Timebank — Udacity UX course project

So I have finally (re)started and finished the course based on Don Norman’s book: The Design of Everyday things. When I started to look after basic UX skills and books, articles or anything related to beginner UX profession Don Norman’s name there was everywhere. So I started to read his book and after finishing it I found this course. These two (the book and the course) are completing each other very nicely. In this post I will share the final project which I had to do after some warm-up exercises.

Softwares used: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Balsamiq, Huion H610 Pro.
Hours: approx. 40

The task: designing a user interface for a mobile time-bank device that fits in your wallet.

A time-bank allows people to exchange their time for another person’s time. To keep things simple, everyone’s time has equal vaue: my hours is worth the same amount as your hour.

Our first step was to sketch some ideas for how a time-bank might use signifiers to support an accurate conceptual model for adding and subtracting time. Here they are:

Sketches to less/more

Next step was creating a storyboard of wireframes that summarized what each screen of my time-bank will look like and the major steps users will take when interacting with it. I based these wireframes to the seven questions users ask when crossing the Gulf of Execution and Evaluation.

After designing my wireframes I started testing it on users. And this was the most exciting and instructive point of this project. There was so many unexpectable tiny problems caused by the difference of conceptual models.

So while doing user workflows, there was three questions which I payed attention to:

  1. Who is able to do the work task I chose?
  2. How a user selects the person they want to give the task to.
  3. How a user knows if they have enough hours to exchange.

After finishing the storyboard I started testing user testing. I asked 5 people to do the following tasks:

  1. Let’s say your house is dirty but you are not in tune for do that. So you have to find someone who cleans it and exchange your time with him/her. How would you do that?
  2. Please change your hours which you offer for the community!

Results showed a variety of mistakes and doubts of users. I organized these problems in different kind of groups.

Logical misinterpretations

There is no need of that “CONTINUE” button at the first page. But there is missing a page: creating account without e-mail adress and password is impossible. 
So I deleted the “CONTINUE” button and created a new page with e-mail address and password.

Users don’t understand why I used 1.80 h instead of 2.20 h. Both version makes sense, but it is much easier to understand the second one.
I started to use 2.20 h version.

Users were confused by the signs which I used to measuring the time balance (h, $).
I deleted the $ sign.

Missing information

The lack of location and contact were a common problem which came up during the test process.
So I completed these information with the Location and an envelope sign.

What will be the result of my exchange?

This was a frequently asked question among users. They couldn’t realize how does it work.
I put some explanation regarding to the result of the exchange. What they will receive as change and how much time does it cost.

Visibility

When I asked people to go there profile and edit their balance, they hardly found that little icon on the screen which showed My Profile.
I decided to emphasize it with a more visible color.

This time results showed that the UI became more clear. As you see, there were just a few observation which I modified and after this, I made a prototype in Balsamiq.

Conclusion

I learned a lot about how conceptual models differs by generation and profession. I learned also how important user testing is when creating a product.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Ux diary’s story.