Participatory Design
While crafting the user flows, I find myself thinking of many half-baked ideas so I started to put them down on paper. I found it handy to sketch while working on my user flows, as it allowed me to constantly ask questions and iterate them with my users.

Initial Ideas
Here are some initial ideas I had in mind:
a. Having a progress bar at your lock screen
b. Inviting buddies along 
c. Create a race to game-ify the app to add some thrill
d. Mood playlists where there are activity cards for user to accomplish

Prototyping: Paper Prototypes
After all that jazz, I had a version that I was happy to test with! I created a paper prototype and scanned it onto the Marvel app and shared it with Haseeb and other users. The feedback was super helpful in helping me understand different angles and ways of using the app. Some suggestions included incentivising the user when a task is completed and estimating the time needed to work on milestones within a task.

(Left): Testing it with my users (Right): Sketches & Feedback from Testing

SuperPin computes data and time from the details entered by the user, and creates a real-time changing wallpaper with a countdown clock counting down to the closest upcoming task. It allows the user to visit the task anytime whenever he uses his smartphone.


SuperPin is created with one goal in mind: to remind the user on high-priority tasks as it creates a lock-screen reminder with a countdown clock.

Click here to check out the Marvel prototype!