At the beginning of this year while I was still working in market research, I became interested in User Research and User Experience. Fast forward to the end of Q2 2018, I became a student on the User Experience Design Immersive (UXDI) Course at General Assembly (GA), London. This was the first of four projects that we undertook.
The task was to design an interactive prototype of a mobile application for my partner, Emily. We were paired up with our classmates, and we had to quiz our partner about their interests, and identify a problem that could be solved with the design of a simple mobile application.
Timeline: 5 days
Discover and Define: Understanding Emily
I started off with getting to know Emily to identify issues in her everyday life. I asked her about her daily routines, her interests, what she likes to do, and I found out that she loves to travel, and she often travels aboard for vacation with friends and families. So I dug deeper to learn more about her traveling experiences. I learned that her goal was to have an awesome experience and she doesn’t want to miss out a place, otherwise she would feel regretful, having travelled all the way to the destination. I also discovered that she finds it difficult to log her trips’ memories, and over time, it becomes hard for her to refer back to it.
After the user interview, I laid out all my findings into an affinity map to get a clear picture of Emily’s journey in detail stages, the actions she undertake at each stage, and her emotional reaction to each stage of the journey.
For better understanding, I recreated her journey above into an experience map. During the interview, she mentioned that her media (pictures and videos) are dispersed across multiple platforms, and she wants to be able to categorize it according to her experiences.
Based on those findings, I identified Emily’s problem as
Emily needs a way to store memories of her vacations in a streamed lined process as she can refer to the experience and share/recommend it to her friends, unlike going back to her social medias which are cluttered with other aspects/activities in her life.
Develop: Solutions to help Emily log her trips in a streamlined process.
During the ideation and solution stage, I came up with several ideas that could help Emily log her travel memories accordingly and in a simple way.
Some of the ideas I came up with were similar, but all of the ideas revolved around a core concept to compartmentalize Emily’s experiences according to her planned expectations of the trips and in a simple way. I defined simple as an elimination of the hassle that her plans, notes, pictures, and references are stored on several platforms — on WhatsApp chats, Instagram, Photos, Notes, and Pages.
As I was ideating some of the initial ideas, I got lost into focusing on the “streamlined process” and didn’t give much thought to “simplicity”. I thought of a travel log app which acts as a travel diary, an app that stores memories in a map form with voice detection so Emily can speak about her experience and it would be automatically logged into the itinerary. The first five ideas answer the same problem but their forms were not simple and easy enough, and it all still seemed to be complicated. But the sixth idea was a lightbulb solution, both function and form were the exact translations of what I had in mind for the app — I thought of creating a travel log app that acts as an all-in-one platform that functions live with the camera while she is on her travels.
Taking a step back to look at the big picture
After spending quite a lot of time on ideation, I then took a step back to see if the solution fits with the situation. I wrote the outcome statement and a storyboard to get a clear picture of how this mobile app will help tackle the issue.