KONNECT

A college 'Sprint 2.0' project, that was focused on creating an app with a cloud-based feature. We would complete a modified version of the Sprint process 4 times as follows:

        1. Create an app that solves a problem.

        2. Reiterate the process and improve the app.

        3. Add an additional feature to the app.

        4. Create an onboarding experience for the app.

 

Here is a downloadable PDF that has our entire documentation of the semester long project(s).

THE PROJECT

ABOUT

Groups were formed based on common interest. My group had in interest in social sharing

This leads us to the idea of addressing different issues concerning social media including; sharing music, images, or videos over the cloud, connecting with people socially, and creating meaningful/purposeful online interactions. 

DURATION

With each Sprint we took a "months" worth of class time to work on the project. Roughly 16 - 20 hours. 

ROLE

My group and I evenly split all tasks. We worked and collaborated on every part of the project including the design. The person with "extra" voting power was rotated each class day.

RESEARCH

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

We chose to evaluate the following pre-existing apps; IOS Memories, IOS Photos, Google Photos, 1-Second Everyday, Spotify, Mitene, and MeetMe.

 

What we learned:

  • The more easier and simple an app was at sharing things, the more effective it was. 

  • Not being able to collaborate on files felt like a missing experience. 

  • We would like our app to feel clean and focused. 

  • We didn’t want our final result to feel like a dating app.

SURVEYS

We sent out a survey to understand more about social media usage and what the main issues are for social media users. 

 

What we learned:

  • The most meaningful daily social interactions happen on a social media platform. 

  • 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.

DEFINING THE CHALLENGE

The first step in the Sprint 2.0 process is all about Defining the Challenge. We did research, analyses, charts, and surveys. The next thing we needed to do, for the Sprint process was to create a "How Might We" question. Create a goal of "In 2 Years Time" and then answer a "Can We" question.

We voted amongst our group and the results were:

HOW MIGHT WE SOLVE REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA?

IN 2 YEARS TIME, USERS ARE FOCUSED ON PURPOSEFUL ACTIONS AND MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS.

CAN WE SOLVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PROBLEM WITHOUT REINVENTING THE WHEEL?

FAILURE TO LAUNCH

Normally the next step would be “Mapping”, however at this point we were setting ourselves up for failure. We had gotten our Sprint question but had failed to narrow down the question enough to make it practical. It was still way too broad and too complicated. 

We scraped our last 3 steps and started over. The second go around for our Spring process proved to be much more conslusive and workable.

 

Our new results were:

HOW MIGHT WE CONNECT TWO PEOPLE BASED ON THEIR COMMANALITIES?

IN 2 YEARS TIME, WE WILL BE ABLE TO STRENGTHEN LOST CONNECTIONS & NEW CONNECTION. 

CAN WE CREATE A CONSISTENLY GOOD AND EFFORTLESS EXPERIENCE?

MAPPING

Konnet-Mapping-WhiteText.png

We took a user through a few possible steps of discovering about the app, how they would learn about the app, and how they would use the app before reaching our intended goal. 

We then placed highest voted “HMW” questions on this map. 

Our “USE" step got the most “HMW” questions. This helped us locate where we needed to focus most of our attention when producing solutions.

PRODUCE SOLUTIONS

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

     

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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. 

 

The feedback we received:

  • They didn’t know where the numbers were coming from.

  • People didn’t quite understand what they were supposed to do when the app showed them their friend connection.

  • That the wording made it feel like it was a dating app.

  • That it felt like the first 3 tasks were easy to understand and navigate through.

  • The word “connect” has different meanings which made it confusing.

TASK #2 - KONNECT 2.0

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:

HOW MIGHT WE GIVE USERS DATA & SUGGESTIONS BASED ON THEIR CONNECTIONS?

IN 2 YEARS TIME, PEOPLE WILL MAKE STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS BY ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING IN UNIQUE SUGGESTIONS.

CAN WE HAVE CONSISTENT UNIQUE SUGGESTIONS FOR USERS?

MAPPING

Again, we created a user flow starting with these steps; Discover, Learn, Use, and Goal. Most of our, “HMW” questions were centered around the “Use” step/category.

 

The "Use" step had the following: 

  • The user discovers something both they and a friend have in common

  • Looks at recommendation given by app

  • Sends invitation to friend

  • Adds the newly planned event to their schedule

PRODUCE SOLUTIONS

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

The concept we liked the most had the list of commonalities between two people put into categories.

After we completed Storyboarding we were ready to make our mockup.

THE PROTOTYPE

MOCKUP

We mocked up our Prototype in Invision: 

You can click HERE to view it. 

