YouKind is a conceptual project that aims to help individuals, who already understand the scope of ethical fashion, to be able to successfully discover brands and product styles that captivate them without fuss.
Eco-ethical brands are hard to find in the fashion industry. Though there are many brands that are marketing themselves as sustainable and ethical, it is challenging to find brands while evaluating and measuring their impact all in one place.
Objective: Design new app UI informed by user research
Duration: 80 hrs
Role: UX Researcher, UX/UI Designer, Interaction Designer
Tools: Adobe; XD, Illustrator, Photoshop, Mural, Journal + Pen
The Design Process
01. Research​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
The goal of this phase for me, was to learn about the sustainable fashion industry and eco-system to understand the user on a deeper level to gauge the emotional, social, and irrational drivers that may affect their behavior towards ethical brands.

Process: (i) Plan Research (ii) Conduct Market Research (iii) Synthesize Research Findings
Research Plan
To best achieve the goals of my research, I crafted a Research Plan. 

Research Goals
1. Determine motivations, goals, needs, goals, and pain points in regard to shopping for eco-ethical fashion.
2. Define characteristics of people who use eco-ethical products.
3. Define the general process of choosing to purchase eco-ethical products.

Secondary: Market Research, Competitive Analysis, Heuristic Evaluation, Provisional personas
Primary: Survey
Conducting Research
To understand the mechanics and current market threats and opportunities in the sustainable industry, I conducted market research.
I identified competitors and researches their approach to achieving similar goals and objectives. For direct competitors, I chose well established industry leaders in sustainable fashion apps and for Indirect competitors focused more on apps that help users find a more broad range of sustainable products.
Provisional Personas
Based on market research, I created three provisional personas to help identify and target the audience to conduct primary research. 
User Surveys
I set up a survey using google forms to learn about potential users and their experience with finding and purchasing sustainable products. I gained valuable insights into their goals, ideal scenarios and pain points. I was able to gather qualitative data and see patterns emerging.​​​​​​​
Synthesizing User Research​​​​​​​
After successfully gathering qualitative data, I needed a way to organize and analyze my research findings to see patterns emerging.
No. Of Participants: 15
Age: 20 - 50 yrs
Marital Status: Married: 9
                          Single, Never Married: 6

Highest level of education: Bachelors degree: 9
                                              Masters Degree: 5
                                              Doctorate Degree: 1
Gender: Male: 4
              Non-binary: 1
              Female: 10   

Ethnicity: Caucasian: 8
                Asian: 5
                Latino: 1
                Mixed: 1
Country of Residence: Bolivia: 1
                                      United States: 14
Empathy Map
I created an empathy map to organize the research based on observations. I then identified themes and was able to identify insights and needs of the users.
User Persona
Based on the research findings I created a fictional but realistic representation of the key target audience. 
02. Define
During the Define phase, I worked on making sense of the data collected during research. Insights from our research help us define the problem from the user’s point of view.

Process: (i) Frame the Problem from the Users Perspective (ii) Define the Product Goals
Frame the Problem from the Users Point of View
To best define the problem from the users perspective, constructed point of view statements and How might we questions.
Point of View Statements & How Might We Questions
A Point of view (POV) Statement helps frame the problem from a users point of view and is structured in the following format: User (need) because (insight) How might we (HMW) questions help to frame the problem as a question to enable brainstorming for different possible solutions
In this phase of the project, I began brainstorming on possible solutions for the problems. I then conducted a group brainstorming session with 5 participants. 
Defining Product Goals
I identified different stakeholders’ product goals to see how they align and understand their impact on my design decisions
Project Goals
With goals defined by the brainstorming session and from the empathy research and taking into account technical considerations I identified necessary overall goals and common goals of the project.
03. Ideate​​​​​​​
The goal of this phase of the project was to strategize on how a user would navigate and interact with the app based on the features and tasks included. 

