ARTWILL— A Coursera Interaction Design Capstone project

ARTWILL Logo

Background

My name is Antonio Gallardo. I have been a mechanics engineer for about 13 year. My dream has never been a mechanics engineer, I always wanted to be some kind of artist.

I have never stopped drawing since I was a child.

During all the time I worked as engineer I used to study about Digital Painting, Web design, 3D modeling and design, with online courses using my free time. I was passionate about that, but I never tought I was able to do my living with this stuff.

In 2013 the global crysis hit the company i was working for, and suddenly, I was unemployed.

Since then I have been trying to change my career and started to do some 3d, web design, CAD jobs as freelance.

Last year, I was looking for a job because my freelancing experience was not working very good. I found some interesting jobs offers looking for UX and UI designers. I started investigating about the topic and looked for courses and books about it. And this is how i found COURSERA Interaction Design Specialization. It’s been 7 months of discovering and learning about the amazing world of user interfaces and user experience design. And finally I put all that I learned on this project. This is my first complete Interaction Design.

The Capstone Project

NeedFinding

ARTWILL started as a productivity APP.

In needfinding process I looked for the way people try to change their behavior, and struggle for achieving their resolutions and objectives.

I conducted some interviews, looking for tricks or hacks people use to keep their focus in their resolutions and objectives.

Through those interviews i found some insights and hacks:

- People use their social relations (friends) as a motivation. As an example, going to the gym with a friend. This helps people keep motivation and don’t skip their training . Having an appoinment with a friend can be very convincing and they also motivate themselves each other when they are in the gym.

- People only do and achieve things that you really like or love. You really need to have clear motivations.

- To keep focus on achieving things you need to have clear information about what you need to do for achieving it. You need to know your path.

- Another thing that helps people a lot for achieving resolutions, specially with things that takes long time to achieve, it’s to convert it into a habits.

Brainstorm

User interview

I conducted a brainstorm session with help of 3 users that i interviewed, and after that I concluded the following point of view.

Achieving your resolutions should not be a suffering experience. I want to provide them a way of setting up a path to their goals that will make them feel proud, and as good as possible while they do it, having fun, and with the possibility of sharing their experiences with their friends and family, learning from other people in their same position and helping one each other.

I looked at a lot of existing productivity and schedule apps looking for inspiration, specially looking at apps with appealing design, that includes gamification elements or with social capabilities.

Storyboard, name and first prototypes

Having focus and inspiration in mind, and investigating about productivity I found an article on internet about creating habits. This article talked about a sutdy from University College of London that concluded that by mean, human brain takes 66 days to create a new habit.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0908/09080401

I thought that this could be a good name for my APP, so I called my first prototype 66Days.

First I started thinking on User Experience and created two Storyboards that shows how the experience of using this APP will be for users.

Storyboard 1
Storyboard 2

Based on these experiences I created paper prototypes.

Paper prototype 1
Paper Prototype 2

Heuristic Evaluation

With these paper prototypes I tested them with the help of other designer and conducted several Heuristic evaluations of prototypes .

I found lots of improvement opportunities with heuristic evaluations based on Jacob Nielsen’s Heuristics. Most of them about user freedom, familiar metaphors and language, flexibility and feedback/show status.

After all this feedback I got from heuristic evaluations, I changed lot’s of things, but the main change I did it’s about the final user, the “Persona” I was creating it for.

Main orientation change

At first I planned doing an APP for helping everybody to achieve their resolutions. After creating prototypes and working in the project I realize that the same solution will not be optimal for so many kinds of resolutions that people do.

When I first thought in my app I was thinking on me and my problems achieving resolutions and finishing projects as digital artist. So I decided that my APP will be a Project/Learning manager for Digital artists.

This app will enable them to set tasks that they need to do for achieving a result, and they will be able to set alerts for that tasks, and save links of useful or inspirational information related to those tasks.

When users are struggling with tasks, they will have the possibility of sharing their work and recieving “cheer ups” and congrats from their friends.

