Overview

Project Directive

  • In under 100 days, deliver an Android application to the Google Play Store
  • Create a novel engagement model with opportunties to direct traffic back to the company’s primary money making application

My Role

UX research
Usability testing
Guide feature direction
Prototype, wireframe, design task flows

Phase 1

Brainstorming & Ideation

Prior to user research, I needed to generate project ideas. A brainstorming session with structured activities spurred creative thinking:

Activities

One Handed Paper Airplanes

Duration

10 Minutes

Desciption

Make a paper airplane using only one hand. It’s a fun way to get started and break people out of their shell.

Flip Assumptions

Duration

20 Minutes

Desciption

Write down as many assumptions as you have about your product. Then, flip those assumptions by listing out the opposite.

Affinity Diagram

Duration

30 Minutes

Desciption

Take the flipped assumptions and rate each on a one-to-seven scale as potential products using the the NUF scale (New, Useful, Feasible).

Key Discoveries

Vehicle care provided the ideal opportunity to link between new and existing products in the ecosystem.

Phase 2

Customer Interviews

I built mental model of users attitudes about vehicle care and evaulated their top concerns as car owners.

12 users participated in semi-structured user interviews from three distinct groups:

  1. Owned their first car for less than one year
  2. Owned vehicles for two to five years
  3. Owned vehicles for more than five years

Interview Questions

What stands out to you about driving off the lot with your new car?
What do you know now that you wish you knew before you bought your car?
What resources have you used to help you deal with issues that have come up with your car?
Have their been any situations where you’ve felt overwhelmed or underprepared?

Interview Takeaways

Car owners across groups have a range of vehicle knowledge (high, medium, low) and varying degrees of willingness to work on their own cars.
Electronic manuals are more helpful to new car owners while experienced car owners feel equally comfortable using either an electronic or glove box manual.
People feel very attached to their vehicles across all participant groups.

Phase 3

Generate Personas

I created two personas at opposite ends of the car knowledge spectrum.

Phase 4

Usability Testing

The Usability Test Plan Template at usability.gov provided a scaffolding to structure research efforts.

Usability test goals:

  • Establish a baseline of user performance
  • Evaluate navigation behavior
  • Assess comprehension of labels and app structure
  • Identify potential design concerns to be addressed in order to improve efficiency, productivity, and end-user satisfaction.

Test Objectives

1. Identify design inconsistencies within the UI.
2. Exercise the application under controlled test conditions with representative users.
3. Establish baseline user performance and user-satisfaction levels.

Methods

Task-based Scenarios

Users completed the following tasks during the usability test:

Create an account and explore the application’s homepage.
Imagine this coming winter will be your first time driving in snow. Locate information about how to winterize your car.
Find a list of challenges that will help you keep track of upcoming maintenance.
Indicate that you have just picked your car up from the garage and had its oil changed.

Post-test Questionnaire

Users responded to a series of Likert scale questions to share their perceived difficulty ratings, overall satisfaction, and confidence during their interactions. The Nielsen Norman Group’s guide to measuring perceived usability was a great survey design resource.

I thought there was too much inconsistency in this system.
I had to work hard to complete each of my tasks.
Overall, the app was easy to use.
I was able to successfully accomplish what I was asked to do.

Takeaways

Perceived usability of the application tended to increase following each design iteration
A key trend emerged for Question 3 (Overall, the app was easy to use.). From Round 1 to Round 3, the average ratings increased and served as a positive validation of design decisions.

Final Designs

Engaging 8-bit style UI supported gamification
Content supported persona’s maintenance goals
Variety of personalization options
Familiar Material Design navigation patterns

Outcomes

Over 5000 app downloads
App users enrolled in a company sponsored research program
Interaction pattern supported the implementation of more vehicle-based engagement models