|Project Name:||Residential App (2014-2015)|
|Type of Project:||Public facing iPhone app|
|Primary Roles:||usability testing, ui design, graphic design|
Defining the Problem
SaskPower wanted to jump into the iPhone app market. Several disparate apps and ideas were merged into one interface, and then brought to the UX group to “make it look pretty”. Unfortunately, in this case, the problem was UX wasn’t involved until the app was almost done!
There were three apps developed and designed by different groups as well as links to SaskPower’s website. There was no consistency in graphic design, UI design, tone, etc. We were brought in to move the app from the mock-up/ideation phase and make it look and feel more professional.
Understand the User
The user was any SaskPower customer. Essentially, anyone living in Saskatchewan. The app focused on a couple of key tasks that anyone should be able to do. With such a wide base of users, simplicity and clarity were paramount.
We considered the app, as is, to be our starting point for testing. After testing with several employees, we provided a report with our recommendations. Based on that feedback, it was decided we should rework the entire app from the ground up.
All of the screens were redesigned so the graphics and interactions were all consistent. Our group did cognitive walkthroughs as well as heuristic evaluations and shared with the entire team.
Based on that feedback, I created a prototype featuring all the main screens for the development team.
I developed a style guide showing brand colours, how to consistently use the various areas on the screen, layouts, etc. That way any future enhancements, or screens we didn’t account for, would follow the same guidelines.
With the newly designed prototype, more user testing was done with employees of SaskPower. The intention was to find the obvious problems, fix them, and then test with general public. (Development of the app is taking much longer than anticipated, and we are still waiting on that opportunity.)
Once the app is released, we have been promised the opportunity to do some summative and benchmark testing with actual users.
Even though it is best to be involved from the very beginning, there is still a lot you can do at any stage of the development process.