At this point I changed the name of the APP. 66Days became ARTWILL.

I created a interactive prototype and started testing and iterating focusing in two major points:

  • Trying to make the process of introducing your information, motivations, tasks, schedule as easier as possible. When trying early prototype myself and when sharing with other users I realize that this was the most boring and problematic part of the process.
  • Using an important insight I got from interviews about using your friends/social contacts as a source of motivation.
First Interactive Prototype

In person experiments

Then, it was time for experimenting. I prepared for conducted personal and online experiments with a script with the following tasks.

Task 1

  • Sign up
  • Look for help
  • Ask a question to app creators
  • Exit App

Task 2

  • Sign in
  • Create a Path and a task using step by step tutorial
  • Exit App

Task 3

  • Sign in
  • Create a Path and a task without tutorial
  • Exit App

Task 4

  • Sign in
  • Delete all tasks and paths
  • Exit App

I measured completion time and completion success for the tasks, and I get valuable feedback from users about their experience, and difficulties when using it and got the following conclusions.

Although both users spent less time creating path and task from scratch, the information filled without the step by step tutorial was less and as both users told me more difficult to find how to fill it.

All users showed preference for the step by step method, but dividing in more steps, because when they had to create the task, measure, schedule, there was too much things happening on the screen at the same time. All of them were confused at that point and prefer to see only one thing a time on the screen, and with bigger elements easier to pick and fill.

The measure and schedule part were confusing for them, and neither of them liked that time/date data were mandatory, they prefer freedom to fill up this later.

With this experience I understood how important are in person experiments. This is the only way you recieve a real sense of how your design is working or not with users.

Screenshots from user experimenting with notes about interactions

Online Experiments

After personal experiments, I redesigned some interface elements with a new paper prototype.

In redesigned version I changed the creating project step by step method to divide the elements needed to create tasks into more steps with less information each time in each step. I also increased elements size to fit the screen properly because now there are less elements in screen.

Redesigned version’s paper prototype

Then I took my new design to my interactive prototype and then I needed to test if that changes really improve my APP’s user experience, so I go for online testing.

For online testing I used usertesting.com service and run a A/B between subjects experiment testing previous and redesigned version.

My hypothesis for this test was that using this redesigned version will be easier for users to create a project and a task, and they will make less errors. I wanted to see if it will take more time to fill the data using more steps. I thought that users will be more confident using the redesigned version too.

Both prototypes showed good resutls in speed, even better than expected in original version, easiness for navigation and conveying confidence to the users, but prototype B showed less tendency to produce errors so I kept prototype B with little modifications.

From users I learned that I splitted too much the step by step method and not so much steps were necessary.

Original vs Redesigned Version

Finally I reduce in 1 step the step by step creation method. Give the prototype some colors, typos and visual improvements, and finally tested alerts interactions.

I think, the most innovative and strong charasteristic of this app, it’s the way it uses social relations to motivate the user.

It will use (always with your consent) your social media contacts to ask them for help you keep motivated when you are not fullfilling the tasks you planned to do and losing your motivations.

It will use as well your motivations list to remind you why did you planned the tasks and help you keep focus on your objectives.

It will take information of other artists that you follow and that make art similar to yours, to show their latest creations/posts to help you keep motivated.

ARTWILL final prototype

Here are the links for my final prototype and a promotional video I did for showing how Social Alerts will work.

http://meaningoflines.com/artwill_promo/login.html

Promo Video

Final Words

Interaction Design Specialization has finished, but my work has only started. I have a long way in front of me. I have learned a lot, but there are a lot of things that I need to learn and to experiment yet. Now I have the tools, and I have a lot of ideas for new designs that will help people make life easier and more enjoyable.

I’m very excited about my new journey as UX/UI Designer.

Finally, if you like my work and want to give me an opportunity to work with you, just let me know.

Antonio Gallardo — antonio@meaningoflines.com