Prototyping a Geolocation iPhone App

As UX Designer working in the Sprint Suite at the Daily Mail Group, I got to work with an amazing team who had already created an HTML5 mobile design for their local focused regional websites. What they really needed was a native app that could leverage iOS functions such as geolocation. I met my BFF BA, Maria Axente, on this project and we had a such a good time working up the specifications and requirements through a series of UX activities such as initial stakeholder interviews to better define the goals for the app, persona building to generate empathy and an interactive prototype that defined our proposed MVP.

We managed to get 4 hours for a UX workshop for this close-knit team. In preparation for the workshop a quick set of slides was created to establish this app as a niche application that would compliment their existing desktop and web application by providing local news and business recommendations. It was also key to present an info graphic on the different nuances of using geolocation as a display of locations within a radius vs. receiving a notification when a device is in a location’s hot spot. Our lead mobile architect helped us coin this as the Pull vs. Push approach to leveraging native geolocation functionality.

The workshop itself comprised of creating personas that ranged in attributes from hating push notifications to not minding them as long as personalized settings were available.

Created prototype personas during a stakeholder workshop

We then went through a process of identifying pain points for each persona along with ‘out of the box’ solutions which finally culminated in forcing everyone to state there assumptions using a strict sentence structure, an elevator pitch, such as

This [product] solves the [problem] because of these [reasons].

or

[Persona] will use this [product] above [competitor product] because it does [this function].

We eventually whittled down all the requirements into a minimum viable product (MVP) definition by weighing all our core assumptions against the risks.

An interactive prototype in Axure also included user journeys

The proposal for building the native app was presented as an interactive prototype in conjunction with a detailed specifications of the MVP as well as an itemized list of additional features and functionality that could be layered on in a modular fashion.

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The proposal successfully progressed through the sales funnel and everyone expressed their gratitude including myself as our 4 hour workshop set a good momentum for the rest of UX activities to follow.