Duration: 2 weeks
Tools: Pencil & paper, sticky notes, Omnigraffle, Sketch, Zoom.us
Teammates: Devin Barich - Visual Design,
Paul Solis - User Research
Thriva is a mobile app that helps people who use supplements for wellness, performance and longevity.
The app offers features for storing digital versions of their supplement collection, setting up schedules for what to take and when, and providing reliable information. Having these resources grants the user more safety & clarity in their supplement taking while helping them reach their goals by staying on schedule.
When our team came on board, the Thriva prototype had been designed and was in development with a team in West Virginia.
The client had a few specific deliverables she wanted at the end of the project (a usability test plan with test documents) but gave us space to identify pain points and pitch solutions in each of our areas of expertise.
Once we sat down with the development team, we learned that they were basing many decisions on assumptions about what the users want and need to do. They had no data or strategy for making informed design choices.
As Interaction Designer, my ultimate goal was to outline the step-by-step process users take to complete the tasks that contribute to their health goals.
My strategy for doing this was to support the development of persona artifacts based on research so we can know which tasks are most important to users. Once we had prioritized the tasks, I would be able to outline the steps necessary to complete them and design missing screens to fill in the holes in the prototype for the developers to build efficiently.
It was important for the team to understand how similar features operate in other systems so we could make educated decisions for our users and personas.
Thriva has two main features in their MVP - adding supplements to a virtual cabinet, and setting up a routine for what to take and when. I researched how those functions are managed in four comparable apps and documented my findings.
Some apps broke the process into two distinct parts - Product Details, and Routine Details.
This made the process digestible and easy to follow.
Editing details triggered an overlay for that content.
This kept the user focused on the task at hand. Useful for users like Jennifer who wants things straightforward.
When the user receives a notification, they can snooze or skip the dose.
Brian needs to take supplements with his food, so snoozing until he eats is crucial.
Our researcher conducted 14 target user interviews - resulting in 2 distinct personas. One focused on wellness, one on performance.
As Interaction Designer, the personas were crucial - as they are the basis for all features and research focuses. We needed to make sure our design suggestions were always appropriate to the personas’ unique needs and desires as supplement takers.
Jennifer is a scrupulous consumer. She wants to find the best quality supplements at the best value. She is particular about what the puts in her body, so she needs to know the specific ingredients that are in her supplements. She likes to be organized and feel like she’s in on top of her health!
Brian loves his workout community. He needs a way to stay on top of what supplements are best in the industry. He needs to take his supplements according to his workout routine so he can perform at his best level. Making sure that the supplements he’s taking are safe is a primary concern since he’s become a dad.
I used these two personas’ unique needs, goals, and pain points to chart a visual of their experience.
This allowed our client to hone in on problems that Thriva can assist with and have a holistic view of all of the areas of improvement that exist.
Jennifer needs reliable retailers and brands with transparent information.
Thriva can provide this in the searching and product details features.
Staying on track is important and tedious for many supplement takers.
Thriva can step in and maintain the users’ routines for them by tracking all their supplement details.
Users reported losing motivation over time and difficulty getting back on track when their habits are disrupted.
There’s lots of room for improvement that Thriva can explore.
Writing context scenarios for the personas allowed us to explore the possibilities for Thriva to improve their lives and advocate for the best possible solutions.
Journey Map & Context Scenario Significance:
Filling out the personas with these extra details allow the entire team to see the world from the persona’s perspective and be able to put themselves in their shoes when making decisions on their behalf.
It also provided the data I was looking for to inform which features are most important and provide the largest impact on users’ supplement taking and health management success.
The development team needed the user paths mapped out so they could build screens and functionality for each step.
Based on the persona research, we identified three tasks as the most important for users to get started managing their supplement routine:
Searching & finding a supplement
Adding a supplement to their cabinet & setting up a routine
Deleting a supplement from their cabinet
The product the team was building was missing basic functionality that our research proved was important to the personas and users.
I listed out the steps to complete, then sketched out how the user would navigate through them so we all understood what it took for the user to complete the task of adding a product to their cabinet and setting up a routine for taking that supplement.
Once the steps were mapped out, we needed to design the screens to show the content and actions available on each page.
Some screens had already been designed for the prototype. These were used as a template for the new screens.
For handoff to the development team, I combined the screens and the task flows to create a document that maps out how the functionality and interaction of the features & screens.
The outcome of this project was a total shift in company priorities. The client realized how important thinking through tasks was for the development team and the future users. They committed to pausing development to prioritize another round of design in order to iron out more details to set up a solid foundation to grow from.
As a team member, I grew my ability to rely on teammates and my ability to communicate my needs and concerns. We were very successful in supporting each other in moments of confusion or stuck-ness.
As an interaction designer, I learned how detailed designs need to be to pass off to a development team. I learned to defer to them to communicate what assets they need to do a great job and to use that information to anticipate even deeper or more nuanced ways I can facilitate their process.
The developers were very pleased with the new documentation they received. Moving forward, it is imperative that we test the new screen flows against user expectations for alignment.
There are many other areas of the app to think through in a similar process so that all of the screens are planned out for the developers.