From November 2020 to February 2021, I completed a full-time diploma in UX Design from BrainStation. During my time at BrainStation, I spent 10 weeks completing a capstone project from start to end. This is the case study details the process of creating my capstone project, called Intention.
In today's fast-paced world, we are tasked with juggling work, hobbies, personal pursuits, wellness, and much more. For my capstone, I wanted to create a digital solution that could provide support and help bring more balance into people's lives.
This capstone project was to be completed throughout the duration of the 10-week diploma program.
The capstone is the primary project of my course and was developed alongside the progression of curriculum content.
I was challenged to design a native app to reflect the increasing demand for digital tools. I selected the iOS platform.
In order to fully understand the scope of this problem, identify the core issues, and empathize with my users, I conducted interviews with individuals who have attempted to set and achieve personal goals. I interviewed 3 individuals about past successful and failed goals and what factors they think the main contributors were.
After analyzing all of the raw interview data I was able to pick out clear themes between all interviewees and draw insights.
Large scale goals are met when the user visualizes the destination and works towards it in small, daily chunks
Users stay accountable to their goals when they have others encouraging them.
Career based goals are successful due to the structure and incentive around them
Failure of personal goals causes negative reactions of guilt and embarrassment
When the research phase was concluded, I analyzed my data and created my two main personas.
Utilizing a persona allowed me to stay focused on my human-centered design approach, and ensure that the solutions were speaking to the needs and behaviours of my user.
In order to identify which features would be required of my solution, I created several possible user stories to imagine the actions that my user may take.
A user story follows the rubric: As a <user> I want to <ability or feature> so that <ability or feature>.
I determined that the two main user stories to be:
I see this solution helping individuals to better manage their personal goals, help users manage expectations, keep motivated, and celebrate wins along the way.
After some sketch ideation I determined the key features to be:
Later in the process, I would add on two more supplementary features:
When it came time to build the visual language of my product I determined the keywords that would define the personality of the product. I selected words such as intentional, supportive, consistent, reflective, inspiring, friendly, simple, light, and fun. I wanted to portray a brand feel that feels encouraging to use without feeling too silly in order to keep the attention of my personas.
To further refine the tone I developed the following boundaries:
I wanted to reduce the user’s cognitive load by utilizing Human Interface Guideline’s type styles in order for the content to feel familiar with Apple’s established model.
I then contrasted the sans serif structure with a whimsical serif typeface to be used for the wordmark and inspirational messaging to reiterate the friendly tone.
I created my initial wireframes and conducted user testing with 5 participants.
• The first version had the option to select the scale of the goal to accomplish, ranging from building a new skill to accomplishing a one-time task.
• Users found there to be too many options and were overwhelmed, so when I moved into mid-fi I paired the product down to it's core to focus on building longer and more significant goals.
• The initial set up form was a full page scroll of the questionaire which would ask introspective questions so then user can define their scope.
• Users found it to be overwhelming to see all the questions at once, and they also craved more guidance and frame of reference in order to properly answer the questions.
With my second round of testing done I was able to iron out the last areas of friction and was ready to apply colour in order to polish it into its final form.
This is the foundation of the product, ensuring that our persona Nina is investing her time into what matters most to her.
This addresses the pain point Nina experiences with losing motivation with her personal goals by ensuring that she understands at a deep level why she is choosing this pursuit and what benefit it will bring into her life.
This feature speaks to accountability which was a major factor to goal success that was expressed by all interviewees. By having a system in place to log positive actions towards a pursuit, the user can build new habits and keep their commitments front of mind.
I incorporated badge collection to help to gamify the product and increase the incentive to continue logging their time into the app. I believe that users would be encouraged to keep tracking in order to discover what new milestones they will achieve.
The last key component that I wanted to include for my users addresses the primary research insight of 'small steps down a long road'. By showing progress rings in the tracker and by detailing statistics of personal growth, the user can gain perspective of the bigger picture they are working towards and appreciate the effort that they have put in.
Expanding the product in a smartwatch interface would allow a user to have a quick glance at their trackers and log time into them with minimal effort and help them remember to log their progress. By having access to the app via their wrist, a user can log time in the moment and continuously reinforce that new behaviour.
I would continue the development by conduct research to identify what badges and milestones would keep users engaged and motivated. I would also build out the internal social networking feature in order to share and engage with your friends for added accountability and enjoyment.
A way to monetize the app would be via a paywall to increase features/customization and as personalized coaching. Users could have an initial meeting to assess a base level of needs and expectations, and the coach could recommend session amounts and work with the specific needs of each individual.
I learned how much I enjoyed conducting primary research. I found it very interesting how I crafted questions that I thought would give me the right answers but it was almost always in the unplanned questions where I got the more valuable insight.
The end to end process of UX design is not linear. It informs itself along the way and the early stages can always be worked on further, it is not simply done and forgotten as you move forward. I also learned that the answer is within the user and to trust the persona to guide you.
I would have started from a more specific user scenario to base my research on. I started from quite a wide generalization of ‘young professionals’ which made it hard to pinpoint specific needs and behaviours. It is easier to start from a narrow user field and then expand, rather than try to service too many different persona types at once.
Asset Credits: Noun Project, Unsplash, Freepik, Mockupworld