I use design methods to find solutions

I had an opportunity to use a variety of problem-solving methods and reinforce on-the-job experience while I earned a certificate in User Experience Design from General Assembly.

I designed an app for travelers that improved on current apps and addressed unmet needs.

Research

An affinity map grouping of desires interview subjects

After conducting user interviews my researched showed that people were:

  • frustrated with the apps they had tried
  • favoring user reviews over advertising or professional travel writing
  • using iOS apps that came with the phone (eg calendar and notes) instead of an app designed for travel
a persona listing desires and goals of a sample user

From these interviews I created a persona that represented a woman who worked full time, had little time to plan a trip, and yet wanted to maximize her plans.

app features sorted by expected and unexpected, high and low impact

I used this research to plot out features that could be included in this app and priorited them by impact and whether it was something I had expected when outlining the project. I chose the features that were expected and high-impact as the focus of this project.

Storyboard

sample of user flow planning

Next I outlined the workflow of the app to decide what steps would be necessary and what the key screens would be.

storyboard indicating key UI areas and navigation

From there I mapped out how interacting with the app could work. My plan was to use native app gestures to quickly navigate between different ideas, swapping them for another by swiping left and right.

Testing

handmade software prototype made from paper

For my initial testing prototype I drew inspiration from board game design where cheap paper pieces used instead of expensive game components. Testing was done face-to-face without any software around.

sample of hi-fi prototype images used to build interface

Hi-fi wireframes of the user interface were designed in Adobe XD. The UI changed from theĀ  storyboard as I added navigation elements to the design that were familiar OS UI conventions.

Hi-fi prototype as seen by a tester

Hi-fi usability tests were done using InVision and feedback was compiled with a survey app. Using this research I began the final phase - putting together a presentation of the project and ruminating on the process.

Conclusion

While I felt the process was effective and the outcome was generally a success I would have revisited the swipe left and right interaction that I developed in the storyboard phase and focused solely on the feature of making a simple plan and swapping it for another.

Once I designed around calendar interfaces it put constraints on the design, took away from the initial idea, and took the app to a place where it was almost too much like the default calendar app.

My participation in the course was a success and I earned a UX Design Certificate from General Assembly.