Facilitating Group Decisions: A Tracking App Challenge (Part One)

This week has been pretty intense, it was the first challenge we had to take on individually since the start of the Bootcamp, and the timeframe to deliver was reduced to one week.

The instructions were to create a Tracking App. Today there are plenty of apps that will track your workout routine, nutrition, weight, mood, sleep, habits…and so on. I decided to take it a little more literally and wanted to create a Friend Tracker at first, kind of like FindMyFriends. The idea then evolved into something different, with two specific goals: helping you make decisions in a group and helping your group getting together. Let’s dive into the process.

Timeframe: 1 week

Tools: Miro, Figma, paper&pen, Sketch, Invision

Stage1: Empathize

The first step for this project was to look for brands that are already offering the kind of service I was looking to design.

I found (the famous) FindMyFriends and Glympse, two apps specialized in Location Sharing Service. Woov is more specific as it has a Live Location Tracking feature for your friends who are at the same Concert or Event as you. VoteUp is a group voting app to make decisions fast with polls.

A long list of features here

So, it seemed that there wasn’t an app specifically for groups to organize a meetup together easily. It was very much focused on the Location Tracking, which I wasn’t very comfortable with, but we will get to that later.

From here I built a Survey Canva and started posting a survey on Reddit, LinkedIn, and Discord. and then conducted 4 interviews.

My Lean Survey Canvas

From then on, I could start moving on to the next step: defining the problems.

Stage2: Define

Working with the data collected, I put together the main things that stood out.

The Affinity Diagram helped me categorize the different aspects of what was said. In my surveys, 93,75% judged group meetings to be hard to organize; 56,25% say they usually make decisions based on a democratic model and value the opinions of all of their friends.

The Affinity Diagram
How Might We statements

The diagram allowed me to write How Might We statements that focused on three points — Time, Inclusion, Habits — which slid into the following problem statement:

Olivia needs to have all of her friends’ opinions before they make a decision to trust that everyone has been heard.

Olivia also wants to know that the others are on their way to the meetup location to avoid getting annoyed waiting too long over there.

The User Persona and her Journey

My persona is named Olivia, she’s a Baby Room Leader in London and values her friendships a lot. Her journey goes through many ups and downs, mainly excitement at the idea of seeing her friends and annoyance when plans take to long to be settled. Olivia is also the type of friend who’s reliable when she’s on time: she’s on time. So, when you arrive at 6:45 pm to your 6:30 pm meeting, she’s not the happiest.

Stage3: Ideate

Now that we have defined our problems, we need to find solutions to them.

For me, the first step here was to make a mindmap. At this point, there were two main steps I needed to take care of: the decision-making and the meeting up. I needed to see more clearly how I wanted to deal with these two phases.

Mindmap

So, here I decided that the polls would both solve the decisions taking too long to be made in a group and the fear that some voices weren’t being heard. I then wanted to track who said what and moved when & where. This translated into features such as Trophies, attributed according to your habits (e.g. tardiness or punctuality), your opinions (e.g. popular or less popular), your initiatives (e.g. trendsetter or follower).

My research also showed me, to my surprise, that the majority of people didn’t necessarily care about spotting their friends on a map at any given point. What they wanted was to know the amigos were on their way. Considering I wasn’t comfortable with tracking people on a map anyway, I thought of a feature that would alert the group members whenever one of them was getting closer to the meetup location. This way, punctual friends can lead those who aren’t as much.

The MoSCoW chart helped me put order and prioritize the features of the app.

So, it was already time to move to a Sitemap and then create a User Flow. The users are able to invite their friends to polls through text, email, or whatever messaging app they prefer via a link. Once they get to the app, they fill the poll. Once every guest has participated, an event is created with the most voted answers as event details (location, date, time).

Later on, before the event, each group member gets a notification whenever a friend is moving towards the meetup location.

Sitemap and User Flow for the prototype

Stage4: Prototype

Let’s apply our solutions in the first prototype!

I first made a paper prototype to test out layouts and decide how things should be presented. This method allowed me to quickly try different ideas and then select better-suited options.

Paper prototyping is fun!

Thanks to the paper prototype, I had a better direction for the mid-fi prototype even if some details changed or were added.

A few screens from the mid-fi prototype

You can watch the prototype here.

What next?

This week’s project was a lot of fun. It was very exciting to work on my own after having worked as a team for the first two weeks of the Bootcamp but it also forced me to adjust the pace.

There are features I would have liked to have the time to add like the location-based notifications after the event has ended to let your friends know you got home safely or monthly recaps for your meetup behavior.

Although I really enjoyed it, I regret spending a little too much time on the paper prototype. Other than that, I’m pretty satisfied with how it ended up looking and am glad to return to it in a few weeks.

The short timeframe made it so I wasn’t able to test the final prototype but it would obviously be the next logical step to take here. And since I will come back to this project on Week #6 to work on the UI, I’ll start with that.

This is the first part of this project: to read about the UI Design process, click here.

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Delphine Brunetière

Delphine Brunetière

Product Designer (she/her) - creator of Devotion zine