PRODUCT: Low-Fidelity Prototype (Paper-Prototype) // MY ROLE: User Experience Design, User Research, Usability Testing // DURATION: 4 Weeks as a side project // TOOLS: Pen & Paper, Illustrator, // DATE: 2019
This project was part of the intensive course I did with CareerFoundry in 2019. It puts its main focus on User Research where the hypothesis and the process of pursuing the results are featured. It helped me to broaden my knowledge about UX tools and techniques.
Purpose and Context
The goal was to learn the design process focusing on Human-Centred Design and Design Thinking principles in a very short time.
Many people use apps to learn languages, but few of them stick to it – new excuses and distractions pop up constantly. The task was to find a way to motivate users to regularly occupy themselves with the language they want to learn.
In a short timeframe of 4 weeks, I was responsible for the user research, conducted user interviews and analysed the results. These results as a starting point I could create my user personas and user flows. With a feasible sitemap and sketching, I put together my wireframes as a low-fidelity prototype with the help of Prott.
Discover – Define – Ideate – Test
Discover & Define the Problem
Methods: Competitive Analysis // Problem Statement // User & Job Strories
What are my competitors selling?
At first, I had to look at the market and get an overview of existing vocabulary learning products. Therefore I carried out a quick competitor analysis.
What do my users need?
To get a better insight of the needs of my target group, I conducted interviews with three potential users. All participants had recently tried to learn a new language or planned to do so soon. Not all of them had experience with using vocabulary apps:
Using information from the interviews I conducted, I could define my proto-persona 'Karl' to represent the potential customer for my vocabulary app I wanted to create. I sorted the information in behaviours and action, needs and goals and generated user stories and job stories for him.
Methods: User Personas
Finally, I came up with a concrete problem Karl has when he tries to learn new languages and a hypothesis of how this might be solved with my app.
User flows helped to get a good idea about how a user might move through an app, I created several, always with my created persona in mind.Problem Statement: Karl needs to learn job-related terms and conversational language skills to be able to communicate with his employers and clients quickly.
Hypothesis: We believe that we can create a mobile app with short and playful lessons, which will help Karl to improve his foreign language skills and steadily, so he can feel more confident in his communication, vocational or privately.
Methods: User Flows // Wireframes & Prototypes
I determined the features and functions the app must have to verify the hypothesis statement and worked out in which order the user would execute them. I created user flows for the most important functions. User flows built the basis of the first draft from the upcoming sitemap.
By using only pen and paper, I sketched out the most important steps as screens in wireframes. Rapid Prototyping was an interesting method to try out ideas quickly.
Methods: Usability Testing
It's testing time!
To see if my Information architecture was right, I had to test it with real users. I formulated a test script and a testing plan and conducted a usability test with three participants.
This project ended with improvement according to the test results. Running the test in this early stages of the app helped me to make a course correction before moving on to further development.
What went well?
This project was great for seeing how valuable user interviews and usability testings are, as they are good tools to get great insights. I enjoyed being engaged with my users and watching them while they tried to fulfil the given tasks. Also sketching out the first paper wireframes was fun!
I needed a few attempts to visualize the user flows, since I had never done this before and not being experienced with using vocabulary apps myself. But going back to the competitive analysis was a good way to be aware of what my MVP needs, and to bring to mind the aspects a vocabulary learning app needs to be easy to use.
Feel free to play around with the low-fidelity prototype!
Thank you for reading!