Eventiv App: Case Study

Following the complete design process: empathizing with users, defining pain points, ideating solutions, creating wireframes and prototypes, testing and iterating on designs by applying foundational UX concepts like user-centered design, accessibility, and equity-focused design.

Stage 1: Empathize

1.1: User Research and Interview

“Eventiv” is an independent event app where users can send invitations, get reminders, and use it as a private social media. Both event hosts and guests are users of this product. I discovered the problem from the guest's perspective, thus I chose to focus on guest experience for this project. The app can be used “before”, “during”, “after” the event. I’ll focus this challenge on the “before” stage. The event can be of any type, for example: birthday, parties, ceremonies, weddings and so on. For this case study, I have choosen wedding as am example.

I conducted interviews with users, then distilled what I learned into actionable steps. I used the insights I discovered to identify pain points our users were experiencing. I entered our research with a set of assumptions, but those assumptions changed as I spoke to real people who deal with the topic I were researching.

1.2: Empathy Diagram

Here’s how the empathy map for Yael was filled out.

  • Step 1: A user name was added. User names help distinguish your empathy maps when you have to create a lot of them.
  • Step 2:The SAYS square was filled with verbatim quotes from Yael. This helps to capture the themes in the interview that relate to Yael's experience in attending weddings. Note how the focus is on challenges Yael faced.
  • Step 3: For the DOES square, Yael provided quite a bit of detail on what steps and actions they take during their visit in wedding. All those actions went in the DOES square.
  • Step 4: The THINKS square was filled out with what Yael was thinking. In this example, Yael expressed anger and frustration over the lack of information of guests. From that, it was concluded that Yael thinks there should be better way of knowing guests before arriving at the wedding.
  • Step 5: In the FEELS square, all the feelings Yael expresses are listed. The interview showed that Yael feels frustrated when he forgets to attend the wedding he was invited to. This makes it worse—given that Yael wants to attend the wedding on time and be there without getting bored.
  • 1.3: Identifying Pain Points

    The most important pain points I found were:

  • The apps are not colorful enough to be engaging.
  • Most users struggle to chat with guests because of no similar interests.
  • Users want the option to check for venue location and photos.
  • Non-native English speakers have trouble as they cannot understand the app.
  • The app needs to do more to engage users and get them excited about the big day, the app, and the wedding.
  • 1.4: Personas

    I used the information in personas to create designs that speak directly to users, like Emily or Altair. This ensures users have the best experience when using my product. It was clear that I would not only need to design an experience for the wedding couple, but also the wedding guest. The personas helped us to be intentional in our design and ensure that their unique goals were being met by our solution.

    1.5: User Stories

    One of the helpful way to undestand users is to create userstories. I have created a user story which is a fictional one sentence story from the persona's point of view to inspirea and inform design decisions.

    1.6: User Journey Map

    The user journey map helped me to think and feel like the user. To make sure my design will help the users, I need to put myself in the user's shoes. So I created a series of experiences a user has as they interact with my product based on their personas and stories.

    Stage 2: Define

    The research showed there was a strong preference for custom reminder setup, aesthetic of the app and get familiar with other guests before the wedding. The information we uncovered helped me realize I needed to do more to make the app aesthetic and minimal in design and include necessary features such as venue location, and more usable for non-native English speakers. Once I realized this, I had a clearer idea of how to move forward.

    2.1: Problem Statement

  • Emily is an introvert who needs to speak to guests before attending a wedding because she cannot start a conversation in the wedding directly.
  • Altair is a busy businessman who needs to attend the wedding on time because he mostly misses his friend’s wedding.
  • 2.2: Value Proposition

    For now, I am the only one who understands what my product has to offer, but I have to put myself in the mind of the users. As users don't know my product and they don't understand the value yet, I started builidng value propositions. I should be sure that I would not be designing something where some features aren't of strong need.

    After some research, I tried to answer the following questions:

  • What does my product do?
  • Why should the user care?

  • After I was able to answer these questions, I started building my value proposition by following these steps.

