Case study: UX design course project

This was a UX design project that was completed during a course offered through General Assembly in Chicago. The project following the basic process of UX design, resulting in an interactive prototype of a native mobile application: Vestigo is a mobile application that allows users to learn about history in their surroundings.

Research

I set out to solve a problem in a field I was interested in: History in my community. I had an initial assumption that users wanted to find historical information about sites they were already at.

I tested this assumption by conducting multiple user interviews. What I quickly found out was that users do not need help at the site. They need help finding the site in the first place.

Competitive analysis

After determining my problem I took a look at the competition out there. Similar apps have similar features, but most fall flat. Some don’t allow you to filter by topic area or the map functionality is hard to use. Often they included irrelevant things such as restaurants and shopping. After looking at the competition I was able to work out what my application could do differently.

Determining the MVP

To help determine my minimum viable product I conducted a feature prioritization exercise. I used a 2×2 matrix, keeping the axes very simple: Low to high effort and less to more desirable. This allowed me to choose the features that are most feasible while aligning with users’ needs.

User flow

Next was determining the flow the user takes through Vestigo. The central path shows the primary flow. This was an essential tool when creating wireframes and prototypes.

At this time I also created the site taxonomy and sitemap, using the results from open card sorts, performed with potential users.

Wireframing and early prototyping

With the user flow done I started a series of quick notebook sketches. Those were then turned into low-fidelity wireframes using Sketch. After working with the wireframes I created an interactive prototype in InVision.

Usability testing

Now armed with a clickable prototype, I conducted usability tests with users. This involved multiple tests where I asked potential users to complete a task in the app, using a mobile phone with the prototype in InVision.

I quickly determined several areas where I needed to iterate on my design, to solve most of the user’s roadblocks. For example, nearly all users were initially confused by my filtering system. A change to a “show only” toggle system solved the issue, as well as more direct labeling and visible navigation.

Final prototype

Finally I ended up with a conclusive prototype. Here is a link in InVision: https://invis.io/8RRAGFQ25SV