By Nadifa Aziza
Student ID: 20192699
1. Understanding The Problem
A. Initial Problem
Unilodge has heard a lot of dramas from students at college. Students would argue with their roommate whether or not to have the air conditioner on. Or students who often sleep early would complain when their roommate loves to work until late at night. As a result, clashes occur between roommates due to their incompatible personalities. Hence, we thought of questions like, “Why don’t we have the users set their roommate criteria?”. Perhaps, we can also align those who share similar habits with them.
B. Defining Our Goals
- Reduce conflicts within roommates
- Great housing experience complimenting study performance
- Maintain current users and expand the number of users
C. Questioning And Mapping To Gain Understanding
I am proposing to create an additional feature to the app, which will be called the “Unilodge finder”. This would enable users to find their perfect roommates, as well as apartments in one app!
- This is a design sprint activity that requires the designer to come up with a solution within a short time frame.
- To design a solution that has the same design language (Logo, font, colour palette, and other UI elements).
- Target users usually restricted in time, therefore the app needs to have a clear interface and simplified steps. Also, this group would prefer to see less text as possible.
2. Design Process
A. Sketching And Deciding
After having a clear understanding of the problem, it is time to conceptualize design through storyboarding. The first step is to sketch a number of solutions in response to the assumptions and questions above and highlight some good ideas, such as including reviews, messenger, map, images to represent text, and ‘this or that’ options.
Next, I need to decide on 6 main screens. I came up with two different user-flow and decided to pick the one below (which I believe is better).
Then I transfered the user flow into drawings of user interface screens.
After coming up with the first sketch (top), I realized that there are too many boxes of text. This may be a flaw to the app, remembering that our target users prefer visual elements over text. Therefore, I have revised the storyboard by utilizing the rating system (as seen on screen 4- personalization).
Some UI elements that have been adapted from the previous design include:
- Unilodge logo
- the red, black, and white colour palette
- bottom tab
- lined icons
- round edges
In order to provide the user with a better experience, I have applied a number of design principles, such as the highlights, proximity, contrast, enclosures, affordance, visual hierarchy, hick's law (drop-down menu), recognition over recall, to mention but a few. These design choices have helped me to create a clear interface.
C. User Testing
After conducting four user tests, I have discovered some flaws within the first attempt of the prototype. The aspects that I need to improve upon are:
- reconsider the right sizing of the text
- there are some missing elements (ie. the “send request” button)
- inconsistent button design
A. Final Solution
Here is how the final product looks like:
In response to the user testing result, I have improved my design to suit more to my user. This involves reorganising and modifying some elements, including:
- Replacing buttons on the bottom tab (adding the search, notification, and profile page)
- Reorganising some buttons to the side menu (events, marketplace, UniLodge finder)
In addition to this, I have also improved the look of the login page that seemed too boring. The new design adapts to the latest design trends that uses simple yet interesting illustration that suits the target audience of young audience.
B. Lesson Learned
Throughout the design process, I have learned a few alternatives to avoid using too many texts on screens for better readability, to maintain consistency throughout the designs, and to make a distinct characteristic to differentiate the clickable and the non-clickable elements.
If I had more time to complete the project, I would go a step further by continuing to develop more screens to demonstrate what will happen after both users agreed to be roommates. Perhaps, developing a contract between the two roommates, house rules, cleaning schedule, or even suggesting fun activities to do together with your roommates. I believe, such features would increase user engagement and encourage them to continue using the app.