With a week's time to conceptualize and submit a solution, a Lean Design Thinking Process was followed. It comprised of the following stages: Plan, Discover, Ideate, Design and Test.
The quality of content and the ease of finding that content, are the main reasons why people visit websites. Based on the principles of cognitive psychology (such as mental models), an information architecture was designed. It depicts a basic flow of information and the different journeys that a user can traverse, within the application.
At this stage, it was important to have a basic tangible solution in place that can be shipped in less than 24 hours so that the concept can be conveyed to the stakeholders (judges of the hackathon). The focus was on the overall flow. So, I started building low-fidelity wireframes. Design artefacts from this phase are illustrated below.
After finalising the app concept and basic user flows, the next step was to quickly come up with mood boards, followed by a style guide stating the color scheme, typography and a visual language for the project. As we had to churn out the final deliverables in around two days' time, we divided the activities within the team. I took up the task of designing the high-fidelity designs. Interestingly, this was one of my first projects where I had to create visual designs from the ground up.
I followed Apple's Human Interface Guidelines and started designing components in Figma. The resultant designs have been depicted below:
These screens were tested within the team, to get quick feedback. Although, this would have cropped up some bias in the user testing, but a full-fledged usability testing session was not feasible, considering the time constraints.
The app was developed with some assumptions in mind, which were clearly stated to the stakeholders:
1. Budget Allocation and Brand Partnerships: The app is ideated with the assumption that sufficient budget will be allocated to develop the concept and appropriate sustainable brands will be ready to partner with the app for a good cause.
2. Market Availability: With an increased number of brands offering sustainable products and alternatives, the app will be encouraging such brands
3. Future Scope: In order to attract more users, the app can partner with the government to provide rebate on certain taxes for the users who are on the top of the leaderboard
4. Marketing Strategy: With user profiles in mind, we propose the use of internet advertising and social media.
We also proposed to use UGVs (User generated videos) :
- for creating a down-to-earth feel. People can identify with fellow users.
- it helps explain how to use the app, to older demographic
- makes saving the environment, look cool
This was a colossal learning experience. The most challenging aspect was shipping a solution in less than a week, especially when the entire team was remote and collaborated over Zoom!
(some key learnings mentioned ahead)
Result: We won the second runners up position.
You might have to face unrealistic deadlines. Just stick to the basics and work smart.
Resist the urge to skip a stage in the design process. They are there for a reason.
Storytelling is powerful. A poorly constructed narrative can make a good idea, sound really bad.