UX Case Study | User-centered design process
Have you ever put off something important to do unimportant things, despite knowing it might have negative consequences?
If your answer is Yes, not worry, you’re not the only one. This act is what is known as
and approximately one-fifth of the adult population perceive themselves as being severe and chronic procrastinators.
Albeit not a psychiatric diagnosis, procrastination is highly associated with increased stress and anxiety. Regarding the situation, this App aims to give people the tools they need to cope with the tasks they are trying to avoid.
The challenge presented this time in the UX UI Design Ironhack’s Bootcamp was to translate the concept of wellness into a digital product for The National Wellness Institute, an organization excited to explore how they can leverage technology to help people live a healthier life.
- Scope: Design an MVP mobile application for people to enhance their well-being.
- Methodologies: Design Thinking, Lean.
- Individual Role: research, user flows, information arch., sketching, wireframing, UI, prototyping, testing.
- Timing: 2 weeks, one sprint each one.
High-level App goals
- The main user flow for the main feature.
- Setup profile and goals + Tracking progress.
With the brief in mind, the first step was to decide which sector of the health market we were going to focus on.
During the secondary research, it was found the direct relationship between anxiety and procrastination is one of the causes that generate more intense symptoms at an emotional and physiological level in people.
To go deeper into, we conducted 8 interviews focus on discovering the causes of anxiety/frustration in young adults (25–30) concerning time management and goal achievement, and we got several patterns:
Thanks to the interviews, we were also able to define the main Insight based on our user persona’s behavior;
The procrastination ‘doom loop’
Besides, we asked the interviewees if they finally faced the task (they do), and what methods they use to make it easier. Their answers gave us the key to thinking about solutions.
With all this information gathered, it was time to brainstorm possibilities. The four main ideas were subjected to concept testing with 7 users, who not only validated the idea but also provided valuable feedback for the implementation.
Before starting with the best-accepted idea, we studied who were the competitors and what they did, to give our product a differentiating value. We realized that the market’s apps simply offer the possibility of creating lists, adding pending tasks, and setting them on a calendar. This can be useful for improving organization and productivity, but that was not our user’s problem. Therefore, our app’s value proposition is:
Guide the person during the process of setting objectives trying to make him reflect, figure out, and understand why he is procrastinating, and how it will affect his well-being.
Translate the idea and the requirements into reality was a constant iteration process from low-fidelity sketches (to test concepts and the copy) to medium-fidelity wireframes (to check user flows and interaction), and finally to the high-fidelity prototype. The process below was carried out with all the screens:
One of the most controversial points was the definition of the main flow. During the first sprint, the focus was on creating an easy and intuitive process to add objectives without burdening the user with endless lists of tasks. However, in the second sprint, we realized that this flow should be more focused on emotions. To make an appropriate decision, the new user flow was tested by task-analysis with 7 users, and the result is shown later in the final prototype.
The other important point was the visual style. In the beginning, we decide on a style tile with blue colors and simple shapes:
But after carrying out a Microsoft Reaction Card, users gave values such as cold and inexpressive to our interface, and this wasn’t what we wanted to transmit.
The Creative core concept was inspired by a foam bath, we wanted to create a space of trust, something welcoming. That’s why we redefine the style tile, based on these concepts:
Transparency — warmth — fluidity — simplicity
And we did it! 5/7 users mentioned the words warm, comfortable, or reliable in the second MSC test, thanks to the new aesthetics:
The result of all the research, definition, and ideation is the creation of the app Why?. I suppose you’re wondering… Why the noun ‘Why’?
Simple: getting out of the procrastination ‘doom loop’ requires understanding why you’re putting something off.
- The new main user flow invites to reflect when they enter their goals, without doing so in an intrusive or too heavy way:
- The tasks are categorized according to the tools, location, time, and energy required so that they can be better filtered when choosing the next task:
- Develop alternative paths: error messages, empty screens…
- To synchronize with Google Calendar or other apps.
- Continue testing and iterating.
Personal conclusion & learnings
By using the Lean methodology and dividing the process into two sprints, I have realized how important it is to reflect before continuing, to review the decisions made, and if necessary, to pivot.
In my case, at the beginning of the second week (which should have served to implement new features), I reached a point where I didn't want to continue. I felt that the solution I was providing wasn’t 100% focused on solving the user’s problems. I was not creating a user-centered design, so to speak.
And even though taking a new direction took me a lot of time, now I’m happy with the result. And as I said, it’s important to embrace the error. At least, that’s Design Thinking: iteration and failing early to improve.