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Intention

A digital solution to set and remain accountable to personal goals.

Timeline: Nov 2020-Feb 2021
Role: Lead Product Designer
Tools: Sketch, InVision, Photoshop

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.

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Design Challenge & Constraints

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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.

With 92% percent of goals being abandoned contrasted with the $50B personal development market, there is a disconnect between the intention to pursue and the ability to execute.

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DESIGN CHALLENGE

How might we help driven young professionals set and remain accountable to their personal goals?

CONSTRAINTS

Time

This capstone project was to be completed throughout the duration of the 10-week diploma program.

Knowledge

The capstone is the primary project of my course and was developed alongside the progression of curriculum content.

Platform

I was challenged to design a native app to reflect the increasing demand for digital tools. I selected the iOS platform.

Understanding the problem space

Primary Research

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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.

By using this qualitative research method, I was able to gain an understanding of current habits and tools that individuals have when it comes to their goals.

Insights

After analyzing all of the raw interview data I was able to pick out clear themes between all interviewees and draw insights.

Small steps down
a long road

Large scale goals are met when the user visualizes the destination and works towards it in small, daily chunks

Accountability

Users stay accountable to their goals when they have others encouraging them.

Career Focus

Career based goals are successful due to the structure and incentive around them

Negative reaction
to failure

Failure of personal goals causes negative reactions of guilt and embarrassment

Understanding the User

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.

My primary persona is a driven individual who excels when she knows what is asked of her. She thrives in her career success because of the structure in place she can follow.
My secondary persona represents a self-directed freelancer who has a lot of ambition but doesn't always meet it with motivation. She lacks the structure to keep her wheels turning and wants to improve her discipline.
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User Stories & Task Flow

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:

‘As a goal-setter, I want to set the correct goal so that I know my effort will bring me my desired outcome’.

‘As a goal-setter, I want to track how much time I put towards a goal so that I can quantify my efforts and see my progress’.
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Opportunities & Ideation

Opportunities of Intervention

I see this solution helping individuals to better manage their personal goals, help users manage expectations, keep motivated, and celebrate wins along the way.

Key Features

After some sketch ideation I determined the key features to be:

• Set up a new goal with an introspective questionnaire
• Log time into the tracker

Later in the process, I would add on two more supplementary features:

• Collect progress and milestone badges
• View stats and progress metrics
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UI Design & Branding

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Brand Feel Inspiration

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:

more introverted than extroverted
more bright than subdued
more modern than classic
more fun than serious
more soft than sharp
more light than dark

Colour

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Blue for intellect and responsibility
Orange for motivation and enthusiasm
Blue-grey for a calm neutral
Dark grey to ground the palette

Typography

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.

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Prototyping & Testing

Wireframe Development

I created my initial wireframes and conducted user testing with 5 participants.

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• 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.

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Set Up Flow

• 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.

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Mid-Fi
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Hi-Fi Wireframe

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.

Feature 1 — Set up a new tracker

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.

The setup flow leads our user through an introspective questionnaire that is modeled after the popular 'SMART' goal-setting method.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based.
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Feature 2 — Log time into tracker

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.

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Feature 3 — Progress & Stats

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. 

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Next Steps

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Platform Expansion

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.

Next Steps

Feature Refinement

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.

Monetization

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.

Key Learnings

What I learned about myself

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.

What I learned about UX

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.

What I would have done differently

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.

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Asset Credits: Noun Project, Unsplash, Freepik, Mockupworld

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