Customer Development & Mobile Re-design
ROVR (parent: Canogle) is a seed-funded startup providing self-guided audio tours. The company recently pivoted from being solely a provider of tours to a platform where users can also create tours.
The ROVR executive team needed a complete mobile re-design to incorporate tour creation features. They came to us with a request for quick turnaround of their new mobile experience.
I co-led a team of 7 designers to develop scope and execute the project. I also acted as primary client contact and facilitated weekly client meetings and internal scrums.
While the primary ask was for a new mobile design, we quickly uncovered another pressing challenge: a lack of clarity and definition around the target audience of "tour creators", which encompassed historians, travel writers, and park rangers among others.
To tackle these challenges we conducted two sprints: a customer development cycle in order to understand the main target audience, and then a mobile design sprint to create a platform for tour creation.
Using the learnings from the research phase, we designed a full mobile application which the ROVR engineering team is currently implementing.
I facilitated a persona development session, breaking the team into 3 small groups, each with one of the exec team members. This allowed for us to surface the ideas from each of the stakeholders, not just the most vocal. We built three distinct personas and converged on one, an amalgam of the ideas of the client and internal teams' work. Persona creation was important in this situation to ensure clarity and cohesion.
We sourced and conducted customer interviews with 10 participants, travelers with significant followings on social media. We interviewed them about motivations, behaviors and needs in growing their following.
Our key takeaway from the user research was that content creation is hard. Even for bloggers who already regularly create online content, the process is cumbersome and time/energy intense. The creation itself is just a means to an end. Thus, our main objective for the re-design was easiest and most frictionless tour creation possible.
Mobile App Re-design
We ran a Google Ventures Design Sprint to surface the best ideas, then rapidly prototype and validate through testing. We engaged the CEO, CTO, and Director of Business Development.
- Unpack: Based on our customer research, we focused on the problem of the cumbersome nature of content creation and the easiest possible tour creation process became the ultimate goal.
- Sketch: During a 4 hour session with the exec team we rapidly sketched out many possible user flows. We came up with ten unique solutions.
- Decide: After a vote on the ten solutions, three emerged as clear frontrunners.
- Prototype: We broke up into smaller teams and created 3 distinct high fidelity prototypes.
- Test: We user tested the 3 prototypes and found one solution to be the clear winner.
High Fidelity Mock-Ups
There were three distinct approaches. Version A leveraged a point library system, Version B focused on on-the-spot tour creation, and Version C on map-based point creation. The screens below are selections from the high fidelity prototypes which we used to conduct usability testing. We tested 9 participants and found that while each had its merits, Version C rose to the top as the most clear, usable and enjoyable. With this as our base solution, we built a final prototype taking into consideration usability test findings and the business case.
Users and clients liked Version A's focus on large landscape images (screen 1 above). They also liked that points were indicated by bubbles (screen 3) and the use of a point library system. However, users disliked that point creation (screen 4) just "felt like filling out a form", neither a fun nor compelling experience.
Version B's tour library (screen 1 above) immediately surfaced all necessary information via cards rather than forcing users to click into a tour to see more detail. This version's weakness however was that it did not allow for points to be used across multiple tours and forced users to go through many screens to create a point adding to the cumbersome nature of tour creation.
Version C focused on point creation as the center point of the experience. Tour creation was a matter of stringing together points. Most users interviewed indicated they preferred this version as it felt "easy and fun like a game", whereas the other two versions felt more like forms. Since our objective was to make tour creation as easy and frictionless as possible, this was clearly the winner. With Version C as the base we created a final prototype, shown below (click here to open in new window).
Before/After Interactive Prototypes
Point is the original mobile app. ROVR is the new prototype we created.
Trouble viewing? Click here to open the new ROVR prototype.
"Leading comes naturally to Amy, but she is also an insightful team player that inspires and gets the best from her colleagues. I highly recommend Amy. She is a professional and charismatic star performer that’s a pleasure to work with."
-Arthur Bart-Williams, CEO/Founder
"Amy was the lead contact during our 4 week design engagement and couldn't have had a better experience. She was professional, kept the project on track under tight deadlines and finished with a high quality project that Canogle is currently implementing."
-Will Hunt, Director of Business Development