Problem The two-member start-up company, Reminder Fx, created a basic iOS reminder and to-do list app. The founders were unsure how to differentiate themselves in the crowded market of reminder and to-do list apps.
With a business goal to be more than a generic reminder app, they needed insights to solve for unique user needs through intentional design. Three primary project needs surfaced:
Identify target users and their goals, motivations, and behaviors
Redesign to differentiate Reminder Fx among other reminder and to-do list apps
Test redesign with target users and refine interactions
My Role I served as a consultant, providing user experience research and design services to Reminder Fx. I analyzed competitors to better understand the domain. I asked questions and conducted activities that would help us understand user jobs, pains, and hoped for gains.
UX Disciplines: Strategy, Information Architecture, User Research, Usability, Interaction Design, Interface Design
Deliverables: User Interviews, Personas, Usability Testing, Wireframes, Prototypes
Approach I separated the project into two phases, Discovery Research and Design.
I conducted Contextual Inquiry Interviews and observed users of reminder and to-do list apps to understand user goals, motivations, and behaviors.
Who uses reminder and to-do list apps?
What problem do they need solved?
How do we solve that problem for them?
The research revealed key user actions related to setting reminders, responding to notifications, and collaborating with others to accomplish goals from a list. Affinity diagramming interview responses revealed themes about unmet user needs. Working with the founders, we discussed opportunities for Reminder Fx to be unique, distinct, and distinguishable from competitors.
The Interview findings resulted in a new Product Concept description: Connect to get more done together! Reminder Fx is an easy to use and sharable to-do list and reminder app for iOS. Reminder Fx combines your notes, calendar, reminders, and messaging in one digital location.
Persona A primary Persona was crafted from data collected during Discovery Research and served as a rallying point or both design and development.
Design Tenets I abstracted specific and actionable design tenets to guide the redesign of the app.
To-do list users need lists and reminders that fit into the context of a life shared with family and friends
When a list is shared with others, users may need to provide additional clarity surrounding to-do list items
A to-do list or reminder is only one element of a complex project or event
Discovery Research findings, Personas, and Design Tenets created a shared vision for Reminder Fx business, development, and design.
Customer journey pencil sketches illustrated design tenets and represent sketched wireframes used for usability testing.
Sketched Customer Journey
Regular communication with stakeholders included a sketched Customer Journey demonstrating how the app could uniquely meet unmet user needs. Sketches allowed me to work quickly, receiving feedback from the client and fellow designers. I used the revised sketches for Usability Testing.
Usability tests resulted in surprising insights regarding customer behavior and expectations. Users expected that the messaging in the app would show up in their text messages. The calendar integration was useful, but caused some confusion. Reminder Fx accesses the phone calendar function, but some users didn’t use the calendar function on their phone.. By providing a method for users to create a calendar event, Reminder Fx forced users to access their calendar.
Results Sketching allowed for quick, iterative design and test cycles. Shown is a selected set of screens made in Adobe XD and delivered to the client as a result of design/test cycles..
Lessons Learned Testing Reminder Fx with sketches was valuable for two reasons:
Saved time in communicating ideas to clients.
Created a ‘low-stakes’ environment for clients and test participants. For example, I handed usability test participants a pencil and ask them to draw suggested ideas directly on the prototype.
The project took 6 weeks, from start to final mockups delivered. Keeping fidelity as low as possible for as long as possible allowed for exploring user needs sufficiently before delivering final mockups.
I am a champion of the user, blending user needs with business goals. I study users to understand needs, motivations and behaviors through diverse research methods.
I explore design solutions from prototype to release, confirming or disproving assumptions with each iteration. My work informs technical implementation and uncovers opportunities for innovation and competitive advantage.
When I'm not collaborating on solving problems, I enjoy spending time with family and friends by investing in relationships, which usually involves something with food.