BARLOW BOUND

This project I am currently working on with a client. Yes, their last name is Barlow. The goal of my client is to is to create a shuttle service that is more convenient and luxurious than other shuttle rides. While also being cheaper and more available - especially for families that live out of town. They understand that their biggest challenge would be to keep prices cheaper than other services. 

THE PROJECT

ABOUT

This project I am currently working on with a client. Yes, their last name is Barlow. The goal of my client is to is to create a shuttle service that is more convenient and luxurious than other shuttle rides. While also being cheaper and more available - especially for families that live out of town.

DURATION

Ongoing project since October 2020.

ROLE

My role in this project has included the following:

  • Research

  • Defining the Problem

  • Creating the design

  • Mockups

  • User Testing

  • Final Prototype

RESEARCH

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

I chose to evaluate the following pre-existing apps; Via, Uber and St. George Shutte. 

 

What I learned:

  • Rideshare apps like Uber and Via are meant for short distances.

  • Uber and Via are instant gratification - can be completed without planning. 

  • St. George Shuttle is meant for longer distances and must be planned ahead.

  • St. George Shuttle and Via have one main focus which is getting people to a destination. Uber though has branched out from just that feature by allowing for food pickup and drop off. 

SURVEYS

I sent out a survey to better understand users ridesharing app experiences. 

 

What I learned:

  • The thing people like most about ridesharing apps is the convenience.

  • Users rely on social media to connect with the friends and family that they wouldn’t get to see or talk to otherwise. 

  • Users found social media unfulfilling for a number of reasons including: waste of time, boring, politics, drama, superficial, negativity, etc... 

  • Most users either didn’t like how much time they spent on social media because it was a time waster, or thought that their time spent on social media was okay, if it was limited usage.

THE PROBLEM

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Create a ride-sharing app that is more convenient, easier to use, more enjoyable, and affordable.

USER PERSONAS

Adeena: Mother has split custody of her oldest child with her ex-husband. She lives in Salt Lake and her ex-husband lives in Hildale Utah. She doesn’t have the time to drive their daughter every other week to her father and would like to use a shuttle service. 

 

    Chad: started going to a university in Provo Utah. He wants to explore the state more with his sister. She is flying in from out of state and they would like to go to as many places as possible for the summer. 

 

    Luann: In her early 70s, Luann lives in St. George but likes to visit her children that live in Lehi Utah. She can’t drive herself anymore with the medication that she has to take.

FLOW CHART

CORE FEATURES

IDEATION

WIREFRAMES

We continued with Sprint process and completed the following steps:

        1. Lightning Demos

        2. Big Ideas

        3. Note Taking

        4. Doodling

        5. Crazy 8s

        6. Heat Map Vote

     

CONCEPT

Out of the three concepts created, the concept nicknamed the “Icebreaker App”, seemed the easiest to understand and had an incentive to get users more involved in the app. We liked the idea of showing the user their connection level and giving them options to strengthen their connection by sharing more information (other social media platforms).

PROTOTYPE

STORYBOARDING

Now that we had our Solution Concept decided upon, we moved to the next step. Each member of our group created a six-step user test flow. We voted on which flow we liked the most and used that flow to start our storyboarding.

 

We finished our storyboarding by mapping out every single screen that the user would need to go through to get to the end result. 

MOCKUP

Using Sketch to create each screen, we then used InVision to bring it all together for the prototype. You can view a video of the walk through HERE.

USER TESTING

1 HOUR MODERATE TEST

We did a 1-hour moderate test with 6 different users. This provided us qualitative data and gave us a more in-depth user perspective about the app. We gathered a lot of helpful information and were able to pinpoint where our users got confused or stuck. 

Positive:

  • Almost everyone understood the concept of the app and what it does.

  • Most felt like the app overall was easy to navigate and transitions were smooth.

  • People seemed to like the idea of what the app does. 

Negative:

  • Some people were still unsure of how friends/connections were populated. 

  • A number of people kept asking for more features. Which could mean that users felt like something was missing from the experience.

  • Even though we had text and descriptions on almost every screen people didn’t fully understand each task.

FINAL DESIGN

Based on the feedback that we had received from our user testing, we now had a better idea on how to improve the app. We performed the same Sprint process that we had used previously and voted on the following:

IMPROVED FEATURES:

REMINDER OF CORE FEATURES & GOALS

LINK TO PROTOTYPE/VIDEO

CONCLUSION

TAKE AWAY

Doing these Sprints helped me see how much bias I had in my own designs. I found it interesting to see things that I thought would be simple for people to understand, in fact, wasn’t easy to understand for all users. Also vise versa, There were things that I thought people would struggle with but didn’t. This process of using real people to test the prototypes gave true and honest feedback. We got to see instantly where the design was lacking and where it was succeeding. 

 

Also doing the Sprint 4 times made me appreciate my team. In this type of setting it allowed all of us to all pitch in ideas, everyone helped, and everyone contributed in an effective way. I didn’t feel like it was a competition on who had the best idea, it just felt like we were all trying to accomplish the same goal and I loved that. 

CHALLENGES

I think the overall biggest challenge about this semester long project was that we didn't do the Sprints exactly like the process said to do it. Having class only Tuesdays and Thursdays meant we had to take a minute each class time to, "get back in the groove" of doing the Sprint. I felt like we would have had better results if we had done in all in a week like the Sprint books says to do it. 

WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY

  • I felt like our UI design struggled. We should have put more effort into making all the designs look more cohesive and professional.

  • We did not put time into the branding. I think it could have helped the app feel more unified.

  • We should have done some research on who are target audience should have been. I feel like it we targeted young adults it could have been more successful.

  • There should have been more research into if and why users would use this app in the first place. 

  • To me our app just needed more time of all the members to focus on it and solve more questions that we had in general.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Sprint design process can be a very powerful tool and is a great resource for any UX designer. Doing the Sprint several times now, I know that it has helped me to think more critically and get into the mindset of how to approach everything from a user-focused perspective. It also showed me how to have more of a reason behind my design choices.

 

Overall it was a great learning experience and I enjoyed learning this style of solving big problems in a short amount of time. This is definitely something I will continue working on so that I can become a better UI/UX designer.