case study

Design Process Behind Relocatly App

Overview

Relocatly is a new app that offers the support people need when they have to deal with a relocation. Although this app can’t make the move pain-free, it can help streamline two scenarios, when people are moving from their home, and when they arrive at a new location. I worked on user research, evaluation and perfect pixel during the product’s evolution.

Exploration

The question was: How can we make relocating easier and less stressful? To learn from people involved in the relocation process and find opportunities for improvements, I looked to research their needs. This study was performed with interviews focused on the participants perspective, allowing the individuals the opportunity to tell their stories in their own words. To ensure that the interviews were in accordance with the research question, the interviews were guided by open-ended questions about worries, wishes, and expectations.

Questionnaire

The interviews and transversal analysis unveiled a broad range of worries and needs, which I grouped into four categories: packing and unpacking boxes, searching help from your friends, and finding things to do in the new area. These categories were combined into two scenarios: when people are moving from home and when people arrive at a new place.

Ideation

For the ideation of the application, I used the analysis of interviews to brainstorm opportunities for a design innovation. I created a list of 15 insightful potential starting points defined as 'user goals'. For example: 'when moving, people need to create an inventory-list for sorting out items while packing', 'after moving, people need to search for activities in the new place (theatre, hiking, exhibitions)'…

To articulate opportunities, I created two different storyboards with both scenarios: 'moving from' and 'arrived at new place' to fix at the beginning the goals of my application.

Storyboard for Relocatly

For connecting the storyboards with my ideas for user needs, I made a paper prototype, hand-drawn, which showed the elements of a user interface focused on the concepts. In this phase, it was important to show the interactions, how they work in a defined flow, and find out which pieces needed to be swapped around. I wanted to be familiar with how to conduct these walkthroughs of my prototype, missing pieces or dead ends, because my goal was to conduct in-person and online evaluations in the next step.

Paper prototypes for Relocatly

Heuristics

This part of the design process was extremely important. It was time to receive immediate feedback and identify as many potential problems as possible. I asked to evaluate these early prototypes by tapping, scrolling, and swiping through them as in a real app. I recorded with a camera the interactions and thought processes and opinions as they went.

Heuristics for Relocatly App

Afterwards, I watched the video recording and mapped the evaluator’s thoughts and opinions to different Nielsen’s heuristic violations, writing as many violations for each heuristic as found in the video, and adding severity ratings between 0 and 4.

Based on these heuristic evaluations, I had to improve my prototypes with a list of concrete changes. There were some critical usability problems and I needed a deep study to evaluate them, but at the end of this phase, I was ready to review the design brief.

Prototyping

I started with a lo-fi concept. The main purpose was user testing, so I didn’t spend much time on details but on exploring the designs. Rather than be concerned about size of text or pixels, I wanted to find the best solution for usability trying different options without confusion.

Prototyoping Design for Relocatly

To validate the design, I used UserTesting.com. At first, I created two versions of my prototype to analyse the interaction or reactions to my A/B screens and waited for the videos from the participants of my tests.

User Testing for Relocatly

Perfect Pixel

Based on the results of my tests, I completed the changes making the prototype look very appealing. I finalised the design, optimising the interface and branding the functions. You can see more details about Relocatly’s design on my Behance.

Perfect Pixel for Relocatly

The video below shows all the functionalities and gestures.

Conclusion

The full idea here is not about building the best creative UI for the app. It is more about studying the UX processes and documenting the effect of UX on the interface and users’ choices. In the end, stakeholders approved the project and confirmed the designs were ready to move forward.

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