UX Immersion Course Project: Vela Weather App
Objective: I was tasked to create a beautifully displayed and easy to understand weather app for water sports aficionados.
Design Criteria: The app should look and feel like a viable product. It should include an Onboarding page, a way for the user to sign up, a profile area, a navigation menu, wind/wave/weather/algae reports in real-time and recommendations to help users stay safe.
Design Thinking Process: To design a weather app for a specific target audience, I had to begin with some exploratory research. I talked with a few friends I know who are serious outdoor enthusiast and may be potential users for this product. I became immersed in their world and began to understand their needs, desires and expectations. I was now able to develop a problem statement .
Competitive Research: Next I wanted to review other weather apps that were marketed towards fisherman, windsurfers, boaters, divers and other water sports enthusiast. This competitive analysis will help me understand what’s currently available to consumers and how "Vela" can improve and innovate.
Business Requirements Document: I then created a list of business requirements to help define business goals, customer needs and stakeholder concerns. These included a BRD executive summary to define the Target Audience, Competition and Risk Opportunity.
User Centered Design: In the inspirational phase of the Design Thinking Process, I will get closer to my potential users by conducting user research. I will observe their activities and pay close attention to what they think and feel when they plan outdoor adventures. As I become immersed in the world of boating and action sports, I begin to understand their needs, goals, behaviors and demographics.
User Point of View: With this user point of view I can now develop a Proto-persona, create a user story to help define the functions and solutions that "Vela" can offer. I created a user script and a user survey, and conducted interviews to help collect quantitative data.
Defining the UI: I created a Sitemap based on users needs. The iterative design journey begins by putting paper-to-pencil.
Low/Mid/High Fidelity wireframes: With the basic UI framework now in place, I begin to use prototyping tools like Balsamiq Mockups, Sketch and Powerpoint to inch closer to a viable and convincing UI experience.
Balsamiq Mockups 3
Powerpoint & Sketch
Design validation: For the first round of usability testing, I created a Test Plan and Test Script, then conducted in person moderated user testing and A/B Testing with test subjects. By analyzing the test results and feedback, I was able to gauge the users behavior and interaction with the prototype. I then made improvements to the prototype and had those reevaluated in additional rounds of usability testing.
User Research Analysis Goals
Affinity Map Clusters
Iterative design process: With each new version of the app the UI becomes more polished and capable. On the 4rd iteration of the prototype, I applied Gestalt Design Principles and Accessibility Guidelines to the UI. The Vela app is now one step closer to deployment.
Implementation: At this point it was time to organize the design documentation, create a Style Guide and Pattern Libraries, and prepare to handoff the project to the development team.