MidPoint — The social planning App
My first project at General Assembly was to design an App from scratch in order to solve one of my classmate’s problems. The app I created was called MidPoint.
SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES USED
Interviewing, user research, mind mapping, concept mapping, testing and asking for feedback, storyboarding, sketching, paper prototypes and presentation skills.
Key note, marvel and lots of sharpies, papers and post it notes.
Ryan is fairly new to London, having just moved here from Austria. He also studies at GA London and he is looking forward to exploring the city.
I had an informal chat with Ryan, he spoke to me about how he had just relocated from Austria to London. We also spoke about his social life and and living arrangements in London. He told me he loves living in big cities but he finds it hard to settle in. He loves to explore the city either with friends or alone.
This led me to ask him some questions so I could understand his routine, habits and patterns:
Q. Describe to me your daily routine?
Q. Why do you find it difficult to stay in touch with friends ?
Q. Describe to me a scenario when you initiate a plan ?
Q.Tell me about that experience ?
Q. If you plan an event and it doesn’t take place how does that affect you?
From the above questions I was able to have a clear view of why Ryan finds it difficult to make plans. He likes being spontaneous and he does not like to write things down or input a lot of data.
I was also able to find out what he likes doing which includes: eating out, fitness, attending concerts, going to bars and chilling at the park.
This lead me to come up with the idea of an app that already has a preset of activities like DINING, FITNESS and EVENTS. He will be able to add more events as he continues exploring London and discovering new things. The app does not require him to enter a lot of data as he only needs to select, add and share.
I had lots of ideas in my head so I decided to write them down and created my first content map
I wanted to create a seamless and fun experience for Ryan where I could combine him being spontaneous and getting him to make plans without the need for significant data input.
THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT
I wanted to have more insight and empathy, so I called on my tailoring skills which involves getting a client to stand in front of a mirror. I achieved this by wrtting some quotes from the interview from Ryan, placed them on the mirror and read them back to myself a few times.
CONTENT MAP 2
I was able to come up with a solution that is more organic. I finally found a solution for Ryan which addresses his spontinaity and planing needs without the need for significant data input.
FIRST STORY BOARD AND APP USER INTERFACE
I wanted to test the content map so I created a storyboard and user interface to present to Ryan, allowing him to give me feedback.
He gave me some good feedback; even though he liked the solution he felt he was still entering a lot of data, which is something he does not want to do. Here are some feedback quotes:
“Too many functions”
“I want to open the app and finish the task in 4 clicks max”
“The home screen looks too busy”
Straight after getting feedback from Ryan, I created a new storyboard, user journey and prototype
The Storyboard illustrates Ryan’s experience of using the App.
TESTING, TESTING, TESTING
I had another testing session with Ryan. I also tested with my classmates and I received some good feedback, but I also wanted to test the prototype with someone with no previous exposure to the App in order to verify the intuitiveness of the application, user’s journey and the look and feel. This led me to go to the data scientists’ classroom and aske someone to test the prototype.
Adam agreed to test the prototype and he gave me some great feedback, there was a common thread in the feedback I received from Ryan, my classmates and Adam, which are:
“ Keep the home screen simple”
“Why do I need a weekly calender and a monthly calender separetly, combine them together”
Another problem was pointed out:
“If I created an event on the app and shared with friends, how would they respond to the invitation”
ITERATION, ITERATION, ITERATION
I went back to the drawing board and came up with a new prototype
I added a “contact me back” function
I merged the weekly planner and monthly calendar into one
I cleaned up the home screen and made it more minimalistic
And now I have a new prototype
TESTING, TESTING, TESTING
Tested the new prototype with Ryan on paper and also using Marvel and he was happy with the new prototype.
I tested it with Ryan and a data science student using marvel and they were both happy with the user flow and journey of the app.
Problem solved and I was extremely happy as well.
You can try the prototype here
My first project at General Assembly made me realise that as a tailor I have been doing UX all my life, just on a diffrent platform. One of the greatest things I learnt on this project was to always keep a user centred approach, or else you might end up designing for yourself and not the user.
I am now interested in developing
- GEO TAGGING
- BILL PAYMENT & SHARING OPTIONS
- ADDITIONAL PRESET ACTIVITIES