Brief

 

CLIENT:
CNN

TEAM:
3 members

DURATION:
3 weeks

TARGET DEVICE:
Android and iOS mobile app

TOOLS:
Sketch, InVision, Zeplin

DELIVERABLES:
Sketch files, InVision prototype,
style guide

MY ROLE:
Evaluate the existing Oros mobile application, conduct a comparative analysis of similar apps, administer user testing of existing application, synthesize user testing data, hand sketch ideas for new screens and features, redesign the home screen, create wireframes in Sketch, create clickable prototype in InVision, refine visual designs.

 
 
 

PROJECT OVERVIEW: 
Oros is a mobile application that allows users to ask and answer questions in real-time on any topic they desire.

The app officially launched in April 2018 and has over 5,000 users split between Android (70%) and iOS (30%). The goal of this project was to implement new features to increase user acquisition, engagement, and retention while updating the UI.

 

 

DESIGN JOURNEY

Because our team was working with an existing application, we were able to do three full rounds of usability testing and were constantly ideating throughout the duration of the project.

 
 
 

 

Research

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

The first thing our team did before starting our Oros redesign was download the current version of the app to get to know all of the features and flows. We then downloaded similar apps that featured question/answer functionalities and focused on two of them to complete a comparative analysis.

 
 

Apps compared: Quora, Reddit, and Oros

Findings: The apps all had similar functions, but Quora and Reddit both fostered a sense of community based on user profiles and the ability to upvote and downvote answers.

The main advantage that Oros had over the others (besides real-time answers) was an audience filter.

 

 

USABILITY TESTING - EXISTING OROS APP

Because Oros already had an existing app, our team decided to usability test the current version and see if anything was confusing to users or could be improved upon. 

We each tested it with 2 users between the ages of 20 and 29 (for a total of 6 users) and had them walk through the account registration process, ask a question, and give their general feedback on the feel of the app.

After our user interviews were completed, every team member wrote down the findings on individual Post-Its, which were color-coded to each interviewee.

 
 
 
 

The team then spent time grouping our findings based on similar pain points, questions, and feedback our users had.

 
 
 
 

Some of the trends we discovered through synthesizing our usability testing data showed us that:

  • The topic and occupation selection process was tedious

  • The terminology of the “All” and “My” tabs on the homepage were confusing and it was unclear to the users what they would find within each tab

  • Users don’t know who they’re talking to within the app so it was hard to trust answers from other people

  • It wasn't obvious what the filters in the “ask a question” screen were for

 

 

SWOT ANALYSIS

To dig even deeper into the improvements we could make with our Oros redesign, we decided to complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis on the current application and company to identify new opportunities that would help increase user retention.

 

We identified these new opportunities to be:

  • Improve user trust - Allow users to upvote comments

  • Improve UX and UI design - Create clearer calls to action

  • Clear navigation - Rename the “All” and “My” tabs to prevent further confusion with users

  • Visibility of community - Create user profile pages

  • Rewards system - Allow users to earn rewards through referral links (in future version)

  • Brand partnerships - Give brands the opportunity to offer discounts or coupons for users to try their product (in future version)


 

USER PERSONAS

After using affinity mapping to synthesize the data from our user interviews and completing our SWOT analysis, our team felt confident in creating two user personas for the project, with one being the question asker and the other being the question answerer. We would keep these personas in mind while we redesigned our app.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

USER FLOWS

To get a better understanding on where to focus our efforts, the team drew out two users flows: one for the user who asks a question and another for the user who answers a question. 

 
 
 
 

After creating a good visual of the user flow, we isolated the screens that needed the most work: topic selection, occupation selection, the homepage, and the "ask a question" page.

 

 

FEATURES

Now that we really understood the users we were designing for and had two personas in hand, we came up with our list of features using the MoSCoW (must, should, could, won't have) method.

 
 

We decided to prioritize the following:

  • Add a third tab for "all questions” on the homepage

  • Allow users to thumbs up/down answers

  • Create user profiles for better transparency

  • Better order and group the options within the topic and occupation screens for an easier sign-up process

  • Have the search bar query all questions on Oros

 

Designs

WIREFRAMES

 

With our feature prioritization list in hand, we split up the responsibility of creating wireframes and I focused primarily on the new homepage as well as adding the ability to follow and mute conversations.

 

MOCKUPS


ITERATIONS

 

One of the biggest challenges we faced was how to come up with terminology that users understood as well as adding new tabs to the homepage in order to create a better sense of community within the app.

 

In the original Oros app, the tabs on the homepage were named All and My.

All - A combination of all the questions the user has asked as well as been asked/answered.
My - A list containing just the questions asked by the user.
Private messages were mixed into both tabs.
 

Findings: Users were unsure of what the terminology meant and thought they would find all questions asked on Oros under the "All" tab.

 
 

For our first iteration, we renamed the tabs to My Answers and My Questions, moved private messages to their own screen, and added the new Community tab.

My Answers - Questions that the user was asked/had answered.
My Questions - Questions that the user had asked.
Community - All questions asked on Oros.
Private messages were moved to their own screen.

Findings: The terminology was still too confusing to users and they were unsure of what they would find in each tab.

 
 

For our second iteration, we renamed the tabs to Asked and Answer and added a Following tab so users could follow questions without having to answer them.

Asked - Questions that the user had asked.
Answer - Questions that the user had been selected to answer.
Following - After a user had followed a question, it would live under this tab.

Findings - Users had a much better understanding of what the terminology meant and where they could find content.

 

 
 

 

Conclusion

What went well during this project:

  • We were able to clearly align our goals with those of our client, which helped us manage priorities and ensure we were focusing on the right features

  • Our team was great at communicating with each other throughout the entire process and met on weekends to get ahead of deadlines

  • We were in constant communication with the client and received feedback in a timely manner in order to stay on target

  • We listened to each other well and asked for advice or help to meet the end goal

What didn't go so well during this project:

  • Overthinking certain choices led to delays

  • Consolidating our Sketch files was tedious, as we all used different font sizes and weights in different areas

  • We had to design for both Android and iPhone and worried that certain design choices wouldn't pass Apple's strict app store guidelines

If the project were to continue, the next steps would be to:

  • Add a referral program to help get more users into the app and reward existing ones

  • When a brand is mentioned, allow that brand to join the conversation and offer discounts or vouchers for users to try out their product or service

  • Create functionality for brands to send out marketing surveys to targeted groups

  • Utilize tools to automatically filter or block inappropriate content

 
 
 

Want to talk to me about this project or any of my other work?