Process: (i) Prioritize Product Features (ii) Build Information Architecture (iii) Understand Interactions (iv) Wireframes (v) Create Brand Identity (vi) Apply UI to Create High-Fidelity Prototype
Prioritize Product Features
Once I had an understanding of the market, and defined the goals of the product based on the problems the app needed to solve for the users, I began thinking about the key features the product would need to include to achieve those goals.
Feature Roadmap
I created roadmap of features we ideally wanted the website to have and ranked them based on need and budget allowance.
Information Architecture
When I had a starting point of features that would be included, it was time to start thinking about how these features would be organized on the app.
I laid the foundational blocks to the app by creating a sitemap to include proposed features and pages.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Interaction Design
The next step involved working out how a user would navigate and interact with these different features and screens.
Product Requirements​​​​​​​
I identified scenarios and tasks for the user persona to complete to help think about how they might interact with the app.
Task Flow
Focusing on the key the objective of the company to enhance the experience of finding sustainable brands I created scenarios to simplify these processes on the app for the user.
User Flow
Further refined the process for the user to move from one task to another by taking into consideration the users decisions involved in thinking through tasks. 
During the Prototype phase I built a scaled-down version of the app. Prototyping reduces the amount of UX friction, eliminates errors, and uncovers mistakes and false assumptions, all while saving time, money, and resources.
With all my observations, I needed a way to organize and analyze my research findings to enable me accurate user needs, motivations, frustrations, and goals.
Early Sketches
Sketching as a first step to work out possible layouts, helps us save time later on in the digital process. 
Mid-Fidelity Wireframes
Created mid-fidelity version of sketches to begin the process of digitizing prototype.
Brand Identity
Based on visual inspiration from brands, apps and websites in the sustainable products industry, I created the look and feel of the app. 
Icons and Vector Graphics​​​​​​​
Recreated YouKind icons and vector graphics using illustrator.
Branding - Style Tile
I then created a visual brand guideline to be followed as a standard for the rest of the app feature development process. ​​​​​​​Leveraging the visual guidelines and wireframes, I created a high fidelity prototype for the add on feature.
​​​​​​​04. Validate
In the Testing phase, I began by first creating a testing plan and then proceeded to test the prototype keeping in mind it was not fully functioning. Although this is the final phase in the design process, the results from this process will help revise the end product.

Process:  (i) Plan & Conduct Usability Test  (ii) Synthesize Usability Test Findings  (iii) Apply Revisions
Usability Test
It was interesting seeing how users actually interacted with the product and how all the work in developing this product had come together.
Usability Test Plan​​​​​​​
Our testing plan outlined objectives, methodologies, participants recruitment plan and tasks to serve as a rubric during testing sessions.
Test Goal
Make app usable
Make app useful
Ensure efficient user experience

Test Subject
High-fidelity prototype of YouKind app
Task 1: Set-up a new user account with your email.
Task 2: Navigate to home screen and learn how brands are scored.
Task 3: Search for Angela Roi handbag brand and favorite it.

Test Methodology
Moderated remote usability testing using the thinking aloud method via Zoom video call.
Synthesizing Test Findings
I had to identify different stakeholders’ product goals to see how they align and understand their impact on my design decisions.
Test Findings
After conducting usability testing, I summarized the results of our testing and feedback received.​​​​​​​
No-of participants: 5
Gender: 5 Female
Ethnicity: 2 Indian American, 2 Caucasian, 1 Asian
Ages: 30 - 40
Essential qualification: Has experience with shopping apps   
Recruited from network of friends and family​​​​​​​
Test Completion Rate
100% completion rate for all 3 tasks

Error Completion Rate
Affinity Map​​​​​​​
I then organized user testing observations by theme categories, insights and developed recommendations ranked by priority based on budget and scope of project. 
Applying Test Findings​​​​​​​
Applied revisions based on insights from the usability test.​​​​​​​
Priority Revisions​​​​​​​
Based on valuable insights from testing and prioritizing recommendations, I revised the high-fidelity mockups and prototypes.
Concluding Thoughts
In creating a mobile app for a problem-driven challenge I learned the following:
1. Keep assumptions in mind while working on the research phase. I got carried away with some of the survey results, taking into account individuals who are not already bought into sustainability as a lifestyle. 
2. Take more time upfront. I moved too quickly from early sketches to digitizing my prototype. This resulted in added time in the mid-fidelity prototyping phase of the project.
3. It's important to leverage the resources you already have. It was difficult for me to get participants to conduct my survey. It may have been better for me to conduct one on one interviews with individuals already in my network. It can be challenging to find survey participants relevant to your product.

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