Visual Communication Emphasis
For my senior project, I redesigned an existing app called Amigoes to improve its usability and visual appeal (User Experience/User Interface Design). This included market research, information architecture, a sitemap, wireframes, and finally a clickable prototype of the main navigational pages.
Amigoes is intended to be used as a social media platform that helps people find and plan things to do in their area and get discounts on those things. There are three audiences that Amigoes appeals to:
- Consumers who are looking for things to do
- Businesses and events who are trying to be found by the public
- Influencers who are trying to find opportunities to create content for businesses
The current version of the app that is available for download has two separate “sides” and interfaces depending on whether you sign up as a business or a consumer. They have some similar tabs and navigation, but much of it is different depending on what type of account you have.
So far, despite many downloads, users had either give up partway through the sign-in process or lose interest once they had completed sign-up and had the chance to click around the app.
My own experience with the app was that the onboarding process was uninformative yet excessively long and intrusive, and the navigational pages were confusing and disorienting. It was hard to tell what features were available and why they would be relevant to me which would explain the lack of retention.
After taking the time to understand the owner’s vision and concerns for the app as well as its current infrastructure, I distilled it down to a few goals that we had discussed for the app:
- Make it more “addictive” and sharable/reminiscent of other social media platforms (descriptive words: cool, exciting, appealing to human nature)
- Make sign-up/onboarding less intimidating
- Appeal to each of the three audiences without cluttering up the interface with features irrelevant to some audiences.
To start, I researched and analyzed 20+ apps and websites that contained elements relevant to Amigoes and took notes on how I could apply principles that they used within the context of this app.
For example, I took inspiration from Fivvr’s sign-in page since it allows you to identify your intentions for using the app and can guide you through onboarding accordingly. This helped solve my problem of trying to appeal to too many audiences at once.
I also looked at how Instagram handled “professional” vs. consumer profiles. This is part of what lead me to decide to leave the option viewing business-related features as a sub option within anyone’s profile instead of having an entirely separate interface for businesses vs consumers and influencers.
Testing and Verification
Along the way, I asked those around me who were uninvolved in the app questions such as “what would you expect to find in this tab”? Or, “If you wanted to find your saved coupons, where would you go?” in order to verify that my design changes were effective and intuitive. The testing was successful.
This project was great experience for me in UX/UI design, which is the field that I would like to work in. While the scope of my project only reached as far as a clickable prototype, I will be working with the owner of Amigoes in the coming months to put the new design into production (with any changes that we find necessary along the way).
I spent approximately 45-50 hours on this project, broken down as follows:
5+ hours – Competitive analysis and understanding business goals
15 hours – Sitemap, wireframes, determining appropriate labels and icons for navigation
25 hours – final prototyping and design
The elements that I preserved from the original app were the background for the sign-in page, the illustrations on the sign-in page, the calendar module, and the search bar. Other than the 8 icons I custom designed, the icons are from a free database, and the stand-in photos are also from a free database (Pexels). I break this down in my video above.