Pillar is a start-up that helps moms and moms-to-be to overcome the hardships of pregnancy and motherhood by connecting women and allowing them to share their experiences with one another, thus creating a mentor-mentee relationship.
Our job was to create a way for pregnant women and moms to log and keep track of their thoughts and feelings. This feature had to be included into their existing app and linked to their other already existing features.
We began our research by doing a competitive analysis of the already existing apps for moms and pregnant women.
We found out that many of them were cluttered, hard to navigate and contained too many features.
In terms of focus, most of them were centered around information, sharing, socializing and progress trackers. In addition, their main target was pregnancy rather than the post-partum period.
Meeting with the Client
Our first meeting with the client helped us better understand their mission, the scope and the stage of the project was in. We discussed our role and the areas and features we would focus on.
The next step in our research was to conduct user interviews in order to better understand the needs, goals and pain-points of our target audience.
This was a challenging part of the process since we found out that not only a small number of moms and pregnant women actually have to deal with extraordinary hardships, but also that most of them are not particualrly interested in journaling and/or tracking their moods.
We did discover, however, that they do enjoy making note of certain moments and milestones during the perinatal period. In addition to this, most moms do seek support in small communities, namely friends, family, partners and other moms in the same position as them.
After synthesizing our findings we condensed them into our persona, Jess. We also created an experience map in order to explore Jess’ journey.
In preparation for our second meeting with our client we used the MoSCoW method in order to decide what features we would focus on and which ones we would exclude out of the MVP.
We decided to focus on Milestones/Moments, Moods, Notes and a Calendar. We thought we should provide tips and advice and develop a way of bridging the gap between these new features and the already existing ones.
On the other hand we decided not to focus on uploading pictures, ways of seeing other mom’s moments and posting comments.
We did a design studio with our client based on two different scenarios.
- Jess is a 2nd time mom that has a husband working all the time. She has doubts about being a good mother and she wants to be reassured but feels embarrassed to discuss it with anyone.
- Jess’ baby has started kicking and she wants to remember and share the first time it happened.
We did two rounds of ideation and fleshed out a few of our main features, mainly the timeline view, smileys as a way to input moods and milestones presets in order to encourage moms to record their important moments.
Before moving on to prototyping we created a user flow based on a scenario to explore how Jess could use the platform.
Paper prototype & Testing
With the user flow in mind we created some sketches on paper and made them into a prototype using InVision.
We gained some interesting insights from the user testing we conducted with the paper prototype. The main issue was related to privacy concerns, more specifically the privacy of the moments/milestones in relation with the suggested questions.
Some other insights included:
- Why mix negative with positive moments?
- Confusion with presets (due to lack of text)
- How does the emotion slider work?
- Option to Edit/Delete entries
Mid-fi Wireframes & Testing
We made changes based on the feedback we got from the user testing and created a set of digital wireframes and prototype.
To test our second iteration we headed to Spitalfields Market were we did guerrilla usability testing. We got really good feedback on the smileys, users liked the design of them and thought they were a good way to log their feelings. In addition to this, the Calendar tab received some good comments too since it was a good way to have an overview of all events and quickly find old entries. There were still some privacy concerns, however, regarding the questions and the moments/milestones. Users found it confusing that the latter were private but the former public.
We did another iteration in which we focused mainly on the privacy issue. We decided to split the moments and the questions into two different screens and only give users the option to ask a question after. This coupled with a line of text reassuring the user their information would be private seemed to have solved the issue.
In terms of visual design, we were provided with the brands own style guide so we stuck to their choice of typography and color scheme.
We looked at other apps and mood trackers in order to gain some inspiration. More specifically we researched apps that used smileys so as to better understand how we could incorporate them into the existing design and color scheme without being too disruptive, the numbers of smileys was also a matter that required some consideration, we decided to have 20 different smileys, split into 5 groups, in order to cover a wide range of moods without being too overwhelming. This influenced the amount of new colors we introduced.
With this in mind we created a series of mockups which were also based on our latest prototype iteration.
We received very good feedback from out client. They found the insights we gathered from our user research extremely helpful and they were positive about the design of the tracker and the inclusion of the smileys into the brand.
Based on our user research we thought of some points we thought the project could focus on while moving forward:
- Conduct usability testing of a product as a whole
- Add different types of moments such as Appointments
- Mood graph & Insights
- Images integration
- Develop features for partners/dads