Solution: Our team reimagined a conventional social practice that works well in the physical, co-located world and make it work digitally such that it spans time and place. We designed a gift-giving app based on contextual information through the users' current context in mood, health, and location. We wanted to cultivate an understanding and empathy towards users by envisioning new capabilities of today's smartphones.
I was responsible for the user experience and visual design of the mobile application. My responsibilities included developing personas, storyboards, wireframes, and the high fidelity mockups.
Project DetailsRole: UX and Visual Designer Project Type: Interaction Design Studio
Teammates: Raghav Anand, Nana Choi, Emily Su Platform: Mobile Tools: Sketch, InVision
Timeline: 4 weeks
Our Design Process
1. Researching User Goals
Our team created an ecosystem of various factors associated with gift-giving. Such factors include cultural, economical, and social aspects of life. A big factor we found was the heavy use and emphasis of instantaneous interactions based on social media. We found that users would likely to token gift-give in order to create connections between close friends and family and remind loved ones that we care about them.
2. Developing Personas
For this project, we were given two personas to keep in mind as we built our app.
Persona #1: DAISY
Daisy is works at a company located in Seattle. She has a big deadline coming up for one of her clients. Because of this, she has been stressed and has experienced a lack of sleep due to the amount of work she needs to finish.
Persona #2: JULIE
Julie is Daisy's mom and is currently living in Nevada. Since they don't live together, Julie often wonders how her daughter is doing and what she is up to. Julie wants to feel a bit more connected with Daisy and still share special moments together even though they are far apart.
3. Creating Scenarios
We created storyboards to get a sense of when the interaction for gift-giving could occur based on our personas and our user research goals. After iterating several ideas, we decided to focus on how gift-giving could impact people on a daily lives based on contextual factors. Contextual factors included the user's current weather, stress levels, location, and physical activity. These would be tracked through social media or health trackers (either connected through a phone app or Fitbit). These stories helped us uncover key user needs and goals.
OUR DESIGN APPROACH
Before moving on to low-fidelity digital prototypes, we first did a hand sketch of our mobile app. There were several things we kept in mind. First, we wanted to design a mobile application that would allow the user to accomplish the task (of either receiving or sending a gift) in the most efficient way possible. Therefore, we wanted to design a very simple and minimal interface while barring unnecessary features. Doing the hand sketches allowed us to organize and prioritize relevant information while getting rid of the unnecessary ones.
Developing User Empathy
After the hand sketches, we moved on to mid-fidelity wireframes. Here, we carefully considered each color as they have a big impact on human emotions. Since gift-giving is supposed to make people be in a good mood, we chose red and yellow as they are brighter colors that are somewhat playful and lighthearted. We avoided using darker colors (besides black text) as they may usually convey more negative emotions.
Since we are looking at context through social media (Facebook), we heavily borrowed their visual concepts of notifications and statuses. We also researched other mobile apps that use social media (Instagram, Venmo, Snapchat, etc) in order to hone in on our visual designs (when to use circles, boxes, rounded corners, etc.)
Sending a Gift
For our final high-fidelity wireframes, we refined many of the details we created in our mid-fidelity wireframes. We installed the basic notification systems and the i-phone settings as well.
The first part of the high-fi wireframes goes through the process of a user giving a gift to a family member. Through a notification bar that notifies the user their close one's real-time context situation, the user decides to give a small token gift. The process is very short and simple as the immediate gifts appear based on the context of their mood and activities. By selecting a gift, it allows them to go through the process of an immediate delivery, with the goal of making the person happier through a small gift.
Receiving a Gift
Continuing with our high-fidelity wireframes, we also designed from the end of a user receiving a gift.
Heavily influenced by the use of social media, we created ways so that the person who received a gift can thank the person back through several options (photo, for this case). This allows both users to be happy and let the other know how they feel about the gift.