Case Study: UX Design P1 Project

This case study outlines the process i went through as a student at RED Academy working on my first project, the P1. I had to develop a solution to a problem one of my fellow classmates had. This case study is focused on the inability of dog owners to find suitable dog-sitters in a short-period of time at a cost-effective manner.

The Opportunity

My classmate Vivian is a busy professional with a strict daily schedule. She has many priorities and tasks she needs to accomplish daily. She often finds herself worrying about her dog due to inability to consistently find a reliable dog-sitter to sit her dog while she is away from home.

Traditional methods take too long. Ex: calling dog-sitters to book a schedule, finding people on Google, asking her roommates and friends. It is also tedious to try to find dog-sitters everyday.

She would like a more time-efficient and effective way to find credible dog-sitters without spending too much time and save some money as well.

Research

When researching for this project, my focus was to understand what was causing Vivian to feel like she didn’t have enough time. I began with conducting an interview to find the root of her problems: walking her dog twice daily, thus causing her to reduce free time and increasing stress if no dog-sitter is found.

I begin by conducting an interview:

Interview questions and answers with Vivian

After the interview, i composed the results into an user persona.

Vivian’s User Persona

From the user persona, i determined that the primary needs of Vivian are: have the security of knowing her dog will be taken care of, have more time to do other things and save some money.

Planning

After gathering information from the user persona, i sketched out a storyboard to try to understand what she is doing before and during the problem.

What Vivian’s typical morning would look like on a busy weekday

I visualized what a typical morning for Vivian is like: she wakes up, gets ready for work, goes to Google to look for a dog-sitter, spends around 20 minutes looking a suitable dog-sitter, then catching the morning commute to her work or school.

I devised an app called DogeSitter. This app will help her to reduce time spent looking for a dog-sitter, offer her a more reliable source of dog-sitters and save her some money.

User Flow

To get a better understanding of how DogeSitter will be used, i created a user flow to visualize the process of moving from entry to end point.

Problem Statement: Does not have time to personally walk her dog in the morning and at night, on a daily basis.

Entry point: Vivian does not have enough time in the morning to look for a dog-sitter daily. She needs to head to work or school and would love it if there was an easier way to find reliable dog-sitters and schedule them weeks ahead.

End point: Vivian finds a reliable dog-sitter quickly, scheduling them ahead of time to ensure that her dog is taken care of, thus saving her time, freeing her anxiety and allowing her to save some money on the side due to the app’s discount program.

Solution= design an dog-sitting service mobile app of local dog-owners called DogeSitter.

User flow of Vivian’s typical dog-sitter search routine

Design

I created a low-fidelity wireframe to illustrate how Vivian will be interacting the app, focusing on her needs to save time, find a credible dog-sitter and save money.

Page 1 of wireframe
Page 2 of wireframe

After getting my first wireframe reviewed by George (my teacher), i took into account his recommendations and implemented them into a low-fidelity paper prototype.

Paper prototype of DogeSitter

Usability Testing

I created an InVision prototype to test out my app by conducting an usability test with Vivian to see what she thinks of the app.

Scope

Hypothesis= Vivian uses Dogesitter to book a suitable dog-sitter for her dog, so she can go about her day without having to worry about her dog.

What do I think will happen= Vivian will find a suitable candidate after looking for 5–10 minutes. She books a schedule with him and pays via the app to confirm the booking.

What are my fears for the prototype= Vivian might not find a suitable candidate using the app due to lack of users or inefficient user flows or features, causing her to continue to search using more time than she should.

Scenario

Find a dog-sitter

Goal #1= she finds a suitable person, she books a preferred time with the person and pays him. Her anxiety about her dog is relieved.

Goal #2= She saves money, for every dollar she spends, she receives 100 Dogecoins, after 1000, she receives $1 off.

Goal #3= She saves time, she can use the app while getting ready in the morning, eating breakfast, walking or riding transit.

Test Results

Improvement Points:

  • The “Login” and “Sign-in with email” are the same thing. Also use “login” instead of “sign-in”.
  • Bigger boxes are better, make it a smoother flow.
  • Add prices to each individual in menu.
  • No back button on iOS, so should implement a back drag to go back to the previous app page on iOS.
  • Availability should be altered to be more clear, use colour coding or striking to eliminate unavailable times.
  • Explain Dogecredit in the app.
  • “Back to Menu” option at the end can be combined with the Dogefirmed option, with an explanation in brackets.

After taking into consideration of these crucial focus points, i made alternations to the InVision prototype.

Alterations

  • My original sign-in page was confusing due to extra sign-in, so I removed it and made sign-ins available through only email and Facebook.
  • My menu was too overcrowded with information, it was more suitable for a website instead of a mobile app. So I simplified it by putting a scrollable, vertical list of people’s photos, short bio and average hourly prices.
  • I added in new screens to my app to complete the user flow.
  • In future prototypes, I will add a DogeCredit explanation page or description in the menu or under payment summary.
Before vs. After of Login screen
Before vs. After of Menu
New screens implemented into prototype
New screens implemented into prototype

Vivian said the schedule was confusing since she did not understand which times were available or not. So I decided to make all unavailable times crossed out.

Improved Google Calendar Interface

I decided to get rid of the “Back To Menu” page and combined its feature with the Dogefirmed picture.

“Back to Menu” feature is now combined with “Dogefirmed” button.

Prototype

It was after all these new additions and improvements to the initial InVision prototype did my app really come to life. It can now be used to accomplish the primary goal of finding a dog-sitter. On top of that, it saves time due it being a mobile app that can be used while multitasking, commuting and doing other tasks. It also saves money with its “Dogecredit” feature built into the app, giving users both incentive to continue using the app and making their wallets a little fatter.

Link to InVision Prototype: https://invis.io/YVCHQI8WA

SUMMARY

It was a great learning experience working on this P1 project with Vivian. She was very clear in her answers during interviews and she provided very useful feedback and recommendations.

I learned a lot about the UX Design process, especially on how to get from a non-tangible idea to a tangible prototype.

This is only the first of many projects I will be doing throughout my career and I am looking forward to completing more complex and high-fidelity projects in the future! To complete this case study, i’d like to leave off with one of my favourite quotes: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”- Lao Zi.

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