Designing a user experience applying LEAN UX to the Design Thinking methodology, Corona Diaries Case Study.
Design thinking is a human-centered approach that considers and integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.
These are the stages that one should follow to apply this methodology:
- Research the problem
- Establish a hypothesis
- Brainstorm ideas
- Design a potential solution
- Test & refine
The goal of this case study is to guide any reader through the process of the design thinking methodology and rapid prototyping for the test and refine the process that this methodology contemplates.
Let’s now take this methodology and apply it to the Corona Diaries website, Corona Diaries is the result of a venture by academics in journalism and technology, it is aimed to be a journalism tool for open source audio. Corona Diaries documents the COVID-19 pandemic through personal stories shared by anyone interested in sharing their pandemic journey.
Now let’s start applying the methodology,
Research the problem
First, we have to conduct research to be able to identify the problem. There are so many research methods that one can choose to be able to identify problems, for the purpose of this project we are going to use the interview method.
The primary research method was Interviewing people that are basically asking questions to learn more about the user's needs. We must guide this research by setting a research goal, the research goal was to find out what the user needs to convert.
In order to generate questions for each topic, I created a topic map, which is a mind map that outlines the interview questions you want to cover. After identifying the topics I was interested in I created my interview questions and I conducted my interviews, I interviewed 10 people via zoom.
With the data I collected from the interviews, I created an Affinity map, a map that helps one illustrate relationships among observations and helps you identify patterns.
Establish a hypothesis
After exploring the data and patterns I was able to identify trends. From those findings I was able to elaborate the following insights:
- People do not like to share their personal life because they don’t want to expose themselves to the lack of privacy and bad use of data.
- When it’s time to share personal data, the user prefers to avoid specific locations but is willing to share demographic information.
- Having a voice recording as the only format for sharing stories makes some users feel uncomfortable. Clearly, this is not an inclusive website.
Those insights allowed me to identify what the problems were, from there I was able to think and develop a logic which later on I represented it with a user flow diagram which is a visual representation of a process, a user flow allows you to review and validate assumptions. After receiving feedback I was able to sketch and prototype a refined version.
This methodology contemplates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.
I identified the goals of each of these participants and the problems each of them is facing.
- With the collected data, find valuable insights to create new businesses.
- To create a valuable database for journalism purposes.
- The flow of the website is not clear so it is not prompting the user to complete the journey.
To provide clear information/ navigation to the user to prompt a conversion.
- Collect data from the user to build a database with COVID stories via voice recording.
- Not all users feel comfortable using voice recording as the only format for sharing their stories. 40% of the people I interviewed do not feel comfortable using this format.
Add another format option.
- Share their COVID story.
- Listen to the stories.
- Share their COVID story: 70% of the people I interviewed are concerned about their privacy and personal information.
- Listen to the stories: 90% of the people I interviewed want to hear specific content
- Share their COVID story: Give the user the option to share what they are willing to share.
- Listen to the stories: Give the user the option to hear random stories or to find specific content.
Design a potential solution
After identifying a solution to the problems, one should start sketching. The sketching process consists of bringing whatever is happening in your headspace into reality, is visual communication.
Once you have some promising sketches, the next step is to create wireframes, which are low-fidelity, simplified outlines of your product, these two tools will help us gather feedback to improve the solution.
During this stage of the process with the corona diaries, I was able to collect meaningful feedback that I conceptualized in another version of a wireframe.
Please note that the feedback I received on the image of the left was that the location of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) was not looking good and was not relevant in the main page. So on the image of the left, the FAQ is relocated and included in the dropdown menu.
Test and Refine
After finding a potential solution the next step is to test and refine, during this process, it is important to apply the rapid prototyping technique which is to create a low-fidelity prototype. A prototype is a visual representation of a product, the purpose of a prototype is to test the flow of a design solution, request feedback from users, and make revisions based on user feedback.