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Google Ventures Sprint: Mobile App Design, December 2021
The Problem
Remote workers spend valuable time searching for places to work from. Because current search tools are focused on communicating what public places like coffee shops have to eat and drink, it can be difficult to identify available amenities and working conditions. 

My Role
In this modified, five-day Google Ventures (GV) design sprint by Bitesize UX, I worked independently to . . .

1. Map the search process
2. Sketch possible solutions
3. Decide on a final direction
4. Prototype the corresponding screens
5. Test the solution
mockup of three screens
Day 1: Mapping the Problem
Define
User Goals:

1. Spend less time finding public places to work from.
2. Identify which places have the amenities they need.
3. Understand the possible spaces they will work in: how busy they are, whether or not they are suitable for meetings and calls, and how much table space they offer.

With the problem and these user goals in mind, I mapped the task of identifying a place to work according to user actions.
task map
Task Map
Day 2: Sketch
Ideate
With inspiration from competitor analysis on Google Search and Apple Maps, I began sketching some ideas for the critical screen that included elements I liked. As I did this, I made sure to address the biggest gap that these two don't currently include: a focus on workspace and environment rather than the products the business sells.

After selecting one of the eight possible ideas for the critical screen (shown in yellow), I developed the solution sketches.
8 possible solutions for the critical screen
Crazy eights exercise: 8 possible critical screens for the app. The highlighted one became the foundation for the solution sketch below.
a sketch of the possible solution screens
Solution sketch
Day 3: Decide
Storyboarding

As I reflected on the solution sketch above and developed the storyboard below, I had two priorities in mind:

1. User needs were met quickly and efficiently
2. All actions felt intuitive and familiar

In the panels below, I illustrated actions that are frequently used across mobile applications and made sure to communicate available amenities in a digestible way as often as possible.
storyboard dtailing user actions on app sketched screens
Storyboard, red notes indicate user actions
Day 4: Prototype
Low Fidelity Mockups
As I developed the sketches into the prototype, I had two priorities in mind: speed and visual communication. The prototype is a mid-fidelity wireframe created in Marvel, which allowed me to create a clickable, functional facade in a short amount of time.

To communicate the most important information in a manner that is as skim-able as possible, I relied on contrast, color, font and optical weight.
first prototype of the app
First iteration of the functional prototype
Day 5: Test
Validating the Design
Five interviewees that work remotely, frequently from public places were selected to test the prototype and give their feedback. All of the interviewees are tech-savvy young adults who normally rely on using a Google Search or Apple Maps to complete this task.

I was pleased to discover that the tests validated this design with some small tweaks. Each of the users completed the tasks seamlessly and without expressing confusion. The flow of user actions from one page to the next was successful, but testing still revealed some valuable insights for small changes:
before and after versions of prototype edits
Issue - Critical: Red, Yellow, Green coloring on the amenity icons is ambiguous.

User Feedback: Users expressed that they would prefer to have a binary yes or no indication rather than a rating system with three levels to remove ambiguity. However, most of the interviewees mentioned that they liked the ability to quickly browse the available amenities.

Revision: The icons noting the available amenities were changed from the red yellow and green coloring to a grayscale, filled and infilled appearance.


before and after versions of prototype edits
Issue - Critical: Availability/establishment popular hours is a high priority. That wasn’t reflected in initial design.

User Feedback: Users expressed that understanding busy hours was more important than amenities and photos because that information has already been communicated.

Revision: The busy hours information was moved up in the establishment profile, just below the overview information for quick access.
Final Prototype
Graphic showing process: 1 Research, 2 Sketch, 3 Test, 4 Hifi mockup, 5 validate, 6 iterate
VIEW Prototype

Final Design & Reflection

Final Result: Validated Solution

By maintaining focus on delivering users the information they need when selecting a place to work from, this week’s sprint resulted in a validated design solution that will make the process of finding places to work remotely more efficient. In future sprints, I would recommend identifying ways the UI can be refined to further streamline and clarify user actions.

mockup of three screens