DATE: February 2017 – May 2017
TIMEFRAME: 3 months
BRIEF:Do UX research on a topic and create a UX solution for it.
TOOLS: Pen and paper, Skype, Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Invision, Powerpoint.
DELIVERABLES: Project proposal, persona, user flow, wireframes, sitemap, interactive prototype, Powerpoint presentation.
MY ROLE: User research, competitive analysis, wireframing, UI design, prototyping, usability testing, information architecture, user flows.
We were interested in researching the topic of accents, so we set out to ask people with accents about the problems or difficulties they had encountered with having an accent. We were being guided by the assumption that having an accent was something uncomfortable and that most people would want to change.
USER RESEARCH | AFFINITY MAPPING
USER PAIN POINTS AND GOALS
THE SLIGHT PIVOT | REDEFINING THIS PROBLEM
After user research, we needed to redefine this problem. We assumed it was all about having an accent and the discomfort that this situation might bring. But in the process of validating this assumption, we discover a key to this problem: it’s all about the where. The context. Understanding the environment that created the most pain for our users: the job arena.
So it wasn’t so much about having an accent in itself, but more about the fact that the accent was getting in the way of a very practical user goal and need: to land a job and to be good at it.
Julia is an international student who just arrived to Melbourne and wants to find a casual job as soon as possible. Her parents are paying for her tuition, but she needs to support herself while completing her Management and Commerce studies. She’s been looking at hospitality jobs because of their flexibility.
GOAL: She wants to find a job quickly and manage the lingo, so she doesn't look a like a rookie.
Sketches are very useful for materializing ideas, selecting the worthy ones for progression and defining an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). They also provide a fast, cheap and easy way to test an idea and spot potential issues. This sketch was used as a basis for a first run of usability tests, which generated a lot of input and necessary alterations.
In version No. 4 of this user flow, the diagram shows a happy path for a first time user. An important change that was introduced only after usability testing was that instead of forcing the user to sign up upfront, this whole user flow is designed to invite the user to sign up only after experiencing the app and seeing the real benefits of doing so.
In this exercise, we were sorting different categories of the app, like the English selector, the Industry selector and Settings, with 4 participants in individual sessions. The goal was to improve the labelling, and test the site information architecture.
First, the participants were given a bunch of cards to sort and organize by groups that made sense to them. Then the participants labelled each category accordingly. The idea was to see how people tend to group these words. We got some very interesting insights about labelling that we incorporated into the sitemap and navigation menus.
Annotating wireframes is a crucial part of communicating design alterations and the reasoning behind design decision to stakeholders and other members of the team. They are also incredibly useful for testing basic interactions, information hierarchy and validating assumptions.
We did various runs of usability testing at different stages of the wireframing and prototyping process. We created wireframes for our key screens and made them interactive in Invision.
Many improvements were made for this latest version of the prototype. The usability testing sessions that we did during various stages of the product development resulted in numerous design changes and redefinition of our MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Our goal was to make this a seamless, fun, unique way to improve an accent within the context of an industry, with the user always in mind.
As in all design process, this is an ongoing learning experience, both about our own product and the best way to fulfill that user need we had uncover during our UX research phase. We uncover very interesting insights during the research and development of this product, that are explained in further detail on our complete documentation. For a complete version please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.