For my Human Interaction class at Northeastern, our teacher broke us into groups for our final class project. The assignment was to create an app that solves a problem - vague but so many possibilities.
My group came up with the idea for an app that would be able to help you find your missing items. BOOM! A solution to an everyday problem. At first we were calling it the Finder App.
Once we came up with an idea we had to conduct user research. Our research was based off of 6 different interviews with a diverse group of people (ranging from Americans to Chinese Nationals to different careers).
Based on this research we created a behavioral map and persona. Essentially, a behavior map lays out the different variables of behavior between two extreme poles of behavior. From there we identify similarities and patterns between the users and then we can come up with a persona.
Our persona, Ciri, was identified as a young working professional with a busy schedule and little time to be searching for her missing belongings. A persona is like an actual person, someone who you can put a face to, more importantly someone who would use our app. Once we got down all the aspects of her life (demographics, bio, behavior based off our behavior map), we identified her needs and goals.
Ciri's needs are that she always has her phone glued to her, she must always be aware of where she put her card holder with her credit cards inside, must carry her keys on her whenever she leaves the house, and must bring a purse to hold all her things. Her goals are to keep track of her items, have more free time, to remember where she put her items and to manage them better.
Our group conducted 5 usability tests to test our initial mobile design. The tasks included:
- Exploring usability of the login and homepage.
- Exploring the items page and adding items.
- Using "Quick Alerts".
- Lost credit card walk through.
- Analyzing the history page.
From the results we changed the following within our design:
- Changed color theme throughout the app.
- Added feedback to Quick Alerts, Add Items and Found My Credit.
- Changed Global Menu to link page to the Homepage.
- Added color to the history page and made it more concise.
- Added new screens for choice of icon color and item.
Our Final Design is made up of several more pages and 5 menu options including:
- Quick Alerts - Never leave your items behind
- My Items - Add and manage items you commonly misplace
- History - Gives a complete analysis of finding and losing your items.
- Find - Quickly find your missing items.
- Settings - Manage the app settings and logout.
My final thoughts on the final class project were that simpler is better, users crave feedback and that wording can make or break a user's understanding. What we (or I in this case) would do differently is to research more into potential users of the app and create more wireframes to demonstrate user flow. That being said I am happy I learned these lessons now and will carry them into the future.