This project was completed for "UXD in Practice," a course in Kent State University's Master of Science in User Experience Design curriculum. The assignment was to take a fictitious app based on the To Do Reminder app and research how to improve its functionality and design. We called our version of the app ReminderX.
The assignment asked me to create a research proposal that identified the project goals, scope, timelines, research methods, responsibility matrix, costs, and deliverables, including personas, design tenets, mockups, and a list of suggested changes.
To begin, I downloaded the app and tested it's functionality. Once I was familiar with the app and it's capabilities I researched the other top rated app competitors, including todoist, Wunderlist, and Google Keep.
Next, I wanted to understand how people use to do apps, and what they liked and disliked about them. I conducted four in-person user interviews in which I asked a series of questions about the interviewee's to do app experiences.
After all interviews were completed, I reviewed the interview recordings, distilled them into an easily scannable Word document, and created a persona based on the interviewees.
Next, I used the affinity diagram method to group related interview results onto sticky notes; once I did this, a pattern emerged. I found that each interviewee wanted a way to quickly add information to their reminder app regardless of where they were located (walking down the street, at work, at home, in the car, etc). I observed that several people who used the same app on their phones and laptops throughout the day loved the ability to seamlessly switch between the two.
One of the participants used different apps for mobile and desktop. This was a serious pain point for her in that she felt she wasted time checking both devices to ensure she hadn't overlooked a to do item or reminder.
None of the interviewees used the ReminderX app (To Do Reminder app).
My recommendation was to develop an app that could be used seamlessly on desktop and mobile.
My research clearly showed the most important aspect of to do app use for users was a seamless desktop and mobile experience. Armed with this insight, I mapped out the mobile app's user flow for a variety of tasks, and ensured the the same flow could be used on the desktop app. I hand-sketched wireframes for the various tasks, and indicated the user flow on each. Below is an example of how a person would change a reminder date on the desktop app.
Because user flows and wireframes can be difficult to understand, I created a simple interactive mockup from higher fidelity wireframes that could help demonstrate how the app would operate. It can be found here.
What I learned
I truly enjoyed this entire process. Of note, I learned (and put into practice) how to conduct user interviews, how to craft quality questions that help get honest, accurate information (no leading questions!), and how important design tenets are to keeping a project on track.
Best of all, I was able to see work through the entire UX process. My favorite things about this project were working through problem solving, discovery (who doesn't love that aha moment?), and ultimately being a part of creating the best possible product for users.