- The concept was developed in a very drawn out Waterfall-ish cycle. It was passed-off from designer 3 times while at Deloitte and 2 HG designers (including myself). When I joined, user testing had only been done on VERY early iterations.
- A lot of scope, features and pages were trimmed, user testing was cut from the budget.
- Launch date was set to 2 months out from the time I joined, so I couldn’t delay the release with design changes.
- Executive management was becoming impatient that the functionality of the app had veered too far off from the “core functionality” of Healthgrades.
What I did:
- I ramped up and learned the project and it’s history/baggage quickly while building a relationship of trust with the Product Owner.
- I conducted a heuristic evaluation of the app in it’s current state, my findings and analysis were alarming. My findings indicated imminent failure of the app.
- When the development far along to be functionally tested, I required my cross-functional team (engineers, PO, QA) to take notes and observe during the user tests I conducted.
- The results of the user tests spoke for themselves, I didn’t have to spend much time advocating for a pivot, the team had seen first-hand how unusable the app was and galvanized to take action.
- We decided to use Google Ventures’ Design Sprint process in order to accommodate the need for a high-velocity pivot.
- I facilitated and participated in the Design Sprint to build a prototype that would address usability issues and consider the feedback from the executives.
- We conducted user tests with the new prototype and PoC.
- After Android Launch I shifted towards converting the existing iOS app, which hasn’t had a new release in over a year, to a refreshed UI and set up for parity.
Results of Android Pivot: (Ongoing, Beta Launch August 2017)
- Gained full support from executive management as the pivot successfully aligned with Healthgrades without having to throw out all development up until that point.
- POC was better-perceived by users and gave move forward confidence.
- Improved team mission clarity, communication, and velocity (including improved output and ownership from our distributed team in India).
- Minimal impact to existing functionality and maximum consumer value improvements.
- Post release: Initial data shows Android conversion rates well above benchmarks at 58.8% for organic traffic in Play Store. (There’s not enough data to show wether this will hold over time, but initial numbers are very promising)
Next Steps (future work):
- Analyze quantitative data on usage and behaviors on Android Beta, make recommendations.
- Conduct user interviews, surveys and other methods to gather qualitative data to better understand market fit and identify opportunities.
- Iterate, address UX debt and other concessions made to meet launch date, refine interactions and polish UI.
- Define appropriate features to A/B test for improved conversion and other business metrics.
- Integrate de-scoped functionality and design additional features to move the Android version out of Beta.
- Convert all screens to new UI and improve usability in incremental ways to accommodate faster development and release targeted for mid November 2017.
- Prototype and user test new interaction patterns.
- Plan strategy for the direction of the iOS version in regards to parity with Android and numerous changes in business requirements.
- Support developers, product owner and QA with assets, defining requirements and test planning.
Design Sprint Process:
These are a few screens designed after the prototype was tested, gathered feedback and iterated on based on many factors for the beta release.
Initially the goal was to bring the existing iOS app to parity with the Android beta release, but with changing business goals we decided not to bring in some of the features done in the Android app. I pitched to my Product Owner that instead of ditching any allocated development efforts, we refresh the iOS app with it’s current functionality with a UI reskin, improve usability and IA changes that would get us set up for (future) parity, but would also add value to the user. The following is a one to one screen conversion, currently in progress.
I was also responsible for the marketing materials, I created all the original assets for landing pages, icons and playstore graphics. I also art-directed subsequent assets needed.