News Aggregator — Rapid Prototyping in 3 days

I was assigned the new aggregator topic for my first project . I created a news aggregator app that is “Tune to one’s time”, with the idea of dealing with the news. My first thought when I received my topic was that it was soley about news articles in the mobile application. I tried not to assumed that it was only in mobile applications.


USER RESEARCH

I began collecting my information by conducting 3 users interviews, asking many questions using the Who, What, When, Where, How and many many Whys. It was nerve wrecking for me and I was having difficulty coming up with questions to ask. But overall, the user interview went well and I was able to get enough findings.

Question : Tell me more about how you deal with the news?

Pains: What are the painful aspects of the news ?

Pleasures: What do you find pleasurable with the news?

Context: When and where do you usually read the news?

Behavior: What are some words you thought of when dealing with the news ?

Photos taken during the interview

Key takeaways

· “Spend time scrolling through long articles to search for news articles”

· “Having difficulties finding articles that interests me”

· “I find the news articles to be irrelevant and not useful”

· “Not enough time to digest the news article”

With the findings I had from the interview, I used the 4-list method (Pains, Pleasures, Context and Behavior) to sort them out in the affinity diagram.


AFFINITY DIAGRAM

While synthesizing my findings into categories, I had difficulty trying to find the trends and essences within the findings I received. It was very challenging for me. I took quite some time analysing the user interview data and was finally able to find some interesting trends. I used up all the post-it notes I had and rearranged it continuously until I was able to come up with some potential solutions that I could use for my problem statement.

Affinity Diagram
Affinity Diagram

The essences I found from the findings:

· I cannot find the desired articles I want to read

· I do not have the time to read long articles

· I cannot find articles that are relevant and of use to me

To address these problems, this is my problem statement:

When I find the new articles to be irrelevant ex. political news (which I am not interested in reading about), I want to be able to scan through articles that I am interested in quickly, so that I can save my time browsing through all the articles.

USER FLOW

I analyzed on the Flipboard application and came up with the user flow of the application. It was simple and straight to the point.

DESIGN STUDIO METHOD — SKETCHES

Here are some of the concepts I did for my initial ideas:

Idea on ‘What to do with the irrelevant news ?’
Idea on ‘What to do with the long articles and its durations ?’
Idea on ‘Personalized/Customised ?’

PROTOTYPE & STORYBOARD

Scenario

You are on your way to work and would like to read some news articles whilst travelling in the MRT train.

Task

Find the news articles that you would like to read and indicate if the article is relevant or not ?

A storyboard was created for the prototype as seen below:

Storyboard

USABILITY TESTING -PROTOTYPE

This is my first prototype that I came up with :

First paper prototype

The interviewees were not able to understand how to go about doing my task, as my initial sketches were very rough and not properly drawn. I incorporated the elements of the Flipboard into my sketches.

I felt that I may have incorporated too many aspects into the application and that I would have to make those options clearer for the users to understand.

Main problems:

· not bothered to remove relevant article

· don’t really care about the time ( depends on each user e.g. speed reading)

· able to select and deselect from the Category page

· push notification could be switched on/off on each category

One of the main points that I received from my users was about the removal of the news articles (that I incorporated from the Flipboard application) This point was very beneficial for me and I would have to come up with another method for the users to eliminate articles that they are not interested in reading.

Second paper prototype

I started to analysed on some other applications like BuzzFeed and Nytimes. After improvising from the user testing I acquired for my first prototype, I came up my second design iteration.

The problems were minor/subjective:

· Changing “My Lists” to “My Favorites”

· Prefer not to show the article first in the Articles section

· Do not need a plus icon to add other categories

From there, I did some changes and I conducted my third user test . I created the interactive prototype and applied it on POP. I prompted my user with the same task and she was able to get through the task without much issue, but she did suggest of having alternative ways to get to her desired article.

Link to the interactive prototype for the application done using POP : https://popapp.in/w/projects/5656cdb13fbe4ff874193aa9/preview/5656ce8cc675ba9a7722c8b7


NEXT STEPS

Future improvement that could be applied to the application:

· Show alternative ways of choosing an article to read

[Ex. Tap onto the Search Button to search for the desired articles or onto the Category Page that allow users to choose their areas of interests such as (Animation, Design, Business)]

· Add in additional features for the application (ex. Push Notification)

· Check the functionality of application

· Iterate the design of the “final” paper prototype

· Another testing on the paper prototype before going to digital prototyping


To summarize, I was able to solve the problem in a quick and efficient way.I think that I may have gone too far in addressing all the problems during my first prototype and that I could have make sure it was solved easily. I learnt a lot about being a user researcher and I gain a lot of insight on addressing the issues and how the process works throughout the whole project.

Thank you ^-^
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