UniLodge App Design Sprint
Over the course of 4 condensed days, I completed and documented a fast-paced design process named the ‘design sprint’. The project I undertook was to create a ‘roommates’ feature within the already existing ‘UniLodge’ app that connects people looking for roommates together in an efficient and seamless way.
Day 1 – Mapping
Before starting the design process for the Unilodge app, my first consideration was to establish primary and secondary goals for the design solution. Primarily the aim of the solution is to find and connect compatible roommates with one another. The secondary goal of this app is to improve and maintain harmony with the other roommate while the users are living together. Assumptions and design process questions for the app feature were written down on sticky notes to be revised throughout the design process.
‘How Might We’ (HMW) questions were formed which highlighted areas of concern in the form of a question that helped to stimulate innovative solutions to these problems. I created a user journey map that highlighted which areas of the app this feature would need to address and clustered sticky notes around stages in the user journey map. The segments where this design solution is to be implemented as per the sticky note clustering are in the ‘using’ and ‘goal’ stage of the user journey. Specifically, these steps included fulfilling user preferences for their next place of residence and finding a compatible roommate.
‘How might we’ questions were formed which highlighted areas of concern in the form of a question that helped to stimulate innovative solutions to these problems. I created a user journey map that highlighted which areas of the app this feature would need to address and clustered sticky notes around stages in the user journey map. The segments where this design solution is to be implemented as per the sticky note clustering are in the ‘using’ and ‘goal’ stage of the user journey. Specifically, these steps included fulfilling user preferences for their next place of residence and finding a compatible roommate.
Day 2 — Sketches
During day 2 I began by creating a list of possible features and ideas for both the user journey and concepts for interaction points within the ‘roommates’ feature. For users to curate their search experience I devised a filtering solution. This utilises sliders and other custom fields to filter out unwanted search results. With these freshly created concepts, I then sketched out what this might look like when translated to an app context. This came through the form of 1-minute drawings per idea/concept using the crazy 8s method whereby the page is split into 8 sections, each to be filled with one sketch. Using these I picked two to develop final solutions to the overarching design problem and goal. One of these solutions was to use a map graphic to show where other users wish to move into with a roommate. The other was based around a scrolling list of users with information about their living preferences and other information about themselves. Each of these main ideas could be used alongside one another however I needed to decide which one the feature would be centred around.
Day 3 — Storyboard
To start the storyboarding process, I map out the user journey in 6 key steps. Creating the first and last steps in this exercise ensured each stage in between is concise and targets the largest stages in the users’ progression through the app feature. Using these primary milestones I then began the storyboarding process. While sketching the screens out, more are added in between to complete the whole user journey without any unnecessary.
To address the secondary goal of maintaining harmony between the roommates, I created a feature that unlocks when a roommate is found. This feature allows the roommates to share jobs and other information with one another through the app. Users can create tasks on specific dates and assign them to their roommates. They can also enter any relevant information via a ‘leave a note’ section.
User experience design principles I focused on during this phase include Recognition Over Recall, reducing Cognitive Load, Mapping, Affordance and Consistency.
Day 4 — Prototyping
In the prototyping stage, major aesthetic and functional choices are made based on the wireframing from day 3. The aim was to ensure all the main features and buttons are laid down to mimic the product without having to go through the vigorous app creation process. This means that any major changes or issues found will be of low cost in both time and energy. Throughout the prototyping process, I realised that one major page was missing from the interaction. This was the inclusion of an editable profile screen where the user can view and edit the personal information that other users see. This is a great example of where I could take a quick detour back to the storyboarding stage and make changes to include this screen with little hassle. Here is a look at some of the prototyped screens.