Clue is the leading period, fertility and health tracking app. It lets people monitor their menstrual cycle, receive reminders about their period, PMS, & ovulation and track symptoms. Clue is based on science. It empowers users to take control and understand their health through reliable information and a unique experience.
Clue Connect is a simple and secure way for users to give information about their menstrual cycle to partners, friends and family – making it easier to connect with the important people in your life and open up the conversation about periods, fertility and health. Cycle sharing was the most requested feature since Clue launched in 2013.
Partner sharing was a feature already offered by our some of our competition. They usually offered a 'boyfriend mode', a single purpose screen to view a partner's cycle.
INITIAL QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH
Our competitors conducted several public polls on social media. According to them, the majority of people were only interested in sharing their cycle with their partner. Due to this, the scope of our project was initially set to build a partner sharing feature.
I started out by creating an email list of interested users by filtering the support database for everyone who previously messaged support about this feature. I also used the company's social media accounts to spread the word.
Having access to a list of around 90 interested users allowed us to filter leads using a screener, ensuring I would schedule user interviews with a diverse set of users. Staying in touch with users who requested this feature made the community feel engaged. It also allowed me to later conduct further quantitative research through surveys.
After around ten user interviews it became clear that users were actually quite interested in sharing their cycle with more people than just partners. People expressed diverse needs, ranging from teenage daughters wanting to share their cycle with their mother to people asking to share their cycle with close friends.
One example stood out to me specifically, a 12 year old girl. She and her friends were all using Clue to track their menstrual cycles and already did a regular sit-down where they would share their experiences of what was going on with their bodies.
VAlIDATING QUALITATIVE FINDINGS USING DATA
This made me question our initial plan of creating a partner sharing feature. I decided to send out a more detailed survey where people could choose from a large variety of sharing options they would be interested in. The results showed, that 81% of our users were in fact interested in sharing their cycle someone other than their partner. This could be a good friend, but also a sister or mother.
Using this insight I was able to convince the project lead to change the scope the project to a more general version of cycle sharing. I argued that this also presented a powerful growth opportunity for the company: we could use cycle sharing as a way to access a network effect. In addition to this, an open and inclusive approach to this feature presented an opportunity for us to strengthen our brand and to distinguish Clue from the competition.
We started off by sketching a couple of different user interfaces:
We then went on to create a couple of higher fidelity prototypes, to explore how different layouts would appear in real life.
We quickly realized that the our first idea, based on Clue's circular display of the cycle was inadequate for cycle sharing. Since cycle length varies significantly from person to person, a circle does a poor job of communicating exactly how many days away someone is in relation to the next phase of their cycle.
The horizontally scrolling version (depicted above on the right) did a better job of conveying both the current state of everyone's cycle, as well as making it as easy to plan ahead, by laying out people's cycle in relation to the date.
Our concern, however, was that people wouldn't realize that they could scroll along the timeline horizontally. We hence decided to user test this aspect of the design.
PROTOTYPING IN XCODE
We decided to create a basic prototype of the timeline in Xcode. Prototyping in native code allowed us to quickly iterate and explore the relatively complex interactions of the horizontal timeline.
We used that prototype to conduct user interviews with around five men and five women. They all immediately figured out the horizontally scrolling timeline and found the interface to be informative and clear. The men we interviewed said they would be interested in seeing their partner's cycle and the women confirmed our hypothesis of being interested in sharing with friends or family members.
We also prototyped features such as statistics and shared reminders. Shared reminders were well received by users but these features were ultimately removed from the scope of the MVP.
We handed off the project to the production team. They created a polished, production UI for iPhone & Android and coordinated the launch with marketing.
Clue Connect launched in September 2016 and is since being used by people around the world.