When Punit contacted me regarding designing their app, they already had a functional version online on Google Play. The main problem they had was that the UI looked very outdated and the user flow needed a lot of improvement. Additionally, they had several new features such as related videos and messaging that they planned to include in the new rollout.
The main audience for this app could be broadly identified as young to middle aged people of both genders in India, who are expecting to broaden their professional network. The audience can further be divided into two main groups:
The team at Kaushal Circle had already done extensive user research by the time I got involved in the project and had an in-depth understanding about the users and their needs. Several user personas were prepared, for each different type of user, to make sure we could cover as much of the user base as possible.
I’m including them below after editing them to an easy to digest, visual format.
User Journey Mapping
In order to give the user the best experience, it was important to map out the user journey for each different type of user. This enabled us to identify key touchpoints where we need to consider the user interactions as well as user pain points where we need to make the experience as smooth as possible.
I’m including a visual representation of the journey for one user (from the Employee category) for a better understanding of the thought process behind this step.
The two types of users have many shared functions, while each has some specific functions that the other group don’t require. This was one of the major points I had to keep in mind when designing the UI/UX for the app.
Different types of users need different functionalities which will overlap and therefore need to be integrated seamlessly.
While the basic designs already existed, I wanted to get a fresh start and start with a new batch of wireframes. This involved breaking down the screens to their basic functionality while paying attention to useability. While in the end, some screens ended up with almost the same layout as the existing UI, I was able to make significant improvements on others, making this a worthwhile step.
Wireframes can still be useful even when you’re redesigning an existing UI.
Mockups and User Testing
At the mockup stage, I wanted to explore multiple possible styles and run it by the team and test users. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to give them an accurate idea with low-fidelity mockups. On the other hand, it would’ve been a waste of time to create high- fidelity mockups for all the screens at this stage. The solution was to create a few key screens as high-fidelity mockups.
Mockups can be used to decide between different UI styles early in the process.
Between these two UI styles, #1 was the clear winner
Once the primary design style was decided, I went ahead and built some rapid prototypes using high fidelity screens. This enabled the team to test out how the user flow works and identify any issues in the flow that I’ve created so far.
Some of the main issues identified are listed below. Note that this is not an exhaustive list. Most of these issues were easy enough to solve without much trouble. Some of them required more creative solutions, as I highlight in the second list.
After completion of all of the above stages, it was time to go ahead with the final designs. I’ve included a selection of the final screens below.
Project was successfully completed within the timeframe. The client was extremely satisfied with the design, as were the members of the test audiences. It’s yet to be seen how the app is received by the broader user base, but so far the feedback has been positive.
Involving the client in the entire process always bring a positive outcome.
A Word From the Client
I’d highly recommend Kosala not only because of the great designs but also the value he adds as a team member in thinking through the overall product. He is a great team player and an awesome human being. We loved collaborating with Kosala multiple times in our product development journey so far and would continue to partner with him in the future as well.