Unstoppable - Mobile app design for urban joggers

What was delivered?

 

Unstoppable is a mobile app design for joggers in urban area, keeping them from the annoying interruption by the red traffic lights

I worked as product manager, UX researcher, designed the prototype and user testing process.

 

How was it achieved?

Phase 1: Where everything starts - user group & problem space
Interviews | Affinity diagram | Task analysis | Comparative analysis

My team love jogging, and we heard complaints of urban joggers.

Urban joggers just run along the sidewalk to enjoy the city scene. We found that joggers hate to be stopped, which will affect their rhythm, their heartbeat, and their data. More importantly, joggers do care about their feeling of smoothly running flow!

During the process, we conducted semi-structured interviews and shared findings by affinity diagram and built our persona; we also conducted task analysis and competitive analysis to understand both about our users and about the market.

Target our problem, our user, our competitor, and dig deeper.


Phase 2: Design alternatives - How could the problem be solved, differently?
Brainstorming | Mindmap
 

We never started from the solution. We started from the problem and we brainstormed hard for divergent solutions using sticky notes, and mind maps (implemented by Xmind).

 
 

From all the different solutions in our design space, we focused on three of them according to our user feedbacks: Unstoppable, Urban Treadmill, and Zombie Run. Three different ideas focus on divergent ways of interaction, but all working towards satisfying the same user needs. We presented our alternatives in a poster session and to our users to get valuable feedbacks.

 

What design decisions are made here?

 

We love all our three designs, but which one should be carried on to next stage? More investigation with our target users are the key of decision. From their feedback, we made a matrix with the three alternatives, as well as different dimensions that will influence our decision making: Functionality, creativity, context-friendly, and feasibility. Check with their feedback:

 

Phase 3: Prototype - Draw it, define it, polish it, test it, and do that again
Paper prototyping | Wireframing | User journey map | UI design | Invision app

Even for the same idea, there would be different designs in logic and interfaces. Our team worked together to figure out the user journey and expected emotions. We started from lower fidelity prototypes, including paper ones, and then transformed into higher fidelity ones, with evaluation and iteration along the process.

 

 

 

 

Here's the user journey map with emotion changes:

Here's the high-fidelity prototype (after iteration) implemented by InVision.

 

Phase 4: Evaluation - simulation is the safe choice, and effective
Heuristic evaluation | Iterations | User testing
 

We conducted expert heuristics evaluation and user test for Unstoppable. For our design, we have two separated parts: the UI of the app, and the audio interaction (without interacting with the interface). Expert evaluation, on one hand, were responsible for testing the UI only. Users, on the other hand, tested both the UI and the audio interaction after the iteration according to the experts feedback.

We got valuable feedback from expert evaluation and relatively positive feedback from user testing. Several different parts are modified in the prototype through the iteration, the most important change is to add the list view and filter to the interface:

 
 

Challenge: how to test the before-and-after feedback, without safety concern?

 

No, we cannot let our users run on the real streets. I designed the following simulation for our testing (visual design inspired by Freepik)

 
 
 
 

In the post-testing interviews, we asked questions about the experience before and after using the app and satisfaction: satisfaction about the comfort of frequent and gradual change, continuously running, minimum speed, exercising needs, and overall experience. We disassemble the satisfaction into different dimensions so that we could locate the major factor of usability in a more accurate manner. 

 

Personal Insight

 
  • Start with problem, don't start with solution: we emphasized this approach during the whole process of the project that we refused to think about any fancy solution before dig deep enough to get the problem. And that's the only way to solve the problem isn't it?

  • Usability experts do not equal to domain experts: non-jogger experts had a hard time evaluating our prototype. It was not only a mobile application, it is a product for joggers who know what to expect. A screener for experts will make a difference.
  • Extension of the design: I thought about other potential use cases for the audio interaction for joggers, and training might be a promising opportunity where the rhythm could work as a smart coach. What about an unstoppable training experience?
  • Team work: we used Slack as our primary communication tool and worked closely together when we all had a tight schedule. I enjoyed my role of product manager to organize the meetings, moderate studies, set schedules, and make sure we met each checkpoints in high quality. 
 

What's more...Posters!

 

During the semester, we have two different poster sessions, one after brainstorming design alternatives, the other after the final phase 4. 

Enjoy this brand new running experience right in your city!