  • Step 1: Describing my product’s features and benefits by creating a list of all the great features and benefits of my product, big and small.
  • Step 2: Explaining the value of the product. Anything that can be identified as a value proposition needs to be beneficial to my users. Four categories of product values that were identified during user interviews: accessible, reliability, aesthetic and custom reminders. The giant list of features and benefits from step one is sorted into those four categories.
  • Step 3: Connecting these features and benefits with the needs of my users. The goal is to identify what’s truly valuable to the user and not just a cool feature that users didn’t ask for. To determine value, I took the personas that I’ve developed and paired each persona with a value proposition that meets their biggest pain point.
  • Step 4: Reviewing my official value proposition list. I narrowed my list down of lots of benefits and features by matching them with actual user needs. Then I reviewed the list of value propositions your product offers.
  • Stage 3: Ideate

    3.1: Design Ideation

    At this point, I started generating a broad set of ideas on a given topic without judging or evaluating them. I tried to come up with as many ideas as possible. My aim was to generate lots of ideas, even ones that may seem ridiculous at first. It toole me a significant amount of time but was also a lot of fun. I generated many possible solutions and ended up using one of my original ideas.

    3.2: Conducting Competitive Audit

    Here I assessed and compared the visual layout, login, accessibility, reminder, and check other guest features of the competitor app that are available to the users. My competitor products are application that helps to either plan an event like wedding or help guests to remind about the event. These applications differ in their visual layout and although they provide similar features to the users, they are different in their own way. It means that to activate and go through the feature is different in all the applications although the concept of the main functionality is the same.

    3.2: Brainstorming and Crazy Eight

    It was now time to start brainstorming for my problem statement. I used crazy eight design ideation technique as it generates a lot of ideas in a small amount of time with small sketches. This technique also forced me think outside the box as I have to come up with many ideas in a short timeframe, without judging them.

    Stage 4: Prototype

    4.1: Goal Statement

    Our Eventiv app will let users find the other guests which will affect how one guest will connect to other guests giving them the ability to connect and chat with other guests at the event. We will measure effectiveness by user reviews and the number of downloads.

    4.2: Design Principles

  • The product should be single source of truth for event information, guest list, posts and chats.
  • After accepting RSVP, all guests should have accesss to other guest profiles, posts and are able to communicate with them.
  • Prodcut should have minimal aesthetic, should be accessible and should be able to give intuitive experience.
  • 4.3: User Flow

    4.4: Digital Wireframe / Lo-fi Prototype

    To begin the process of creating digital wireframes, I pulled out my original paper wireframes and my research. I studied these materials to remind myself where I had decided to place my elements, and why. Next, I opened Figma and started a new project file.

    Then, I uploaded pictures of the paper wireframes into Figma to use them as a reference. Once the paper wireframes were uploaded, I created frames for the device I was designing for. Once I had the correct number of frames for my design, I added a layout grid to keep everything lined up accurately.

    Then, it was time to design. I began to create each of the elements in my paper wireframes. I started with buttons and icons. I pulled basic icons from free asset libraries, and used shapes, lines, and fills to create the remaining elements. After all of our elements were created, I began to place them into the design. I followed my paper wireframes as a model to make sure that I am aligning my digital wireframe with my previous design iterations and the insights I uncovered in my research. My design uses a hierarchy of information, bringing the most important information to the forefront. The importance of the information was based on the research I had completed earlier in the design cycle.

    Stage 5: Test

    5.1: Building a research plan

    Introduction

  • Title: Usability study of Eventiv App
  • Author: Ezio Thapaliya, Bachelor in CS, Google University
  • Stakeholders: Eventiv App CEO, customers and investors
  • Date: 12/17/2020
  • Project Background: I decided to create an independent event app where users can send invitations, get reminders, check stories, internal social media and so on. Both event hosts and guests are users of this product. I discovered the problem from the guest's perspective, thus I chose to focus on guest experience for this project. The app can be used “before”, “during”, “after” the event. I’ll focus this case study on the “before” stage.
  • Research Goals: I’d like to figure out whether it's easy or difficult when users try to complete the core tasks of the Eventiv app: Accept RSVP, chat with other users, check posts and profile.
  • Primary Research Questions

  • What can we learn from the users when they go through the process of accepting RSVP?
  • What can we learn from the users when they go through the process of chatting with other guests?
  • Is the app confusing at any point to the user?
  • Do users think the app is easy or difficult to use?
  • Are there more features that users would like to see included in the app?
  • KPIS

