Deliverable: Create an iOS App that helps create personas.
Role: UX Researcher, UX designer, UI Designer and iOS developer
Software: Xcode, Adobe XD, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator
Year: 2018 -2019
For my final university year project, i was tasked by a professor of Human Computer Interaction to design an app that can aid people in creating personas. Personas are commonly constructed during a user-centred design process. This project would design and build an app for creating personas. It would entail a careful analysis of the different kinds of personas that are used, undertaking user research and testing with user experience designers, designing and building the app.
The stakeholder for this project was Stephanie Wilson, the Professor of Human Computer Interaction at City University of London, who teaches master students.
She was both the stockholder and my mentor, giving me feedback, advice and analysing my work as i went along.
we had regular weekly meetings where I would report on the progress and would often email her for further advice and I kept a digital diary that she could access to keep up to date with my progress.
For this project I decided to focus on making the app for iPad, as i felt they were more practical and common for designers to use. Especially during meeting, as it's portable, making it easy for designers to make notes or draw up sketches.
For this project overall I used a user-centered design methodology. User-centered design is an iterative design process in which designers focus on the users and their needs in each phase of the design process. UCD calls for involving users throughout the design process via a variety of research and design techniques so as to create highly usable and accessible products for them.
For the coding aspect of this project, I was inspired by Agile methodology, particularly extreme programming. Even though this is a team based methodology, it helped me in the development of the persona app. This was because the requirements during the first stages of the project were still unclear and ideas were still in the infancy stage, and a lack of technical skills needed to be taken into consideration, meaning that requirements and designs would be subject to changing frequently.
The Agile methodology allows for a quick response and updates to feedback.
Before I began creating, I needed to further understand what personas are and how they are used both in the design industry and other scenarios. For this, I did a lot of literature reviews, looking at text books, online resources such as Nielsen Norman Group, Medium articles, or simple asking on various social networking apps..etc.
After gaining a better understanding of personas, I then researched software that is available for creating personas. There were no mobile apps available at the time but a few website applications. I then created a testing plan and decided to use these websites and conduct software Usability testing. For this i selected a group of people that fit within the apps target audience.
- A person who has worked in the UX/UI/Front End Developing industry.
- A student, specifically if they studied Human computer Interaction or Computer Science.
- A Business owners, as they would have had to think of personas when structuring their business and thinking of their target audience/market.
The test was recorded via camera and consisted of giving the testers a short questionnaire to know their understanding of personas before hand. Then for each of the websites i planned to test, I gave them a sheet with a scenario and the different personas I wanted to create. I then watched how they interacted with the websites and afterwards, I asked them follow up interview questions and gave them an UEQ (user experience questionnaire) to complete for each .
This testing method gave me various useful results and data that i could then use throughout my project, for example, one of the given via feedback was that people found some of the layouts too confusing and having too many navigation choices overloaded the users in not knowing exactly what they can do as it was too much.
I also did this testing method with my finished app for feedback on how to further improve.
The following use cases identify the user flow through the app and states all the feature needed.
Made on Axure RP
Hi Fi Wire-framing
Made with Adobe XD
After creating the finalised UX for the first version of the app, I then went on to coding. For this project I learning swift and Xcode from scratch and used both Udemy and Youtube as resources. I also utilised stack-overflow when i was stuck and needed answers to technical issues I couldn't understand.
Version 2 mockup
After submitting my project, I decided to play around and see how i could further improve the UX/UI of the app, thus creating version 2
TI wanted to create more ways to differentiate between personas, so included a project section. I also wanted Team working aspect included, such as sharing access to projects with team member and being able to work on it as a team.
Results and Reflection
There are many ways to improve this app! Some of the way include are:
- Users: more collaborative features such as user login and linking users as teams
- Accessibility: I hadn't fully though of potential accessibility issues such as colour contrast, text size issues
- Integrations: Integrating with other well known apps/software e.g. Slack, Mural, Calendar, Asana..etc
- iPad features: Having apple pen features, e.g to be able to sketch and write directly to the app.
- Customisability: Giving the user more customisable options such as colours, font ...etc
- Maybe the app would have been better as a web app, easier to access doesn't take up storage.