1 The Problem.
From fitness to productivity to mental health, the quantified self movement means there’s a ton of apps to help us measure our lives, keep track of habits, and help us improve.
Imagine you’ll be launching a new app that helps someone understand how their daily choices help or hinder their goals every week. The app would make it easy for someone to log their information every day in order to get a weekly progress report that helps them do even better in the weeks to come.
2 The Research.
I started off by researching the kinds of data people are tracking about themselves. I talked to friends who digitally track their personal data. This ranged from people who keep track of their calorie intake, to personal spending, to overall health.
This gave me insight on…
- Problems that exist with the current experience (low app retention rates)
- Different perspectives on the personal data that people track (medical, financial, personnel, etc)
The following is the user journey that I generalized from my research. I determined that there are three main stages to the Life Log app.
- Selecting Goals
- Logging Process
- Interpreting Data
1. Selecting Goals
People are unique and have different ambitions and goals, which is why information is only worth tracking if it matters to the user. For example, not everyone is interested in going for jogs, nor does everyone want to learn German, or increase the amount of water they consume. Which is it is entirely up to the user to determine which decisions will help or hinder their week.
Considerations of how goals are created in the application:
- Should this app limit users to only being able to track certain predetermined goals? People have a wide variety of interests and personal goals which is why this application should allow users to create their own custom goals. In addition, it should include pre-determined goal templates that users can use as source of inspiration.
- If users are allowed to create their own personal goals, how will progress be measured? Track completion of goals rather than specific numerical metrics.
2. Logging Process
After determining how goals are created, I needed to consider what kind of data would be collected and how it would be inputted into the application. This is by far the most important stage in the application. To encourage users to log their information every day, it's important this process is easy, fun, and rewarding.
- How will users log their information? This is a crucial step. Rather than tracking metrics with questions such as "how many hours of sleep did you get last night?" we simply track if a goal was completed or not. For example, the previous goal can be rewritten as "go to sleep before 10pm". Both encourage the user to get more rest, with the latter being quantified simply as “complete” or “incomplete”.
- When will users log their information? During my research, I found that people are more likely to complete their goals if they can schedule them into their daily lives. Users should be able to select when goals should be completed, this includes the days of the week and times.
- How will we encourage users to come back to the app? We can utilize gamification and mobile notifications.
- How will gamification be used in the Life Log app? The Life Log app will keep track of how many times an individual goal is completed consecutively. Users will be encouraged to complete and log their daily goals to avoid losing their streak.
- How will notifications be used in the Life Log app? Notifications can be used to remind and motivate the user. Some examples of notifications can be reminding them of the number of goals listed for the morning or to congratulate users for achieving all their goals for the week.
3. Learning From Data
So the user has selected their goals and inputted data. Now, this information needs to be conveyed in a way that is comprehensive and informative. Data visualizations are a great way to condense information into a readable format. If a user is able to visualize their progress, they will be more motivated to continue to use the app.
- How will users visualize their progress? In addition to creating "streaks" on individual goal tiles, a user's overall weekly progress is displayed on the dashboard. The current day will be marked by a filled in circle, while previews days of the week feature a donut chart that will display the percentage of goals completed on that day.
- How can users review previous data? Users will be able to track the individual progress of their goals by selecting a goal tile.
- Who is this app for? People of all ages and backgrounds looking to track their personal goals and progress.
- How can someone download the app? Via the Apple App Store.
- Why is it better than the other apps out there? Many apps are designed to track specific information such as your weight, how often you sleep, the amount calorie you eat, etc. Log Life doesn't restrict users to predetermined goals, allowing users to log whatever information they choose in one application.
After I had a concrete idea of how I was going to track user's goals and progress, I sketched out possible implementation of how this could be achieved within a mobile app. I referenced Dribbble for inspiration.
I choose to create an IOS app because I personally own an iPhone and am more familiar with it's functionality and design guidelines.
4 Flow Diagram.
I dotted the the “goal dashboard” because I wanted the entire flow of the application to have an anchor point. The dashboard acts as a central hub that users will easily be able to return to, regardless of the view they are currently on.
Another aspect of the application is the notification flow. These notifications are designed to entice users to return to the application and log their activity to avoid losing their current streak. More on this below.
These wireframes represent the core setup and flow of the application. Since setting up goals is such a vital part of the application, I created an onboarding that focuses on creating the user’s first goal. To make things easier, users are given the option to modify an existing templated goal or to create a goal from scratch. This experience can be boring, so after creating one goal, users are able to skip this process.
To avoid overloading the user with too much information, the process is broken into small steps to make things as simple as possible.
6 High Fidelity.
I created a color scheme to reflect the various categories. This is designed to allow users to immediately identify the various types of goals in a list.
I designed the logging system to be simple and interactive. Information regarding personal goals and progress is logged using a checklist. Information is organized in a way that gives priority depending on the time of day. For example, goals listed to be completed in the morning show up first.
The app is designed to use notifications to help encourage users to return to the application. Notifications serve to remind users of their goals for the day, to complete a goal in order to avoid breaking a current chain, and to motivate them regarding their current progress.
7 Final Thoughts.
I completed this exercise over the course of 3 days. While I hope to have created solutions to existing problems, I know there are still a lot of additional details that can improved upon. For example, completing multiple same goals in one day.
I really enjoyed working on this exercise and I hope this project showed my abilities to think critically about UX, UI in a real word setting.
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