  • Time on task: How long does the user take to go through the feature?
  • Drop off rates: Does the user leave the app without going through the specific feature?
  • System Usability Scale: A questionnaire to evaluate customer feedback.
  • Methodology

  • Study Type: Unmoderated Usability Study
  • Location: Luxembourg, remote (participants will go through the usability study in their own homes)
  • Date: Sessions will take place between March 15-22
  • Details: 50 participants will go through the app features. Each participant will then complete a questionnaire on their experience privately. Each session will last for 15 minutes — the expected length of time to go through the features of the app.
  • Participants

  • Participants are anyone who has attended any kind of events.
  • They don’t have to be bride or bridegroom necessarily.
  • Members of the testing group need to reside in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
  • Participants can be of any gender, age will be recorded though. Among the participants, there should also be: 1 user of assistive technologies (keyboard, screen reader), 1 user with a visual impairment, 1 user with an auditory impairment, 1 user who isn’t fluent in English.
  • Incentive: a $25 amazon gift card.

  • 5.2: Conducting a usability test

    For testing my low-fi prototype, I did an usability study which is a research method that assesses how easy it is for participants to complete core tasks in a design. It helped me understand how real users interacted with my designs and how well my product meets their needs. I performed an unmoderated usability study.

    I anticipated observations that I might scan for and recorded them in the “Observations” column (Column A) of my note-taking spreadsheet. Then I used color-coding conventions to Categorize the observations for the note-taking spreadsheet.

    5.3: Gathering, organizing and reflecting on the data

    I used affinity diagram to organize data into groups with common themes or relationships. All of the observations from my research study participants were transferred onto individual sticky notes. For now, I did this digitally. In each sticky note I listed a single idea and observation from the participants. Then I clustered these observations into corresponding groups (similar observation group).

    5.3: Making insights from observations

  • Based on the theme that: for most users the app is useful, an insight is: users need more customizable options and people with similar interest.
  • Based on the theme that: most users were confused after accepting the RSVP, an insight is: users need to see some feedback from the app that where they are taken after confirmation.
  • Based on the theme that: most users had trouble sending messages to random users, an insight is: they need the app to sort out the users with similar interests.
  • Based on the theme that: most users thought that there are too many options in the guestbook section, an insight is: to remove many options or give clear labels to the options.
  • Stage 4A: Hi-Fi Prototype

    I validated my low-fi prototypes and I started working on the hi-fi prototypes. I prioritized the feedback and included and designed all the high priority features. Also, while choosing the colors, designing buttons, using hierarchy of typography - accessibility was considered.

  • Home screen and Before: The goal is to reduce cognitive load by reducing choices on interface and giving a very simple and minimal card layout. Before getting access to the app, user would be provided with a pop up to whether confirm or cancel the invitation. Accessibility is considered here by using icons with buttons. Only after accepting the invitation, user will be able to use the app else user will be logged out of the particular event.
  • Posts: Users will be able to create post, view, like and comment on other posts. If there is a very important information, hosts will also be able to pin the post.
  • Chats: I did not want to redesign the chat. I want to use the most common design that is used by common and popular messengers. With the common design, users would be already familiar with it.
  • Guests: In the guest screen, users would only be able to check the guests who have accepted the invitation. They will be able to filter them and also jump to their names directly using side scroll.
  • Stage 5A: Test Hi-Fi Prototype

    The same steps for testing that was done as I did for testing low fildelity prototype by building a research plan and executing an usability study. The intention of the test was to see if the design goals was met or not and to find the problems with wire-frames when they will interact with, in order to complete a specific task.

    Mistakes and What I learned

    I learned a lot during the whole process. I got to apply all the design steps and iterate on it. The process of coming up with a design system was a new experience. One of my mistake was that I found myself overanalyzing most details and realized early on that I was more effective breaking away and then reviewing my designs. Also, it would be better to define the problem as specific as possible at the beginning.

    While designing the app, I learned that the first ideas for the app are only the beginning of the process. Usability tests and peer feedback influence each iteration of the app. As time goes on and users continue to give feedback, future improvements will surface and become more clear, and the product will continue to get better. Moving forward, I would like to conduct another round of usability testing to validate whether the pain points my users experienced have been fully resolved. This would validate that all of the updates I made fully met the goals of the project.

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