The stakeholder sent over a long brief explaining the overall product, what vibe they were aiming for, and their target audience. The following were the main takeaways:
• The product is aiming for a way to bring people together and get outside more often. The users will be able to propose a challenge, and if that challenge is voted on highly by others, it becomes a quest.
• Users can suggest a place they think is the best, or a user can go to a suggested location which they will rate afterward. The ratings will then deem which location was the best.
• The brand of the product has not yet been created. They would like the app to have an iOS native feel to it. They also ideally want the product to be in dark mode to give it a gamification feel.
The main features of the MVP had to include the following:
• the ability to chat with other quest members
• a way for users to view past and current quests
• a dashboard/home feed
• a polls section
• a user profile
After reading the product brief and meeting with the CEO, I started researching competitors and diving into our target users.
The following were the key takeaways I gathered from social media platforms:
• likes, comments, and viewability of what their friends are doing are very important to ensure users will continuously use the product
• it needed to be simple and easy to use like other social media platforms
• it needed to follow a similar IA of other social media platforms to ensure users knew how to navigate it
I created two different user types based on research I gathered from similar products in the competitive analysis. The following are the two user types I found.
The first user type I found, was a professional, urban-center young adult who is outgoing and wants to do fun things with her friends. She ideally would use this product as a way to go out with her friends and be social.
The second user type I found, was a professional, urban-center young adult who loves going out and doing things, however, prefers doing it alone. This user type enjoys the social aspect online but prefers exploring by themselves. This is user type would mainly use this product to see outdoor scenery.
Once I had learned more about the target users, I created journey maps for each. This was done to ensure I was getting insights into what the target user might go through while interacting with the product.
The first journey map I created was for the first user type based on Emily Harlow. Emily is more focused on the social gathering aspect with her friends, so I focused on that when creating this journey map. I found multiple insights from the journey map that helped shape the following design decisions.
The second journey map I created was for the second user type based on Derrick Hall. Derrick is mainly focused on the outdoor suggestions from his friends, so I focused on that when creating this journey map.
In this phase of the design process, I started to map out the structure of the product and create sketches for my designs.
Creating a Site Map gave me a clear understanding of what elements were needed on each page I sketch. I decided on a bottom tab bar with five sections that all branch out with other options for the user to take. I did this because it meant users would have the simplest experience, instead of everything being in a hamburger menu.
After creating the Site map, I started to create the sketches. I sketched out multiple different layouts and ideas, however, these were the final sketches I chose to move forward with for my designs.
In this phase of the design process, I started to create the wireframe versions of my sketches. I then used those to do usability testing to get insights from potential users.
Below are the wireframes I created.
Now that I had created my wireframes, I took those to conduct five different usability tests.
The following were the main pain points I observed:
• users were only able to determine if a quest was new or not based on the end date, so they needed an easy way to differentiate new quests from old ones
• users wanted to be able to see what friends were participating in a quest without having to click into the quest
• users felt the end date on a quest was a little confusing because they would need to know the current date to know how many days were left in the quest
After multiple rounds of user interviews and the other forms of research I did in the 'Discovery' phase, I was ready to finalize the high fidelity designs. During this portion, I had to make some adjustments to the previous designs to reflect the insights I found in the usability testing.
Before creating the final designs, I created a design system to ensure the app had cohesive components used throughout it. I also researched Material Design's dark mode standards and made sure that all chosen colors passed a minimum AA WCAG standard.
The polls section gives users the ability to vote on whether they want a suggested quest to become a real quest. In this section, they can vote, create a new poll, search polls, and view open/closed polls. Below are some of the highlighted key features this section has.
The quests section is the heart and soul of the whole platform. I focused on giving a user all necessary information on each card to get them engaged, without giving them cognitive overload. Below are some of the highlighted key features this section has.
The home section is a newsfeed for users to interact with. This ensures that the users are connected with their friends and keep them engaged. It also notifies them of polls and reactions from visited locations. Users are also able to write a post to engage with their friends or check their notifications. Below are some of the highlighted key features this section has.
The messages section was very important because the interaction between friends is the key to success for the app. Since these are such text-heavy pages, I focused on making the layout as simple as possible. Below are some of the highlighted features of this section.
The account section gives a user the ability to access their profile information, or their settings. To keep with the gamification of the app, I included completed and won stats along with badges. Below are some of the highlighted key features this section has.
Working on this product helped me grow a lot as a designer. The process pushed me to learn a lot about WCAG guidelines with colors in dark mode, and how to organize a lot of information on a page. I also learned a lot about Material Design guidelines and iOS Human Interface Guidelines while researching what I was aiming for in high fidelity.