tl;dr: learnt from my mistakes from DC3, better prototype (more screens), but not satisfied with how I displayed my design thinking.
I jumped onto Designercize again a couple days ago to try my hand at another brief. Since I’m working from home the next couple of weeks, I’ve brought my work computer home. It’s a fancy pants Toshiba that converts into a tablet and comes with a pen. I thought I’d try to use it to see if I could improve my rapid prototyping. After reading this post from Elaine Tran, I knew that I had to keep trying not matter how much I sucked.
I didn’t get a screenshot from Designercize this time, but as you can see I scrawled the brief onto the tablet. In case no one can read my terrible handwriting, here’s the brief:
Design a Single Detail View for a Ticket Purchasing Site for Dog Walkers.
What follows are subsequent notes I took as worked through the design problem:
I start by defining the key question at hand: what use would dog walkers have for a ticket purchasing site?
Having learnt my lesson from DC3, I didn’t get stuck fleshing out a whole back story. I did however establish a narrative in my mind to frame the problem in such a way that I could design a solution for it. You can read that in the “User Research” screenshot above. Again, just in case my writing is too atrocious…
- dog walkers need to get “accredited” to walk dogs professionally.
- they need to access a website to book a course to become accredited.
- accreditation is for a particular area of town.
I wasn’t sure what a single detail view in the brief meant, so I Googled it. I came up with the following screenshot:
That cleared things up for me. I added the last dot point to tie the research back to the brief: the accreditation site has multiple locations in which you can get your licence. They didn’t have a clear design to help new dog walkers find the area in which they wanted to target. My job is to design that view.
Just like the last few times, I froze when it came to actually drawing screens. Determined, I pushed through and created the following screens:
Having the tablet helped with the rapid prototyping and overall, I’m happier with this than I was with my earlier screens. I get so hung up on this, but I need to keep reminding myself that it’s not necessarily about the screens but more so about the design thinking that led to the screens.
This is as far as I got before time ran out, but here are some subsequent thoughts I could have fleshed out:
- I specifically chose “check availability” instead of “purchase tickets”. The latter implies someone who’s further along the decision process and might deter potential dog walkers from actually signing up later. This microcopy can be tested.
- …On further thought, it could be better to scrap “check availability” altogether and list out dates and times for future accreditation. That way they can get more information from fewer clicks. Only problem here is that it might clutter the screen too much.
- I assumed that dog walkers would focus on areas near where they live. I designed the second screen with this in mind, building in GPS capabilities that would bring up a list of locations closest to you.
- Dog walkers can choose to get accredited for multiple areas if they so chose.
- I’m glad I did this design challenge. I feel like I am getting better, but there’s room to improve. It’s still not structured as well as it could be.
- Despite me writing about it in earlier posts, I’m still not utilising the framework. I need to signpost and explicitly state the User Needs, User Goals, Assumptions and Constraints. It will force me to elucidate my thoughts, which in turn will produce a more thought out design.
- I need to try an actual person to work through an example with me on a whiteboard. That’s better than doing 10 of these by myself with only my brain as company. Getting that live feedback is priceless.
- If I don’t want to do that, I need to at least record myself talking through the solution as I build it in real time. While I won’t have the feedback, I have to get used to doing this when it’s crunch time.