Social Shopper App

This project was created as part of my MSc in User Experience Design at IADT and in association with Musgraves, the largest grocery wholesaler in Ireland. The brief was to create a digital solution to help older users (65+) have a more enjoyable experience when interacting with Musgraves’ supermarket chain SuperValu.

  • Primary User Research
  • Persona and Journey Map
  • Low and High fidelity wireframes
  • Functioning Prototype built in Figma
  • User Testing and Iteration

Problem Statement

By 2041, there will be 1.4 million people in the Republic of Ireland aged 65 and over, 3 times the levels there are now and accounting for 22% of the population. Yet this demographic is rarely targeted for within technology, even less designed for. As a consequence, older people can be wary of technology, not wanting to be made feel unable and unconvinced by their own ability. The key issue was how could technology improve their lives and how could I convince them that it would bring them value.

Primary Research

Primary research was conducted with a team of 4 people, each of us conducting accompanied shops with a senior citizen and customer of SuperValu. The research was then collated together and projects were developed individually. During this research I learned, contrary to my assumptions, the average participant was concerned more about convenience, getting in and out as quickly as possible and had no problem using the self-service checkout. Greatest value was placed on were around social connection and feeling independent. These concerns were intensified with the arrival of the global COVID-19 pandemic, where freedoms were especially restricted for over 65s but also parallel across other demographics.

2 quotes from user research around online shopping and the reason they shop at supervalu
Quotes from primary user testing – indicating the need to see the value in something in order to actively participate.

Universal Design

The app would also have to be designed to Universal Design principles and Inclusive Design principles at the fore. As older users generally need a friend or family member to introduce them to technology it was important to me that a user of any age would enjoy the app, if they are invested they are more likely to share it. The app would have to have appropriate language, the visual design would need to accommodate a variety of physical issues around ageing including poor eyesight, hearing and reduced short term memory.

accessibility principles around equitable use, flexibility and room for error.

Persona

From the research I created a persona called Marie. She is a basic smartphone users but loves to stay connected on WhatsApp and Facebook. Like many of her peers she is risk intolerant due to a lack of confidence of new things like technology which to an inclination for the familiar and more comfortable situations. If she makes an error it deters her greatly from trying again. But Marie is overall very positive, loves to be social and connect to other people and appreciates good quality and value.

Journey Map & Storyboards

Two journey maps were created, summarised below, showing the change in circumstance over the COVID 19 pandemic. However, both journeys highlighted some similar opportunities to design for older users and make their shopping experience more engaged.

Journey map of over 65 user pre COVID19 and Post COVID 19
storyboard for Ada using social shopper app
Storyboard for Ada and Social Shopper
storyboard for Marie using social shopper app
Storyboard for Marie using Social Shopper app.

Solution

Welcome to Social Shopper. Social Shopper connects you with family and friends to share favourite products and recommendations. You can split special offers, allowing you to get a great deal without food waste or extra expense.

I decide to create a social space based around shopping, that focused on finding a way to bring people together. An IBM study has shown that with older users, embracing platforms that they are already familiar with and creating integrated systems is the key to getting them comfortable with new tech. Over 65s also tend to be averse to risk, so being on a platform they already know removes some of the emotional barrier. Therefore I based Social Shopper around apps that I discovered my target users already engaged with regularly, like Facebook and WhatsApp.

A Unique Feature called Social Split

I also learned that with over 65s there are higher instances of malnutrition, partly due to a lack of variety in their diets. This again could be attributed to their risk aversion, but also arguably due to the lack of choice for smaller portions in shops as well as offers targeted solely at larger families.

My solution to this was the Social Split feature. This allows the user to take a special offer and split it with someone they know within their Social Shopper network. Both users get a deal on a product, without needing to over purchase. It also works well within the space of my stakeholders as the don’t need to change their current offers structure, Split offer can apply to any 3 for 2 or similar. Split Offer works not only for over 65s who are more inclined to try something when invested with a friend or family member, but also for anyone who lives alone, has a lower budget or finds it hard to try new things.

