Role in the team

Work with the strategy department in order to do some benchmarking, research on users, identify needs and behaviour patterns, lead ideation work- shops (both with client and internal) and create documentation focused on personas and respective user journeys. After that create high level concepts and wireframes and work with the assigned visual designer on the team to create the final mockups.

Challenge

Develop a concept for two native applications that work as companions of two products created by First Exchange and the Post Office, both prepaid cards, but one for travel purposes and another for domestic use.

Objectives

Create an effective full fledge concept, backed up by research, in order to prove to the client that the solution we were providing was the right one for their customers (current and future).

Research

The client provided us with a large amount of research that they had already done or paid for. After analysing such documentation we tried to get ahold of people who had used the prepaid cards as well as the Post Office current apps and services. We did some interviews with them and actually tried to subscribe as well to the services as a normal client would. All of this this provided us with valuable data and a vital percep- tion of how it was to actually use this Post Office services.

Segmentation > Moodboard > Persona > User Journey > User stories

Based on the segmentation, I created some moodboards that could help the team have a better grasp over the users we were focusing on. Based on that and on all of the previous gathered data we defined the basis for our personas, the user journey(s) for each of them and finally the User Stories for each. Of course, this document was quite organic as it was constantly updated with more user data that we were able to gather or discover as we went along.

Best time of my life

In order to better translate the segmentation to the team I created two fake ads that conveyed the overall characteristics of the personas that were created within each of the segmens for each of the apps.

Hold on to dreams

Another segment was focused on people with serious concernous regarding money and budget manag- ing, on a truly vital dimension to their lifes and that of their children. But without wanting to be prisioners of it though. This fake ad focused on translating the scale of the emotial weight that such management (or lack of) has in the people who fit within this segment.

FROM IDEA TO CONCEPT, FROM WIREFRAME TO MOCKUP

After having a part of the concept defined and agreed with the client, a visual designer was assigned to the project. By joining the project at such an early stage it allowed me to work closely with him. Since I’m a visual designer as well we worked in quite an organic way, both of us ending up having a say and both making decisions on usability, interaction, navigation and visual language. To this day I hold this experience as an example of team work and how the overlap of some areas that exist in UX design and visual design can be used has an advantage rather than a point of possible conflict.

The role of the wireframes

Albeit being a bit reluctant to use hand drawn wireframes to make decisions the team did ended up loving the process (because they proved to be the fastest way to create, test and recreate)and using it even in reviews and meetings with the client (who loved the process as well).

Experimenting and failing fast to learn fast

Like mentioned before the team liked how the wireframes influenced the project flow so much that we decided to use them for the client reviews as well, even when we were on the early stages. As long as the right context would be explained and the expectations managed they proved to be quite a powerful way to convey the concept and the features, providing a low cost tool (in terms of time and budget) that was used to visualise and discuss the vision for the project. Their “quick to create and change” nature allowed us to move at a good pace, to not only fail fast, but also learn fast.

Understanding people

Having a good amount of documentation in what regards to data is always good, but it is always good to talk directly with real users as well. Since we didn’t had the resources to set proper interviews with a lot of real users, we interviewed some coworkers and even their friends and compared with the personas, selecting those who fit. These allowed us to pinpoint more accurately some pain points and suggestions like how to handle one of the app’s setup.

Anticipating technology adoption

Although the project started when the iPhone 5S was still being used by only a small percentage of mobile users, meaning biometrics were still not being used by the majority, we decided to include the technology anyway. The release date for the app was still undisclosed so we tried to predict that it would probably happen during the middle of the iPhone 6 cycle. As the iPhone 5S would become cheaper so would the technology become more widespread.