Download a short PDF version here.
This is a case study about an iOS app concept for newcomers to Vancouver called New2Van created as a capstone project during my 10-week UX Design program from Juuly to September 2016 at RED Academy in Vancouver, BC.
My process included conducting interviews and online surveys, creating a persona and user flow, low-fidelity wireframes and a paper prototype, and finally, a clickable mid-fidelity prototype. The deliverables were created using Sketch and InVision.
The assignment was to create an app or website that touches on the topic:
How can we make Vancouver a better place?
Since I just came to Vancouver a few weeks before it was hard for me to know about any problems or pain points people might have here. But as someone new to this city, I felt a little lost when I was looking for information. Whether it was how to find a place to live, get a job or meet new people, I did not know where to start. That’s why I decided to create an iOS app for newcomers to Vancouver so that they can find all relevant information in one place to speed up their settlement process.
I started my research by checking websites/applications already available on the market.
The most popular websites and apps include: Moving2Canada, WelcomeBC, Tourism Vancouver, Hello BC and Meetup.
Surveys and interviews
I conducted 5 in-person interviews and received 5 responses to my online survey.
Based on the research data gathered, I created the following persona:
“As someone new to this city, I feel lost when looking for information on how to get started here, how to find a place to live, get a job or meet new people.”
“As a user, I want to easily browse available information in a central repository so that it takes less time.”
“As someone who values efficiency, I want the options to be easy to read and browse, so that I can review on the go.”
First step: affinity diagram of features sorted into Quick wins, Major projects, Fill-ins & Reconsider.
Second step: sorting each pile into Must have, Nice to have & Not needed for now.
I developed the user flow to improve the understanding of my users’ needs and to create a user-centered application.
Create an app that accomplishes the following:
To develop one cohesive vision of how New2Van was going to look, I created wireframes and tested them as paper prototypes on my fellow students.
Below are the quick sketches of my first concept development. The screens show the user onboarding process of the app.
My prototype from paper to hi-fidelity
Experience the live prototype here: invis.io/WX8CZBWY3
I was testing one specific user flow for the New2Van app. The “Resources” feature allows the user to find different sources to relevant information on a specific topic.
The key point is that the user understands the navigation since the app has a minimalist design.
The user is looking for job. She is using the New2Van app trying to find a website or app where she can find job listings.
After testing the prototype with several people I realized that there were a few spots in the app that needed optimizing.
Log In Screen
I decided to put less emphasis on the “Sign In” option since the goal was to get users to create a profile and go through the onboarding process.
Info screen after profile creation
used iOS HUD system elements for personalisation
Start screen of guide section
changed segmented control on top to navigation at the bottom
used iOS system elements for steps
During the user research process, I was genuinely surprised to see how many users completely ignored the hamburger menu. It was not as obvious of an affordance as I thought, so I converted it to text-based icons. This tested to be much more effective with users.
Some users wanted to click on screens that are only meant to display information for a short period of time to give the user feedback, like “You've successfully signed in”.
Research and usability testing are in my opinion the most important parts of creating an awesome user experience.
While the whole project was a huge learning experience, I especially loved doing research, iterating on designs and testing those new designs on users. This tight feedback loop helped take ambiguity out of my designs, and it felt good to produce designs with the confidence that users would enjoy and understand it.
Stefan Rauch - UX Instructor at RED Academy