Creating and publishing one’s own app to the marketplace is no easy task. With Zype’s app builder, we broke down the steps to get the most non-technical user through this process without giving them a migraine.
Zype’s app builder allows video businesses to create and customize their apps found on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV (and so on...) within a single flow. Our primary goal was for the most non-technical user to successfully submit their app to the marketplace without help from Customer Support.
Staying in close communication with our clients and our internal developers, we started with a pretty good idea of how they were manually creating apps from the Zype platform; it required skilled developers and did not seem fun, to say the least. Through a little card sorting and whiteboarding, we took these insights and logically grouped types of app customizations.
Prototyping and testing
With a prototype I created, we were looking to test how easy (or not) it was for our clients to get through this flow and stay motivated to continue to the end. We assumed breaking up the app customizations into digestible steps, while giving the user positive reenforcement by showing his/her progress would suffice, but we had to be sure.
Unfortunately in a start-up, user testing doesn't take quite as big of a priority over other tangible materials (although, arguably is more important). However, we decided it was worth the time for such a large launch, so I performed 3 user tests with coworkers and 3 with our clients.
One finding was that users weren’t confident their work was being saved as they moved through the process. To help a tad, we implemented a checkmark not only at every step, but next to every input field as well. In addition, if the platform is experiencing a lag, we added subtle but noticeable spinner with a "Saving settings" message.
We also noticed that users were having a difficult time choosing between the publish options at the end of the flow. Should they publish the app themselves or have Zype publish for them? To make it easier to decide, we broke up a few key considerations users care most about (difficulty, time to completion and cost) in an easy-to-compare visual.
The finishing touches
Once we felt we had a good MVP to go to market with, I added minimal but purposeful design elements including subtle colors to separate groups of content and green colors to indicate progress. I also snuck in some moments of delight with fun visuals and animations once a client successfully finishes the flow.
Despite a few development limitations we had to overcome (no fun without them, am I right?), we managed to create a simple, easy-to-navigate flow for the most non-technical users to successfully, and enjoyably, create custom apps.