De la Vega App
De La Vega is a business building in Madrid that has a series of areas and services intended for the use of its tenants.
The challenge was to create an application for tenants of the building that would be able to: give them access to the building through a virtual key in the mobile, reserve spaces, purchase restaurant products, use carpooling services and bikes.
The work methodology that I followed
What i did
My role as an interaction designer was to take charge of the architecture and all the interaction designing of the application. Our team was composed of 1 researcher, 1 interaction designer, 1 UI designer and an 8-person development team.
In addition to my tasks as an interaction designer I was in charge of the project management, until his hand-off with the development team. During the development stage, it followed up in order to ensure that the product development guidelines were respected
In the research stage the mission was to understand the different profiles of people who interacted with the building and their needs. It was very interesting to know how they interacted with nearby services, public transport and recreational sites and know your arrival, departure and lunch habits.
Then through interviews and design exercises we worked on how the user’s behavior would be with the new services that the building would have created to mitigate the needs (gym, new lunch areas, tennis court, bikes, etc) and how they could access them through a digital element that did not have human mediation (an application mobile).
The second challenge was to understand all the physical objects connected to the application (access doors, online orders, wallet, bicycles, conference rooms, etc.) and see how we could make a homogeneous experience for the user when the application had to communicate with various suppliers through their apis.
According to the needs of the users obtained through the insight in the research stage we were able to perform a process of prioritization of functionalities, which would be available depending on the stage of evolution of the application and its subsequent updates.
Analyzing the habits of people inside the building we discovered common problems that ranged from:
- Forget the access card, which involved a complicated replacement process.
- Excess of time in the management of guest passes for the building and long waiting time to get the authorization of the host.
- No much time to eat and big distances between food places, making people have to use their cars.
- Problems to manage the reservation of spaces given the large number of people who worked in the building.
In addition, following a business and scalability requirement, the architecture of the application should be as flexible as possible to allow the incorporation of new services as the building incorporates more benefits for its tenants.
3.- Designing the Experience
To create a correct architecture, we think from:
- The user.
- The business requirements vs. scalability.
- Technology and integration of physical objects.
The user should be able to interact with each of the services we were going to offer in the application. Given the diversity of profiles and technological proficiency, architecture and modules should reduce cognitive effort and learning curve
One strategy was to design the same interaction pattern and modules that were repeated in the app.
The application is built around 4 types of screens, which are repeated throughout the application. Thanks to this design strategy a user who learned how to reserve a tennis court, could perfectly reserve a conference room or the time needed for his gym session.
The home of the application was intended to serve as an assistant to remind the user of the reservations that would be pending throughout the day
The business requirements vs. scalability
We create a flexible information architecture that could respond to the business needs of the company, one of the challenges was to have an application that allowed us to show the user some services according to their role or availability. To do this we worked on a structure where each of the services were designed as micro application that can be managed individually through the backoffice of the application.
Technology and integration of physical objects
One of the technical challenges we faced was to provide the user with the possibility of having a virtual access card through his mobile device, this involved a series of technical and physical adaptations to make the system work perfectly.
4.- Design and Release
Finally the visual design had to maintain the branding of the company without losing the simplicity and clarity in the message to the user that we wanted to transmit.
Currently the application is available to tenants of the building with a version (webapp) and its mobile versions in Android and IOS.
Credits: I have developed this project in the company Opinno as UX consultant