It's all about telling a story.
I craft intuitive and elegant experiences that speak to the user. To tell a good story requires that I learn about users needs, experiment with assumptions, and conduct research. Learning from and iterating on my mistakes is one of the most vital parts of creating a great product. With each project I try to blend intuition with research to tell a story that painlessly helps users accomplish their goals.
Prototypes & User Research
Building complex prototypes with Framer JS or simple pen and paper models helps me to define and test my assumptions. Good prototypes can turn a risky MVP into a solid first step. Iterating rather than redesigning is also an important part of my process. I rely on user testing and analytics to help narrow down where my work needs work. A recent project highlighted this process along with some of the pitfalls and bonuses of moving quickly.
An Unexpected Challenge
Recently I needed to create a splash screen to announce a new feature in our mobile app (pictured above). I ended up with three actions on this screen: Sign In, Claim Code, and Explore Merchants. We assumed this would cover all of our users needs. Claim Code activated a new feature that would be rolled out to merchants shortly. The assumption was that most new users would be joining Perka by way of a printed receipt with claimable points on it.
Unfortunately this screen was missing something that a huge percentage of our users were looking for: Create Account. Perka does not ask you to create an account before you use it. We actually let you use it several times before we bug you about it. When users used to be dumped directly into the app this was not even something they thought about. When you confront them with a splash screen this changes. What we didn't realize is that the knee-jerk reaction for most users is to see a screen like this and think they need to create an account. The problem was that 80% of the taps on Sign In and Claim Code did not result in either of those actions being taken, they backed out to the home screen!
were hitting a dead end.
A Shift in Perspective
We decided the best course of action was to get back to the way Perka used to work. Get the user right into the app and show them the closest merchant to them so they can start using it and stop thinking about it.
A simple tool tip on launch and a new button in the tool bar should reduce this uncomfortable experience for new and existing users while educating them on how to use the new feature.
Intuition & Collaboration
I never like working in a bubble. I was fortunate to find graphic design by way of computer science. My cross discipline skill set allows me to clearly communicate with engineers and is a huge asset in my process. Being familiar with the basic concepts of computer science allows me to preempt potential problems with implementation. I also like to work closely with my engineers so the final product is easier and faster to build than if I just handed them a pile of spec. Instead of making sacrifices because a design is too difficult to implement we're making compromises along the way to arrive at a place everyone is happy with.
"Make compromises, not sacrifices."
Being aware of potential pain points and the development process helped ease some of the problems mentioned above. I knew that our apps initial start up consists of several intertwined models and views. I was able to communicate ahead of time that our new experiment which replaced this screen may change and to try and keep it as untethered from any mission critical functionality as possible. When the time came to change over to the tool tip our coder was able to spend more time implementing the new feature and less time backtracking and rewriting code. These small details can vastly increase the speed that we're able to iterate and improve our designs.