Prototype and Walkthrough

User Testing

The application was tested remotely with two over 65s users, options were limited due to lockdown and social distancing but the results were helpful for qualitative feedback. Both users were asked to under take 5 tasks around different features of the app, which they did using a live hi-fidelity Figma prototype. Both users completed all tasks, but feedback was given around the language on the menus, some inconsistencies in terminology. content hidden my scroll and the need for more in flow on boarding. However, the application concept was well received, with participant one, who had expressed a hatred of social media, being particularly excited about the concept of sharing ideas with her friends digitally.

Further Iterations

The app was further iterated on briefly, but future work would involved expanding the onboarding to provide greater in flow advice and guidance, and the expansion of extra features to remove cognitive load for the user when accessing the apps features.

For the full report on this project, please check out the presentation here.

RevLite for Revenue.ie

A PAYE customer-focused revenue app.

This research and design project was conducted as part of my MSc in User Experience Design at IADT with a team of two other students. The project brief was to redesign the Irish Revenue mobile experience to better suit the needs of PAYE customers. The result was RevLite, a tax onboarding application that reverses the current tax credit claim procedure by personalising the experience.

  • Primary User Research
  • Persona and Journey Map
  • Low and High fidelity wireframes
  • Functioning Prototype built in Figma
  • User Testing and Iteration

Problem Statement

Research conducted by Revenue as well as third party tax services indicates that almost 57% of Irish citizens are missing out on tax claims that they are entitled to. The current Revenue online experience is a web application which poorly adapts to mobile, and failed several heuristic analysis points on usability. I undertook a competitor analysis to highlight potential opportunities for an improved experience for Revenue users.

Observations

To back up my desk research, I conducted user research on the Revenue with 5 participants by asking them to perform a set of 5 tasks using a Think Aloud method. This allowed the chance to observe how the user navigated through the service, where they struggled and what they considered to be important. Using feedback from the 5 observations the team created affinity maps and coded transcripts in order pinpoint the key issues.

Survey

Our team also conducted an online survey with 103 participants, in which they were asked about their experience with tax, whether they actively engage with it and how they felt about Revenue services both online and offline. The three main issues that were highlighted were:

Problem 1: Difficult to discover entitlements.

“I could be eligible for something that I’m not taking advantage of, but I don’t really know to be honest.”

Problem 2: In app guidance and additional help

There’s a good chance if I was looking for something I would have to go through a couple to rule them out, that it’s not there.

Problem 3: In app features are not complete or usable.

There is a large amount of information on the website and it can be difficult to find what you need or some times to know what you need

The results of both the observation and the survey clearly indicated that the base level issue with Revenue is that the user themselves needs to know what tax they are entitled to and that the current system has little to no on-boarding to help them discover and ensure they are getting those entitlements. This led to the following Jobs To Be Done statement:

How might we streamline the tax credits claims procedure so that the user only see what is important to them?

Solution

Persona and User Journey

From the research and observations we developed a series of personas which I then collated in to one major persona, Jeff, that would help focus the solution. I also created a ‘to-be’ scenario and storyboard based on Jeff’s needs and goals and how we might solve them with the new Revenue app.

Design and Prototype

Once happy the personas I created a task flow for the screens we’d need to develop for the app. The focus was on an effective on boarding, one that would allow the user to take ownership of their taxes in a clear, step by step method. Based on this task flow the team created screen sketches for possible solutions and we settled on my 3 step tax summary onboarding.

Product Screens

The first screen of RevLite gives the user a brief introduction to the app and its intentions including introducing the features, language and support system.

Once logged in, the user is guided through a tax credit on boarding flow for that year. The majority of PAYE users use Revenue to claim tax credits, so the decision was to bring at least one of these claims right to the start of the app.

The app separates the tax claims in to three basic sections, Milestones, Your Family & Health and Jobs and Finances. In each of these steps it suggests possible tax credit claims, removing the need for the user to seek them out themselves.

