ROLE: Visuals, Interactions, Research
Team Lead, Visuals, Interaction
Role: Team Lead, Visuals, Interaction
DURATION: Spring 2019 (Feb - April)
June 2018 (3 weeks)
Duration: June 2018 (3 weeks)
People have difficulties organizing a time to meet up with friends in a casual or formal manner due to time constraints and scattered availability. Convene is a free platform which blends the intuitive UX aspects found in products like When2meet and Google Calendars. Convene is great to use for quick & casual meetups, but it's also useful for creating more formal kind of events. By designing a both compact and accessible interface, we feel that anyone can use it.
Mechmarket is an international shopping app for keyboard enthusiasts alike. For this project, we decided to use a goal-directed design method which revolves around focusing on our persona creation and goals. The MVP for this product was developed as a mobile based application rather than being web-based to showcase our mobile design skillset.
In Convene's design process, we opted for a goal-directed design approach that helped us move along through the timeline smoothly. Qualitative research methods proved to be the most effective during our design process, most notably our user interviews and usability testing sessions. Whenever we encounter an issue that we are trying to solve, it's smart to build a good foundation. In Convene's case, we did this by asking some generic but useful internal questions.
"Is there domain specific knowledge to know? "
"Who are our biggest competitors?"
"What are the challenges we will face moving forward?"
"What do our users need the most in a product like this?"
"Who is our primary audience?"
"Which users are most important?"
We used affinity mapping to identify not only the general scope of Convene, but to decide which direction we wanted to take the product. This was a form of brainstorming during our kickoff period that proved to be very helpful in setting up the foundation for the rest of our process.
We conducted a user questionnare to gauge event-planning impact on people in terms of convenience, as well as which part they played during the planning process itself. These arethe highlights of the insights we discovered when working through the questionnaire results and feedback.
Meet the Users
Lia Smith (19)
- Hard working
Ian Clark (24)
As much as Lia loves group projects in college (she doesn’t), she has a difficult time getting her group members to meet together outside of class to study. Rather than sending 20 text messages to figure out when everyone can meet, she would rather her group members respond with the times they are available. She needs something that doesn’t require much effort in order to get any response.
Ian claims to hate group projects, but people hate group projects because of people like Ian. He waits for someone to organize a meeting time to study with the group and doesn’t contribute to the conversation. Regardless, he needs an easy way to convey his availabilty to his group members in order for them to setup a meeting time.
Key Path Scenarios
Most of the time, products tend to usually just have one primary key path scenario. However, we identified two key path scenarios when using Convene. One the user will experience as while planning an event or get-together, and the other when participating an event that the user didn't create themselves.
The scope of the product allowed us to focus more on these two pathways as there aren't any notable validation scenarios other than entering a familiar settings screen.
We looked a several potential competing companies, and although non compete directly with Mechmarket, they can still infringe on the business' revenue & popularity. Mechmarket has the opportunity to capitalize on this bringing products from each company to create a one-stop shop without oversaturating the user's selection.
The majority of the features between competitiors were very similar, however the main differences that we noticed were:
– Easily Accessible vs Hard Accessibility
– Too Many Screens vs Simplified Interaction
– Bright / Distracting Interface vs
– Specialization of Products
Creating a Framework
To better understand how we would construct the core experience for Convene, we designed a user flow. This helped us focus more on the experience and needs of the user and less so on the details that we would solidify later on. It also allowed us to communicate the entries and exits more clearly so we would have a better understanding moving forward.
Working through a couple really preliminary sketches, we realized some of the ideas and layouts that we were thinking of just wouldn't work. Not only were we able to quickly communicate some of the ideas we had a hard time explaining to each other, but we were also able to take them and spark more discussions as well as quickly filter the good and bad ideas out.
Creating a higher fidelity but still fairly preliminary version of our wireframes, we were able to workout some of the technical issues that would not be viable in Convene, as well as tone down our "blue-sky" screens into more realisitic ones. It was important for us to start big and scale down so that we could work around the features that we really wanted to have, rather than working upwards and maybe missing something that would've been really cool to see as a user.
The first screen you see as a Convene user. By tapping the fingerprint on the screen, you begin to plan your meetup.
Here the user will name their event as well as add any details to it such as a photo, note, or location.
3. Pick a Day
The user may then select up to a seven day time-span for their participants to input their availability.
4. Select Free Time
You have the option to input when you are available before sending it out to your participants so they know the dates & times when you are free.
Before creating the event, you are given a summary of everything you've selected so far. This helps in reducing the need to recreate the event entirely if a mistake is made.
6. Availability Hub
The screen that both your participants and you see. Take the Convene link, and send it to your participants! As they input their availability, the screen updates in real-time to ensure an accurate reading at a glance.
Using matching playful tones of color with calm and relaxing white/blues, we were able to sell the identity of Convene as a playful, laid-back, intuitive application. We utilizated color sparingly throughout the app to convey which elements were interactable and should be paid attention to within the product. We also opted to use the typefaces Roboto and Karla within the interface as they played the pivotal role of matching the laid-back environment we had built in Convene's interface.
Convene as a concept is something that I feel society would greatly benefit from. The current options and tools out there to perform the same task don't cut it. The primary difficulty I had while designing this product was the task of creating a screen that could display up to a maximum of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for everyone. I feel that although there may be a better solution out there, we designed an experience that works well for most users.
REACH OUT TO ME!
Searching for a designer that shows passion in their work? Interested in working together? I'd love to hear from you!
© 2018 Joshua Lucas