UX Research/ UX Design / user testing

Increased usability by 400%

My task was to refine the application's pre-designed structure, taking into account user paths. I was also responsible for designing the app's UI and conducting user testing to help identify design flaws in the photo sharing path.

Business objective

Create a mobile app to take and share photos without saving them on the device. Encrypted photos are uploaded to the zero-knowledge server.

Ideation & Research

The app project came out of the initiative of the Project Owner, who came up with an idea for how the app would function. My task at this stage was to create user research (empathy map, use case). Together with the business team, we came to the conclusion that the application would be aimed at people that value digital privacy and want to quickly and easly share photos without using external cloud spaces.

Design phase

The project decided to use a ready-made information architecture, which had already been prepared by part of the team.

My position was different, I would apply user testing using very early wireframes to test the effectiveness of the proposed information architecture. However, I failed to convince the decision makers, so the next steps were performed on an untested architecture.

Next, my task was to design lo-fi and hi-fi wireframes that reflected the structure and functionality of the application. Together with UX Writerm, we created relevant messaging, onboarding and empty states. Finally, I created an interactive prototype using ProtoPie.

Testing Phase

When the prototype was created, I designed and performed a usability study. The study consisted of tasks to test the navigation and functionality of the product. The first study was performed on 5 users and took the form of a participatory study focusing on observing user behavior.

During testing, every person tested had considerable difficulty uploading photos to the album, with only 1 in 5 test subjects able to upload photos.

- For that moment, the mechanics of sharing consisted of selecting unwanted photos, deleting them, and uploading all remaining photos to the album, using the "Send all" button.

- Users, being accustomed to marking the photos they want to upload, accidentally deleted photos that were intended to be uploaded.

Solution:: We abandoned the idea of creating an upload queue and removed the "Send all" button. After the changes, users select the photos they want to send.

In the next step, I designed the interface changes based on the test results and conducted another phase on testing.

Subsequent rounds of testing showed a very positive impact of the above changes. Test groups had no problems uploading photos.

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Development

By working with developers at an early design stage, we were able to identify technical limitations and UX issues that arise during implementation. During this stage, we made sure that all user interactions with the interface were properly labeled. We took care of the registration process, changing passwords and sending access for other users.

UX process summary

Using tests done only at the very end of the design process significantly prolonged the application development process and required the removal of some of the work done. Using tests at an early stage avoids such problems and anticipates design issues.