LIME- A PASSION PROJECT

LIME APP prototype here: https://invis.io/FG7JGROUV

Hello! Greetings! We’re already done with Project 4! Project 4 was presented to us as a passion project. Towards the end of project 3, the entire class was allowed to choose various areas of interest and was ideally grouped according to what their interest were (I chose fashion, pets and cooking).

Our Project Proposal

When we were put into our groups we were told to design a product at our leisure with the constraint that our project or idea proposal had to be approved by our instructors!! Sounded simple! It turned out that it was easier said than done. My group was confident that we were getting our idea approved for the first proposal, and found much to our dismay that we ended up being the last group to be granted approval!

It was a difficult process to begin ideating, prior to this project we (the designers) were not the user and conducted contextual inquiry by observing others to find potential problem statements. We did a brainstorming session where we listed out all of the problems that we thought we had and eventually we found it easier to settle on a topic area (and focus on that particular topic and pain points associated with the topic). As a group we decided to focus on fashion,

we finally submitted our project proposal and got approved! Our proposal was a native IOS platform, a fashion checker partnered with OBVIOUS magazine. We formulated the problem statement to be,

“I never know when I’m dressed well for the occasion and I need a quick outside opinion.” “ It would be great to put out a picture and get an anonymous rating on my clothing choices.”

Some quick facts about OBVIOUS Magazine:

· Established in February 2007, first issue launched August 2008.

· A Los Angeles and New York City based, bi-monthly print and webzine publication.

· Focuses on Men’s and Women’s Fashion, Lifestyle, Culture, Empowerment and Trends.

· Biggest market online, over 100,000+ unique viewers every month (accomplished with little or no major advertising).

Link: http://obviousmag.com

We identified the opportunities for our native IOS platform to:

  • Uplift personal confidence.
  • Provides quick anonymous opinions for users.
  • Increases fashion/brand awareness.
  • Will increases Obvious Magazine readership.
  • Promotes highly social interaction.

Competitive and Comparative Analysis

Having done some background research on the partner organization and with our ideas in mind my group members and I began to take a look at other fashion style magazines to see if it offered similar functions that we were ideating. We took a look at the following competitive magazines:

and for good measure we also took a look at the current app market to identify potential competitors and similarities (comparing similarities to see how we could differentiate our product).

We found that none of the fashion magazines allowed for optional anonymous commentary on various articles or forums, and although they were online fashion magazines there was no function for viewers to post photos and ask for style advice. We self- identified the problem of not having anonymity on forums or the possibility of someone giving advice leading to trolling or hate speech. We defined early on that the most vital feature for our native IOS platform was for users and reviewers to be anonymous.

In comparing the competitive apps we found that AskAnna to have a similar business model to our proposed product, with the difference that there was no anonymity.

Survey Questionnaires and User Interviews

After conducting our competitive research we found that it would be good to learn about the user’s needs, and pain points to determine opportunities for our product design proposal. We formulated 9 questions centered around fashion and allowed responses for a 2-day period and sent them out as surveys to identify our market. The following are our survey questions:

1. Are you interested in fashion?

2. Do you value other people’s opinions on what you’re wearing?

3. What do you do to seek fashion advice?

4. Do you normally want opinions on a whole outfit, or separate articles of clothing?

5. How do you like to receive feedback on your attire?

6. Do you like to give others feedback on clothing choices?

7. What is your age?

8. Where do you currently live?

9. What is your self-identified gender?

10. Can we contact you for more information? Please leave your phone number, email or social acct.

Survey results totaled a number of 55 respondents and the following pie chart is just some of the data found with 40% seeking advice from a friend or family member.

In our survey we requested respondents to provide additional information if they were willing to be interviewed further, we interviewed a total of 9 individuals with 11 interview questions some of the following findings:

· The max. advance planning for an outfit would be 2 weeks, the shortest amount of time would be the day of.

· Users found fashion inspiration from the streets (in NYC) and some stores.

Affinity Mapping

After conducting user interviews we decided to see if we could identify commonalities between the users. We conducted affinity mapping (grouping the information) separately to find our own information and then came together to collaborate and share our findings, identifying pain points, opportunities, and needs from the users.

We found the following groupings to be the most prominent: planning what to wear, who you ask for advice (on fashion), the importance of other’s opinions on what you wear.

Persona Creation

From our affinity mapping and identification of pain points, opportunities and needs we began to conceptualize two different individuals to represent our users to help with our product design creation. We began with someone who needed style advice, Trish as the primary persona to post photos for review, and then using Trish as a foundational persona we created Lily (as a secondary persona to rate photos). Both personas were based off of data that we received during survey screening and user interviews.

e.g. Trish, the primary persona.

Trish’s scenario was ideated as the following:

Feature Prioritization and Most Viable Product

Having established our two personas, or individuals who would represent our two users we started to conceptualize and ideate the features of our native IOS platform. We drew out some rough sketches,

and then wrote out the possible features that we could have (into the form of a chart utilizing the MOSCOW method). We identified what an app Must have, Could have, Should have and Won’t have.

We identified posting a photo, rating a photo, etc. (the first column) as components that our app must have and most importantly to differentiate itself from potential and current competitors.

Paper Prototyping and Testing

We drew out the first flow of wireframes on paper and tested them with 2 users.

One of the sketches or part of the paper prototype

When it became apparent that the low-fidelity of the wireframes was confusing confusion in using the designed product, we decided to move onto digitizing our wireframes and conduct user testing again.

Higher Fidelity Prototyping and Usability testing

After wire framing our product design into the computer we conducted the 1st round of usability testing with 2 users, and went back to iterate our 1st wireframe mockup. The 2nd round of usability testing consisted with user testing 3 users, and a 3rd round was with 2 users again.

Usability test findings consisted of users viewing:

  • Hearts associated as liked, not favorite, associated star as favorite.
  • The feed page and your account/profile page were both considered a feed.

We found the need to change several designs or the visual features of our IOS platform after testing at a higher fidelity mock-up (which was only medium- fidelity in actuality but a more detailed version than the paper prototype).

3 user tests with a higher visual fidelity wireframe of our LIME App revealed the following comments:

  • The left and right sliders to vote were confusing for users
  • A short loading screen would be appropriate when the camera loads.

APP Map

We finalized our design by drawing and digitizing an app map to give an visual summarization of our designed product and its’ functional components.

Technical Background Research

We also had to conduct technical background research to see if there would be any possible tech constraints with developing our native IOS platform, we found that a lot of the technologies already existed and since our app is based off of similar apps it would not be difficult to be built.

Iterations

We made several key iterations for our app wireframes to address the initial on-boarding and usage of the app and general usability issues, such as:

  • Favorites and rate icon, hearts and stars confusing.
  • Dividers, diving the photo into sections, (adding arrows to indicate the way to move the bar).

Next steps

The passion project, project 4 was a good learning experience, especially learning how to work in a new group and group dynamics. For the next steps of LIME app specifically I foresee more:

  1. User testing
  2. Iterations and perhaps even,
  3. Talking to staff at OBVIOUS Magazine for better partnering strategies.

Thanks for reading =).

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