What is Pundits?
Pundits is an on-demand homework help app for school students. "Tutoring on Your iPhone or iPad" ( www.getpundits.com)
KEY PROJECT GOAL
The goal of this project was to improve the mobile app experience to increase repeat traffic, and conversion rate.
The team: User Researcher (me), UX Designer (me), Project manager, Visual Designer, Lead Engineer.
• Experience design
• Visual Design
Timeline: 10 weeks.
Understand "Digital Natives"
Technology is increasingly becoming an essential part of our lives, and many young people – often referred to as ‘digital natives’ – haven’t known it any other way. And their interaction with digital devices is different from adults of older generations. I decided to know more about young people specific features in web and digital technologies using.
Discoveries about Teenagers
• Teenagers use the internet from many devices in various environments
• Teens spend endless time texting
• Teens are goal-oriented and don’t surf the web aimlessly
• Even when teens don’t make actual purchases on websites, they do visit them to research products and build wish lists for the credit-card-carrying adults in their lives
• Teens do make mistakes and often give up quickly
• Fast-moving teens usually get to lower success
• Teens use more than one social networks and Social Aspects is very important for them
• Teenagers don’t like to read a lot on the web
• Illustrated concepts visually were strongly preferred to sites with dense text
• Teenagers dislike tiny font sizes as much as adults do
• Teens detest sites that appear cluttered and contain pointless multimedia
• The best online experiences for teens are those that teach them something new or keep them focused on a goal
• A slow-loading website is a deal-breaker
• Don’t Talk Down to Teens
Important Add about Teens
Young people aged from 5 to 17 years spend, on average, just over 2 hours per day on screen-based activity but they perform worse than adults for three reasons:
• Insufficient reading skills
• Less sophisticated research strategies
• Dramatically lower levels of patience
Market research was then followed by competitive analysis, in which I identified potential competitors to Pundits and took stock of the features they offered and evaluated their strengths and weaknesses.
Competitive Analysis Takeaway
• A section or screens explaining how the app works are essential and cannot be missing. Easy communication with the user can help with navigation and understanding the app (multiple ways to give clues, such as dialogs, popups, tooltips, onboarding tutorial).
• Habitual screen layout for users is a very intuitive and familiar process of using the app.
• Most of the competitive apps don't give the user the possibility to play around and lead users to the main task directly from the first screen.
• 3 of 5 competitive apps provide the possibility to check information about tutors and schedule the appointment with them.
• Prominent color and modern attractive UI can help with attention to screen elements hierarchy.
I then moved forward to the primary research stage, which consisted of 1:1 user interviews.
The goal was to understand users’ experience with the homework and to understand the adults (parents) motivation to pay for the kid's tutoring.
Number of Participants: 5 teenagers (age 13 - 17) + 5 adults (parents: all of them have 1 - 3 kids age 12 - 17)
Teens Interview Takeaway
Parents Interview Takeaway
Having synthesized my primary research, I was then prepared to develop a primary persona who would be representative of my target user. In addition to the behavior gathered from the secondary research.
Business Goals vs User Goals
After defining who is the USER and before putting my hands on the research I wanted to define what will be the goals of the app from both sides; business and a user. Combined together it gave me a pretty good idea how to structure the app, where the main elements should be and what will be the key user journeys.
I didn't have access to the Pundits app users. Because of that I conducted user testing with new users.
The goal was to observe how the users interact with the app and where they are stuck at a first place.
Each user was given a sheet of paper with a math problem.
The scenario was: "Let's pretend it's your homework task and you don't know how to deal with it. And you heard from friends that there is an app to help you. Here it is. Please find the solution."
Participants for testing were recruited from the local high school. They were asked to think in loud and I recorded each session so I could later synthesize my findings.
Definition Pain Points
After reviewing my usability tests notes and watching recorded videos, I found pain points:
• For most users not obvious how to use the app in the first place.
• Most users didn't pay attention to the button "Ask Question" at first.
• Most of the users thought they can solve the problem from the first screen checking the previous cases and looking at the similarity in math problem.
• Most users confused about the tab "School", they supposed the decision should be there.
• Some users want to give up the task submission because of the number of steps.
With the project goals and Nina's (persona) needs in mind, I created a user flow diagram, identifying the key screens and interactions she needs in order to get help. By mapping these pathways out, I was able to define required screens and compare it with existing flow.
My first step in the ideation process was a group brainstorming session. We gathered with a team and brainstormed answers to each How-Might-We questions.
The first step of the design phase was to take pen to paper and sketch ideas for some of the main Pundits screens. These low-fidelity wireframes helped me to determine layouts and establish visual hierarchy.
Wireframes and User Testing
The goal for the first round of Lo-Fi usability testing was to validate a chosen solution.
And it showed some significant navigation issues. I synthesized the user interview findings creating an affinity map in order to gather insights. I identified the patterns that emerged in order to determine what revisions should be made to the next iteration of the prototype.
The visual design and branding defined in the style tile were applied to the mid-fidelity wireframes to create high-fidelity wireframes.
Taking into consideration feedback from user testing, I applied the styling to my wireframes and created high-fidelity prototypes.
Easy Onboarding and Sign Up
Onboarding has to educate users how the app is working and how easy their tasks can be accomplished.
Visual animation and short instructions have to leave a positive first impression and show that it's easy-to-use application.
"Ask a Question" Button
Following UX principle of consistency and research findings, I moved the menu to the bottom and change the main button shape. Also, the bottom menu is more convenient for operation with one hand.
Navigation and content issues
I changed information architecture and combined "user personal sessions" and "his school sessions" in "My Sessions". As well I created visual tips with a short description.
"Asking Question" Process
To show how many steps left to finish the submission I used a progress bar on the top.
The tutor session
I added voice control and "Share" button which is important based on primary research.
WHAT I LEARNED
• From this case, I learned ‘digital natives’ generation behavior.
• I learned about the generation gap – what is obvious for an older generation has obsoletely different meaning for younger one – teens and adults perceive things differently.
• Additionally, I have found out that even small changes as a button or icon can make difference.
iOS app rating: 4.3 (previously 3.2)