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We created a new product to meet users needs.
In early 2015 we kicked off a meeting with the aim to update an existing product. Little did we know that this one hour meeting would lead us on such an interesting journey of product discovery. In the research process that followed we quickly came to the realisation that a entirely new solution was needed to meet our users needs. It was here ‘Trade’ came to fruition.
In this showcase I will touch on the ideas, research and conclusions that lead to the development of the Trade Android and iOS app.
The information in this case study are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the client. For confidential reasons these designs are a reinterpretation of the original.
The Trade app checks a phones specification and returns a competitive Trade price. If the price quoted is accepted a digital coupon is provided in app. The coupon can be redeemed at a local specified phone store. It’s a simple concept.
Technology ages so quickly these days it is hard to keep up to date. Most of us view our old phones as useless however with the Trade app it is possible to get money back for old phones.
The project has been on going since it kicked off in April 2015. As lead designer I contributed strongly to the product conception, experience strategy and design. During this project I produced all designs and deliverables.
To execute the product delivery a dedicated team was created to concentrate on the creation of an iOS and Android App. Our team consisted of a Project Manager, five Developers and I.
One of the most challenging aspects of the pivot was getting the broader steak holders to let go of the ideas of the old product and move forward with the new. We tackled this issue by including them in workshops and by having demos regularly. It was vital to communicate design thinking early.
The pressure was on to move fast and deliver a solution. Our team was tasked to produce an iOS and Android minimal viable product (MVP) in 3 months. The business was eager to test it’s viability so a hard deadline was set. This date coincided with an important conference where the product would be showcased.
The combination of a deadline, design needs, technical testing and usability testing meant I needed to get the experience pinned down in the first 5 weeks. Planning was essential. As a team we synced our strategies to create a phased approach for delivery. The overall ideal was to ‘do little well’.
To ensure we did little well we started by ensuring everyone involved was on the same page. A simple meeting fixed this. It also helped us to identify the risks and aligned the expectations of the project.
A lean UX approach was used. To assist this, workshops, sketching, rapid paper prototyping and design mock ups where used. These allowed us to demo concepts early. This proved to be effective for on boarding steak holders and gathering feedback.
Showing designs in advance also enabled effective collaboration between the design and development teams. Technical and functional issues we pinpointed and addressed quickly.
The involvement of the project manager and developers was very beneficial here. As it enabled the team to align. Development updated their approach on the backend to support the product moving forward. This was an outstanding assist to the project. It was an enjoyable and collaborative experience for all involved.
After the initial kick off meeting we jumped straight in to examining the product we had. The gap analysis between the existing product and the new requirements were vast. We began by breaking down the product into its fundamental parts to see what was working and what wasn’t. This is where workshops came into the fore. Several workshops helped us to shape and focus the Trade App. It was truly a inaugural part of the apps birth.
Within one specific workshop a few interesting conversations lead to a new idea. A few quick sketches later we pitched the concept to the management. They like it and immediately began checking if the idea could be a runner in the business world.
Amazingly within a few hours hard facts and figures confirmed the products potential viability. We pivoted and began working on a new product idea. Varies strategies and flows were explored.
As part of the discovery phase market research were gathered in collaboration with our business partners in the USA. This defined six archetypes. To support the design process this information was translated into personas.
For Phase One of the project we focused on supporting the goals for the personas of Melissa, Nathan and James.
Personas were constantly consulted throughout. They were used as a guide for design decisions, priorities, and to create empathy within the team.
Prototyping was used a lot during the design phase. It was utilised in many ways to explore lo-fi to hi-fi visuals and flows. This was the key to understanding the product. It gave us the power to be reactive to the needs of the users.
Flows were mapped out in simple sketches with pencil and paper. This enabled me to quickly prototyped them into interactive prototypes with software such as POP. This proved to be a great way to explore navigation and interactions. It also helped to illustrate animations to the frontend devs.
As the product took shape documentation and prototypes became more solid. Detailed Interactions and Transitions began to evolve. I worked closely with the iOS and Android devs here. Again these interactions grow from a simple form into more detailed Prototypes.