With the insights from the users interviewed clearly formulated, I created the persona Joanna, so I had an embodiment of all of the users I interviewed.
In this first project on the General Assembly User Experience Design Immersive course, we were asked to brainstorm an issue or problem space we are passionate about and to come up with a solution for it.
I decided that my problem space would be city dwellers not getting enough time in nature. This is something I have struggled with since moving back to London, as I grew up in the beautiful Sussex countryside and studied in a small beach town for University.
Who and how long?
4 weeks (part-time)
How did we get here?
I conducted 5 interviews of users aged between 23–50. Then, in order to digest the information gained from the users, I created an affinity map of insights, shown here on the left, which helped me to collate all the findings into trends or key insights
These trends were as follows:
The main deterrents of getting outside are time and motivation.
‘Main thing is keeping me from getting out more at the moment is motivation after working loads, I do long hours so need to prioritize rest.’
I enjoy going outside not only for mental health benefits but also to maintain physical health.
‘Walking is always involved for me, moving my body is a major part of getting outside’
Silence and solitude is an important part of getting outside.
‘When I feel like connecting with nature I prefer some me time’
Furthermore, I went on to then create a Problem Statement:
‘Joanna needs to find a method in order to spend time in nature without disrupting her work and social schedule too much because it helps her to maintain good mental and physical health.’
How Might We…
…Integrate spending time in nature with Joanna’s busy schedule?
…Develop a product for Joanna to get the benefits of being in nature more regularly?
…Facilitate a practice in which Joanna can integrate getting outside with her daily routine?
…Bring nature to Joanna in a way which doesn’t add to her schedule?
…Get Joanna to go outside in a way that doesn’t add to her busy schedule?
In order to highlight Joanna’s emotions surrounding the problem space and also to indicate opportunities, I created a user journey map, which demonstrated a typical busy work day for Joanna.
In areas where Joanna's mood is improved, when she goes outside and chooses to walk home, we note an area of opportunity.
Some brainstorming via the exercise Crazy8s led me to my initial idea: a design for a feature for navigational apps such as Google Maps or City Mapper, which would allow Joanna to specify on preferences for a route, etc more green space, more trees or less roads.
Iteration and development
Initial feedback at this stage indicated whilst the current feature would perhaps be effective in helping Joanna integrate more time outside into her daily life whilst going about daily errands, the feature was pretty limiting in its other features for when getting outside isn’t an option or for when there isn’t a ‘greener’ route available to the user.
So, I went back to sketching to brainstorm and desk research This led me to research alternative practices that Joanna could complete when getting outside may not be an option, but for when she needs the same benefits. Exercises include forest bathing, meditation, visualisation exercises and listening to audio recordings of nature/natural scenery.
I decided to completed a competitor analysis of 3 direct competitors; ParkHive, OS Greenspace & GoJauntly, and 1 indirect competitor; Insight Timer, to give me a general scope of any missed opportunities and to see what areas work well.
I then developed this into a low fidelity prototype, show below.
Usability Testing & Next Steps
After completing 2 moderated usability tests, and 53 unmoderated tests via Maze, I gained really insightful feedback which will be incorporated into the next prototype.
Further steps include:
Developing the UX writing to avoid confusion.
Building and testing the other features I discovered such as the nature sounds and an educational feature, and the profile/target feature.
Incorporate higher fidelity visual design decisions such as colour palette, design style guide and imagery.
Testing, testing and more testing!
Reflections and Learnings
The solution meets users needs as it encourages time spent outside, facilitates good mental and physical health and can be used by anyone anywhere to allow people to feel a better version of themselves through connecting to nature and the outside world.
In this project I feel as though I got to practise UX research methods thoroughly and reflecting back I really enjoyed the process of iterating based on feedback, as it felt like an extremely efficient way to work. This project was also effective in strengthening my experience in feature prioritisation, and doing so by always considering the research and data first.
Overall this project was exciting to complete- as I finally got to put into practise a lot of UX methods I had spent the first month of the course learning about!