Please note: this project is being updated and missing information. Please come back soon to see it complete :D
Over all 10 weeks: To create a more personalized app experience
Over last 8 weeks: To balance two counterparts to an entire new app experience
Over last 3 weeks: To incorporate artificial intelligence
MY ROLE : UX Researcher & UX Designer
TIMEFRAME: June 4, 2018 - Aug 10, 2018
TEAM STYLE: Agile Scrum; 2 designers & 2 developers
TEAMMATES: Vi Nguyen (designer), James Lu (developer), Maanasa Ghantasala (developer)
TOOLS USED: RealTimeBoard, UX Lean Canvas, AEIOU, Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketch, InVision, Optimal Workshop, UserTesting, Google Forms, Survey Monkey, and PowerPoint
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: Move fast, make mistakes, iterate again, and everyone has a critical role to make it happen all over again!
Our given Problem
During the first week, the team and I were quickly introduced to the current problem held by one of Verizon Connect’s products. For confidentiality, our team renamed the application to Animal Dashing, and the product will be referenced as such.
As most products do at some point, Animal Dashing was losing user engagement and retention rates. Our team was tasked with increasing the engagement through personalization and improving the application’s experience.
In order to really understand the problem, every intern on the team spent time with the current version of the product.
Initial research & Ideation
Individually, the team looked at the current application with these questions:
What exactly is this product?
What does the product offer?
Who uses this product?*
What do we (as users) think of this product?*
Where can the product improve?
*This information also came from research decks given by the company, along with our individual research
Along with research, everyone was tasked with coming up with ideas - including the developers! In total, the team generated about 30 different ideas.
I lead the team in a clustering method, similar to affinity mapping, in order to help categorize the ideas and to determine which ideas had the most merit.
This was the first time where I was the teammate with the most experience of the design process and had the opportunity to involve and teach others. It was especially rewarding to learn my teammates had fun along the way!
Narrowing Down & Validation
After consulting with our professional team leads, we considered their suggestions as well time constraints, skill limitations, and personal passion in order to narrow down our concepts. In the end, we selected two ideas that would be counterparts to each other to create one elaborate and elegant redesign of the current application.
In order to validate the two ideas, the team designers, myself and Vi, walked through a lean UX canvas. This also created basic scaffolding for our two concepts and would help guide us through the development.
As mentioned already, the team decided on two different concepts that would ultimately create one solution. One idea changed the current app’s structure from a static display to an interactive and dynamic feed; this idea was named Dynamic Dashboard. The other dealt with on-boarding, as we discovered users were having difficulty with the app and losing interest due to the lack of customization; this idea was named Personality Quiz.
This is how the name of the solution came to be. The Personality Quiz was heavily inspired by Nintendo’s Animal Crossing game, specifically when the character is asked questions in the beginning of the game to determine what their character looks like. The Dynamic Dashboard was inspired by social media feeds and the ever-constant update of information. Now if you combine the inspiration and names, you come out with: Animal Dashing. Even naming the project was a fun bonding moment for the team and we felt a very personal tie to the project throughout the rest of the internship.
Now let’s break down Dynamic Dashboard. To read more about Personality Quiz click this link.
Reimagining the application
We knew we wanted to change the structure of the application to something more dynamic, something constantly updated, and also something that called the user back to interact with. In order to properly restructure the app, we started the process by investigating the users and the organization of current app’s features.
User Empathy Research
In order to better understand our users and also to incorporate previous research from Verizon, I created an AEIOU analysis of the users. An AEIOU delves into the mind of the users at 5 different levels: Activities, Environment, Interactions, Objects, and User(s). To really gain insight, this method was used on every user individually. The other designer, Vi, participated in the analysis and helped complete a well-balanced amount of information for each user, all the while gaining empathy for each user as well. Together, we discovered there was about 5 main users with additional, minor outlier user groups. We utilized RealTimeBoard to cooperatively work on the analysis and to easily send the results to the in-house UX research team.
Organizing Content - Card sort
During our personal research into the current experience and the subsequent brainstorming, the team realized there were minor additions that could be made with a more dynamic version of the app. With forward thinking, we included easy-to-add features in our next step: card sorting.
Altogether, we had about 30 total features for our card sort. Optimal Workshop was utilized to send out an online, easy-to-fill form for participants; UserTesting was used to record their thoughts during their process. From the results, it was clear that users were expecting flexibility with navigating to content.
This was also an exciting time for myself and the professional UX team. It was the first time I was using Optimal Workshop while the UX team was trying to prove that a full version of Optimal Workshop (note: the team had full access with UserTesting already, which was very convenient to work with). So, in a way, I was able to experiment with a really helpful resource, while also supporting to improve the UX team’s resources for the long run. As I know it, they moved forward to a full version of Optimal Workshop.