The user is then given a tax summary of what they might be entitled to, building enthusiasm and reassuring the user that RevLite is there to help them claim everything they’ve earned.

Throughout the app the user is prompted with positive feedback, and guided using illustrations and clear typography. Illustrations for the prototype were gathered from undraw.io

RevLite includes a clear homepage where a user can access all the basic features of PAYE revenue without having to scroll or search.

The app also includes a tax summary for the past four years of earnings. This page would replicate some of the information contained in forms like a P60 but in a digital, interactive way rather than the traditional PDF.

User Testing

We conducted user testing with 7 participants aged between 21 and 30 years which we identified as our entry level PAYE audience. The tests were conducted in person over the course of one day, each session was approximately 30minutes and included a set of tasks to perform on the app and a post-test interview. The results of the test were largely positive and all users reported that this version of Revenue was much easier in terms of discover and explanation than the original Revenue experience. The tests led to some iterations of the prototype, mainly around clarity of language and hierarchy of information.

Second iteration to the app included separating out the tax credits on boarding section to three clean steps to ensure that the user has the time to take in each options. I also redesigned the dashboard to only show the most important information up front with a button to view more.

Deposify

Branding and website design for an Irish fin-tech.

Deposify approached Billion Studio to help them redefine their communications and visual identity to better converse with a more consumer-focused audience. I worked as key designer on this rebrand along side Billion’s creative director.

  • Visual identity
  • Brand strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Website Design
  • UX/UI for product
  • External communications

Problem Statement

Up to this point Deposify had been in start up mode, focusing on gathering investment to push their offering further. The Deposify product is a platform that connects landlords and property managers to their tenants, allowing them to store security deposits so that both parties have full visibility and meeting strict compliance obligations in the US market. The problem that Deposify were now having is that their communication was not speaking to the property owners or tenants and they were ready to have these customers come on board.

Research

Our first step was to create a new Customer Value Proposition for Deposify, one that would speak to their key audience. We began doing in-depth competitor analysis and holding a stakeholder workshop, identifying who the audience was and what messaging we really needed to get across to them. This resulted in the line, ‘Managing Security Deposits Just Got Easy.’

Solution

Building the entire brand around this line we created an identity that felt techy but also simple, honest and fun. We created custom icons that could be used across their communications and in app. Deposify wanted to keep their logo so we used the blue dot element to link it to the rest of their offering, again communication the all in one and easy process that the company offer.

Website redesign

The second part of the project was the design of a new website homepage which would quickly communicate their offering to property owners and residents. I began by creating a series of basic wireframes, which we reviewed and iterated upon with the client. The resulting site separated out Deposify’s communication in to their 2 main offerings, solutions around complexity of cash and the complexity of handling data.

UX/UI Dashboard

As part of our work for Deposify we also updated their product UI and improved some of their user experience. This included a dashboard that allowed the user to view their entire property portfolio in one place – providing information on any action that needs to take place, when and how. Other product features we designed included the residents information card, on boarding flow, FAQ sections and funds management.

Result

The rebrand and new site have allowed Deposify to catch the attention of a wider market, and at the end of 2019 led to them signing a multi-million dollar partnership with a large scale property insurance provider. Feedback from the communications I’ve created for them has been all round positive, establishing Deposify as a positive upstart in an otherwise innovation-hesitant market space.

Alertas from RexAgri

10 Hours to Boost an Agri Report App

Alertas is the first of a set of applications from Brazilian agriculture firm Velos. It connects with onboard machinery to report back to farm owners and managers on their equipment status and driver behaviour. Working as a freelancer, I was approached by the client’s developer who needed some guidance on improving the UI and user flow of the application. The budget and time constraints were tight, so the aim of the project was to supply suggestions for immediate change that they could then go on and develop further and test.

