ROLE: Research, Interactions
Team Lead, Visuals, Interaction
Role: Concept, Research, Visuals, UX
DURATION: Aug - Nov 2018
June 2018 (3 weeks)
Duration: Aug - Nov 2018
Mimic is a music discovery service that primarily allows for users to share their music taste with the press of a button. With current music applications, the data visualization and sharing of music taste aspects are either non-existent, very limited, or extremely outdated. Mimic aims to fix that by bridging the gap between potential playlist favorites and music enthusiasts themselves.
Zest is an app that helps users track their spices, herbs, and other seasonings digitally. It also serves as an information hub for spices so that users can use essential spice information, and cook with confidence.
1) Create easy-to-understand data visuals for
2) Explore artist's tracks and albums
3) Allow users to dive into the music they've
4) Bridge the gap between users sharing their
1) Incorporate a way for users to view owned spices digitally.
2) Create an interface capable of exploring spices endlessly.
3) Construct a detailed information page for each spice.
1) Design a cohesive interface for the familiar and unfamiliar user
2) Provide a seamless & linear purchasing process
3) Create a minimalistic UI while keeping products as the focus
4) Design a market without being it oversaturated
Our team opted to utilize elements of Lean UX in our project, allowing for quick iteration and clear productivity through the use of sprint cycles. This process relies heavily on teamwork and documentation, and with that it will drive the rest of the design process. Communication, collaboration, and iteration were the three main ingredients when creating our design solutions for the app.
Starting off, I asked myself a few initial questions. Who is our primary user? What kind of goals do they have? Why would someone want to use this application? Just how large of a scope do I want this project to be? After interviewing four participants to establish archetypes later on, it became evident that the goals they wanted to accomplish all fell within the same categories; finding out more about their listening habits & identifying more of the music they like.
Declaring our assumptions was imperative to the process because it would allow us to decipher what was actually accurate and what wasn't. We established a starting point where each team member had the ability to ask specific questions about our audience, issues that may arise, and how we might go about solving them.
Business Goals: How the business strives to succeed in the market
Users: Who is our audience? (Behavioral Archetypes, personas, etc.)
User Goals: What goals will the users want to accomplish when using the app?
Potential Features: How might we bridge the gap between our users and their goals?
User Testing & Observation
Our team interview a sample of four participants when conducting research during our first sprint cycle.
Apps as Organizational Tools
Using apps to track statistics and events in your life is common, and 50% of participants we interviewed agreed. They stated that they use at least one app to organize events, metrics, or to-do-lists daily.
"I use a TV and movie tracker app because I like being able to view the films I've seen and plan to see at an easy glance."
A Deeper Understanding
The database of spices is near endless. However, 75% of participants noted they had a decent understanding of a few spices already, but would like tyo furhter their knowledge of them.
"I'm familiar with onion/garlic powder, basil, and parsley, but I'm still curious to know what else is out there."
Hypothesis Statements / Backlog
After we pieced together our assumptions into hypothesis statements, we created a backlog of our work. Next, we prioritized them according to which statements had the most amount of risk and least amount of risk so that we could work on them first to either validate, or pivot towards another idea.
Meet the Users
Family: Single; 1 child
Family: Married; no children
Occupation: Project Manager
Rachel is a hard-working single mom and is looking to spice up her life with new recipes. However, her time is scarce due to working a full time job and taking care of her child, so she needs an easy way to find recipes she can use with the spices she already has.
Hal is systems engineer at a marketing automation business, but is a music enthusiast at heart. He loves to share what kind of music he listens to with his friends, but has a hard time finding an application that lets him easily do that.
Michael is a well-established project manager who loves to cook in his free time. He has an elaborate cabinet of spices and wants a way to view all of them in his phone at a glance. He also wants to be able to incorporate Zest into his cooking routine to create a different meal everytime.
Our team got together after our classes a few nights a week, and started to put our concept into form. It was good doing these in-person next to one another so we could quickly start talking about the pros, cons, and "what-ifs" of each sketch. It was interesting to see the differences between each of our ideas as this was essentially the first time we could see each members own interpretation of what they initially thought the app should look like.
Iconography in any application or design for that matter, is important. Zest is no different. Making use of iconography throughout our application is important as there is a lot of text on most screens. We wanted to use icons to breakup the text and give user's eyes a rest every now and then while still being able to convey the correct meaning and connotation.
Creating a platform to view a user's spices digitall was pivotal to our app. It's a stepping stone for users who want to bake Zest into a part of their cooking process, much like our persona, Michael.
With so many spices and herbs on this planet, it would be near impossible for someone to individually search for each one. We attempted to solve this issue by creating a browse feature with numerous filters and categories. With this, we beleive users will be able to find exactly what they are looking for.
The heart and soul of Zest; displaying each and every spice possible for users, and essential information for users to read. We wanted to create a short and concise area of the screen for users to utilize when learning about the spice, seperate from related recipe.
While our scrum master Nnenna spear-headed the prototyping of the Zest, our team gave vital information that would help direct the flow of the app and the fluidity going from screen to screen.
Using warm feeling and comfortable colors helped convey the feeling of comfort to our users in Zest. Shades of green, yellow, and orange are present almost everywhere throughout the world in some aspect, so it paired well with the idea of spices coming from everywhere across the globe.. The main typeface of choice for the app is Avenir. We wanted to select a sans-serif typeface that would bode well with the rounded edges within our interface, as well as the black/white contrast inside of the app.
Zest made me realize just how difficult it can be to produce an application that you know very little about. I had very little knowledge about spices coming into the project, so that became problematic when designing around a few screens. Luckily, our scrum master/team, Nnenna lead acted as somewhat of a SME (Subject Matter Expert) and was able to guide the direction of our process. This made me realize just how important it is to have somebody who knows A LOT about the subject of the app you are developing in order to create a well-rounded experience for both first-timers and veterans.
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© 2018 Joshua Lucas