Quality news content delivered in a buffet style.

The Beginning of a new learning

One week has passed since I started my User Experience Design Immersive (UXDI) course in General Assembly Singapore and the experience I’ve had so far is motivating. Opportunities to collaborate with different classmates and explore the problems together made the learning tremendously engaging.

From the past week, we were assigned with our Project 01. The objective of this project was to let us apply the processes that we have learned in this week’s lessons by finding a solution that can solve our target users’ problems / needs through an App.

The topic assigned was based on the exchange of topics chosen with our partner and I was assigned with the topic “News”. The initial research was done based on interviews and finding the right questions to ask was crucial. After much brainstorming and consideration, I have defined the questions based on the following topics.

Other than asking open ended questions to my interviewees and keeping the whole interview conversational, I do find myself asking close ended questions once in awhile. I guess, to really get use to this format of interviewing, I need to have more practice.

At the start of any interview, I also find it important to have a proper introduction to the interviewees about what is the topic that we are going to talk about, the purpose of this interview, the duration needed and the permission to record the interview. Recording the interview is always good because I can concentrate in asking the right questions and still have the opportunity to listen to the recordings at a later time.

The initial interviews were completed but after going through what I have collected from the recordings, I realised that more questioning is needed to really understand what the users really need. Information collected cannot be taken word for word and required some probing before I can clearly define their behaviour, habits and problems.

After comparing and consolidating the information collected from the interviews, I started on the Affinity Mapping. The initial mapping that I came up with had groupings with >10 points. That indicated me that in these groupings, I might have missed out on other possible categories. I did a consultation with our Teaching Aid, Wilson and was advised to re-look into those groupings. I redid the whole process and true enough, there were information that I have overlooked. I re-organised the affinity map and came out with the following:

From the mapping, I managed to define the persona of my target users and extracted the essence of the interviews.

User Persona

The target users are well educated and know where to get their news. Knowing that there are many news sources available out there, they are conscious of the quality and variety of the content. However, due to their daily routine, reading is mostly done during their free time. Therefore, they are selective on the type of articles that they choose to read. Articles that are lengthy and are not of their interest are usually avoided. They prefer to have curated content delivered to them rather than searching manually. To cross check the facts, users compare articles from different sources.

The problem statement was simplified but the solution part of it was not. Points are all taken into consideration when defining the solution. However, what I did was to prioritize the problems accordingly.

Possible Solution

An App that delivers curated content to the users based on their interest. Articles from multiple sources will be consolidated in this app. A summary will be available before the users decide whether to proceed to read the full article. They will be able to filter their articles based on their requirement. They can opt to have notification sent to them about news update.

In this possible solution, I have tried to simplify the processes needed to allow the target users to access their news as easy and effortless as possible. While doing so, I have also considered the possibility of not having a menu in the App itself and I have added some micro-interaction in the prototype to make the user experience better.

User Flow

When I started doing the user flow, I thought that my initial draft was too complicated (although there isn’t a hard and fast rule to follow). Most importantly, I felt that the flow should be made easy for anyone to understand. The final user flow should be simplified. I hope I will improve in this aspect.

Sketch and Wireframe

For the sketches, I did a rough version manually before creating it digitally on the mac.


Some thoughts

Through this project, I have a better understanding of UX Design. Although I have already completed this project, I feel that the end result was not satisfactory in my opinion. After listening to the feedback and going through the processes and my prototype, I realised that there is more work to be done.

From the affinity mapping process, I have been asking myself a lot on the outcome of the problem defined. I tried not to be biased in my conclusion and from there I do see a few areas that I feel can be improved for the user. I refrained from making it a requirement in my solution. When I started this project and took on the role as a User Experience Designer (although I am still in the learning process of becoming one) to provide a solution to the target users’ problem. I should not be passing a judgement as if I am part of the target users. Therefore, any changes required should based on my target users’ feedback.

I foresee the integration of social media sharing and the removal of logging in process to be the changes. If you are reading this story, please go through the prototype and let me know your views. If there are areas to improve on, do enlighten me. Thank you for reading.