  • UX improvement
  • UI improvement
  • Branding refresh
  • App store icons
banner with 4 screens from rex agri application

Problem Statement

The current design of the app included all the functionality that the users needed but was not designed in a way that was clear how to use those functions. The top menu bar included three layers of filters, titles of equipment and problems were too long to be visible on the interface, colour was not being used strategically to quickly communicate problems that needed to be dealt with.

Challenges for me as a designer were firstly the 10 hour time limit but also the fact that I cannot speak Spanish. A quick online workshop with the client and developer helped me to understand the process and intention of the app better, in order to really pin point what was crucial to get across on this first page.

current rex agri app interface in spanish
Altertas app in its current form before design.

Research

The time frame of the project did not allow for any user research, but I did conduct some brief competitor analysis and stakeholder research. As this was more aligned with a UI design project I also created mood boards and proposals for updated branding and colour schemes which were then shared with the client.

mood boards and branding for all design

Sketches and Wireframes

Before creating digital prototypes I brained stormed with the developer and created some very rough sketches on how we could best utilise the layered filtering system for the report cards within the app. The decision was to separate out each key filter option (date, equipment and alert type) giving the user greater control over what information they wanted to see at any one time. I also redesigned the layout of the cards to ensure the full alert messaging could be seen at anyone time and in such away that would allow the company to scale the application over time.

loose sketches for app design
basic wireframes for app design

Final screens

alertas rex agri app welcome page

The project included giving Alertas a new identity and set of app icons that could be used for this app and the remaining 2 that would come later in the year. The RexAgri Alertas branding as it stood used a series of overlapping hexagons, which I kept but simplified to a very minimal, mechanical feel. The client requested using green both as a reference to Brazil and their agricultural business, so I selected a range of contemporary greens that would work well across their digital platforms.

alertas rex agri home screen with report cards

The new alert cards on the homepage have big clear titles using a set of icons that are repeated throughout the app. The filter options of date, equipment and type are brought to the bottom and now correctly labelled. Information in the cards is aligned left with number indicating amount of alerts on the right. The screen also includes a search bar to allow the user to easily search and filter for specific reports.

alertas rex agri filter by date pop up

Date selector now allows users to pick a date range, current app will only allow 1-2 days of reports. This gives user greater freedom to choose the information that they need.

alteras rex agri filter by card type pop up

The new design allows the user to filter the data on the home screen by two levels. The filter communicates more clearly how to sort the information on the homepage, including visually differentiating by card and row.

Food Inspirator

This was a fun quick project I did as a designer in Billion to help with a pitch for a well know Irish food service provider. The app is a concept for a new type of food delivery service where the user inputs a little about themselves and the app suggests specific meals for them to try from local restaurants. The users preferences would be learned over time and so the more the app is used the better the suggestions become.

Research and sketches

Personas

I started by doing some competitor research on current delivery app services including looking at reviews and feedback from users. From this research I created 3 very quick concept personas in order to visualise the types of users that might user our new food delivery app.

Sketches & Wireframes

I then went on to create quick sketches to ideate how the app might function, eventually landing on a tinder-like concept of showing single meals to a user who can then provide like/dislike feedback in order to build up a taste profile over time.

Product screens

Food Inspirator links in with local restaurants in your area to provide inspiration to users who are in the habit of ordering the same takeaway meals again and again and need a little inspiration.

The app starts by asking you the types of cusines you fancy at that moment.

It allows you to select preferences on flavour based on types of cusine you chose.

The app then intelligently searches among local restaurants to find specific meals that it thinks the user will enjoy. These suggestions get better over time as the user gives feedback on what they like, what they order and how often.

The app also allows the user to set a reminder to order for the following day, and will give them new suggestions and a whole new food experience.

‘Crackers’ – film poster

crackers

 

Poster I made for a fictional movie called ‘Crackers’ as part of a 1st year college project. The film is about a woman who talks to cereal box characters who influence her to perform a series of sabotage missions against a local farmer to prevent him from harvesting his crops.

The poster was created initially via acrylics, and brought in to Photoshop and Illustrator to digitalise.