Project Type: Mobile App Design
Course: Basic Interaction Design // Professor John Zimmerman // Fall 2013
Group Members: Shannon Impellicceiri, Alicia Knight, Larissa Jantonio
The objective of this project was to design a prototype of a mobile information system for a set of target users. Our team chose commuters as our target users. Based on our research findings, we discovered that users find their commutes more enjoyable when they can spend their time doing a meaningful activity. We designed a mobile app that addressed this need for a subset of users by connecting commuters with life coaches. The app manages the logistics of scheduling appointments and handling payment. It also provides a platform for the coaching calls, as well as follow up notes and exercises. The above service dashboard is intended to be used by the service provider to understand how users are engaging with the system.
1. Problem Definition
The objective of this project was to design a prototype of a mobile information system for a set of target users. The system had to consist of a mobile interface for the user and a service dashboard to be used by the service provider to understand how users are engaging with the system. My team chose commuters as our group of target users.
We conducted interviews with seven different commuters. Our interviewees varied in age, profession, location, and method of commute. One person had a two-hour commute each way (via car, train, subway, and bus) to New York City, while others had a 20 minute commute in suburban areas.
Going into this project, we expected to create an information system related to navigating through traffic and shortening the overall commute time. However, one common theme that we heard throughout the interviews was that people didn’t trust traffic reports. Another interesting finding was that one person who had a one-hour commute in gridlock traffic actually didn’t mind the time she spent because she improved her experience by listening to audiobooks.
In order to determine whether this was part of a larger trend, we created a diagram that mapped how people occupied themselves during their commute compared to their overall attitude towards their commute. Sure enough, we found that the people who were the most unhappy occupied themselves with passive activities such as listening to the radio, which gave them little control over their situation. In contrast, those who had the most positive outlook occupied their time with meaningful activities such as listening to audiobooks, talk radio, podcasts, or NPR.
3. Ideation & Refinement
Moving forward, we made several assumptions in order to narrow the scope of our project. We decided to focus on single drivers, traveling alone by car, who were on the “unhappy” end of the spectrum. While brainstorming ideas, we took into consideration the issues with lack of control that the unhappy users faced, and we also looked for ways to take advantage of the privacy and isolation that a car inherently provides.
We came up with the idea of providing a life coaching service for commuters on the go. This would allow commuters to make better use of the time they already spend in the car, and put them in a better state of mind before they reach their destination. For life coaches, this app would provide an opportunity to create additional billable hours, since they could accept patients in different time zones.
Early iterations of wireframes
Outline of app workflow
4. Final Outcome
Rocky Road is a mobile app that connects busy commuters with life coaches. The app manages the logistics of scheduling appointments and handling payment. It also provides a platform for the coaching calls, as well as follow up notes and exercises.
Scenario & Wireframes
Visual design of slideshow and final wireframes by Alicia Knight and Larissa Jantonio; concept development by all team members.
Wireframes by Alicia Knight; Design Specification by Shannon Impellicceiri