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.
1.3: Identifying Pain Points
The most important pain points I found were:
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
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:
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
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
Primary Research Questions
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
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.
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.