USER TESTING

USERTESTING.COM

This method allowed us for easy monitoring, in-depth feedback, and allowed us to control who our users were. Our test was taken by 5 people, and after watching their videos and reading their answers, here were the results:

 

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.

TASK #3 - ADDING A FEATURE

Our next process was focused on introducing a feature to our app. After discussion and research, we came to the conclusion of doing a game feature.  This game feature would allow friends to create and send quizzes to one another, and see results.

HOW MIGHT WE LEARN ABOUT THE USERS FROM GAMES WITHIN THE APP?

IN 2 YEARS TIME, USERS WILL MAKE MORE UNIQUE CONNECTIONS BY CONSTANTLY, AND OBLIVIOUSLY, ADDING INFORMATION THROUGH GAMES.

CAN WE ASK QUESTIONS/FORM GAMES THAT ARE BOTH FUN TO THE USERS AND HELPFUL TO US?

MAPPING

Again, we created a user flow for the following steps; Discover, Learn, Use, and Goal. 

 

The "Goal" step is where our focus was:

  • User creates a personal survey.

  • User sends survey to friend(s)

PRODUCE SOLUTIONS

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

The concept we liked the most told the user about quizzes in a suggestive format. It also had an option to create a quiz based off of pre-made template or based off of a friend’s quiz.

GAME FEATURE PROTOTYPE

STORYBOARDING

The team voted on the simplest flow for this feature because we felt that if a user can get in the habit of creating multiple quizzes, then we could gather a lot of data from them.  Also by keeping the task simple, the user doesn’t feel like we are asking too much of them.

MOCKUP

We mocked up our new feature in Invision: 

You can click HERE to view it. 

USER TESTING

GORILLA TESTING

For this Sprint, we did Gorilla Testing at UVU. This provided us with instant feedback and gave us data from both the everyday and the unexpected user.

 

The results were:

 

Positive:

  • Users felt like it was easy to complete tasks and navigate through.

  • Users really liked the idea of taking quizzes about their friends and creating their own quiz. 

  • A lot of positive feedback on being able to see results.

Negative:

  • The points at which the users struggled the most is when we were expecting them to read details. Almost every user skipped past anything that had more than one line of text.

  • A few people mentioned that they felt like the interface was too plain and boring.

  • Even though people liked the idea of this feature, some felt like it would get old fast. 

TASK #4 - ONBOARDING EXPERIENCE

Our final Sprint was focused on doing an onboarding experience for our app. After some debate and discussion we decided to use a text field at the top of the screen to help navigate users.

HOW MIGHT WE ACCOMMODATE QUICK LEARNERS/REPEAT USERS VS. SLOW LEARNERS/NEW USERS?

IN 2 YEARS TIME, THE USER WILL HAVE MADE STRONGER CONNECTIONS WITH FRIENDS THROUGH AN EASY TO UNDERSTAND PROCESS.

CAN WE WALK THE USERS THROUGH THE PROCESS QUICKLY AND SIMPLY WITHOUT LOSING UNDERSTANDING?

MAPPING

Again, we created a user flow for the following steps; Discover, Learn, Use, and Goal. 

 

The "Use" step is where our focus was:

  • Users make connection via onboarding process

  • Different possibilities are shown in app

PRODUCE SOLUTIONS

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

The concept we liked the most was focused on teaching the user only the first time they interact with something new.

ONBOARDING PROTOTYPE

STORYBOARDING

The team voted on the simplest flow for this feature because we felt that if a user can get in the habit of creating multiple quizzes, then we could gather a lot of data from them.  Also by keeping the task simple, the user doesn’t feel like we are asking too much of them.

MOCKUP

We mocked up our onboarding experience in Invision: 

You can click HERE to watch a video of it.

USER TESTING

GORILLA TESTING

For this Sprint, we again did Gorilla Testing at UVU. This provided us with instant feedback and gave us data from both the everyday and the unexpected user.

 

The results were:

 

Positive:

  • Users liked the interface and felt like the overall app seemed cohesive.

  • Those that took the time to read the onboarding prompts were more clear on what they were supposed to be doing. 

  • Users like the concept and the features of the app.

Negative:

  • Because the navigation text field at the top wasn’t created as a sticky header, almost every user scrolled past it and some didn’t see it at all.

  • The users got confused and lost because they didn’t read the onboarding prompts.

  • Users were expecting the directions to be “super” obvious and direct.

  • Users were confused on the setting’s page because they didn’t know what to do. They also thought the onboarding prompt was confusing because they thought that they had already allowed for Konnect to sync with their social media accounts. 

Konnect_Screens.jpg

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 it all in a week like how the Sprint books are layed out.

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.