For my UX design course at CareerFoundry the brief was to build a project management application from scratch. During this 6 month intensive course project all elements in the UX design process are extensively discussed and implemented.
The course project is called Taskly. Taskly is a project and task management app for teams, small businesses and individuals who need to be able to effectively and efficiently create and manage a project and track it’s progress, from start to finish.
The challenge of the course was to create a product that I was not familiar with from scratch and the time restraint for each part of the program.
So, instead of creating a lot of features, I focused on two features. These involved creating a new project and easily invite and assign a project owner, team member or client in different ways.
I also learned that I needed an onboarding process to enable new users, not familiar using apps like this, to start using the app efficiently right from the start.
I started out with a competitor analysis to understand the product, the current market, who the competitors are, what strategies they are using, what value they provide, understanding their - and mine - strengths and weaknesses, and where my app would fit in.
The three main competitors I've identified for the scope of this course project were Asana, Basecamp and Wunderlist. For each competitor, I created the following analysis:
Competitor profile; including an overview and competitive advantage
Marketing profile; including identifying the target market and marketing strategies
Each of the competitors core business; including product, pricing and cost
UX/UI analysis on usability, layout, navigation structure, compatibility, content, design and performances.
Based on the analysis I have also been able to determine Taskly's industry, potential customers and customer needs:
Industry: project management application, available as SAAS
Potential customers: Everyone working with other people, from freelancers to small and large company teams.
Customer needs: Easy and intuitive to use application, enabling collaboration, easy project and task creation, management and tracking wherever they are and whatever device they use.
To collect quantitative data in order to validate (or invalidate) customer needs and the core features of Taskly’s Minimum Viable Product (MVP), I created a User Survey.
Hypothesis: People working on projects in teams and/or with clients need a solution that is super simple to use, offering all of the most important features and integrations with focus on time management, integration of 3rd party tools and collaboration.
To ensure my survey results would be representative of the target audience I have defined the audience being people working on projects in teams of with clients on professional basis. I invited them through Slack and my LinkedIn network.
I created a set of questions and I used Survey Monkey to do the survey.
Conclusion: My hypothesis validated except for the need for collaboration, which was rather unexpected.
Screenshot from user survey
To be able to build a better project management app I wrote a script with relevant, consistent questions and i did customer interviews in person with people from my target audience. Doing this I was able to gather and analyze qualitative data to validate or invalidate customer problems.
I have learned that the assumptions I came up with due to competition analysis and user survey, regarding the problems that Taskly would need to try and solve, are valid.
The previous research phase enabled me to identify user needs and goals. Accordingly I decided to create Taskly's MVP with the following features:
Create a simple and intuitive UI
Create a clear dashboard with default options to present status overview of projects, tasks & conversations
Make it easy to invite & assign team members and/or clients on each level.
Start conversation on project or task level including option to send notification
To create a successful web app it is important to understand the types of people who'll use the app. To do this I created User Personas which will allow me to perform quick testing of assumptions and prioritizing of features during the development process. For the scope of this project I created 3 different personas with focus on the major needs of the most important user groups.
Creating a task model using user-centric design principles helped me to understand what steps potential users would go through, their desires, expectations and behaviors. This will help me to create an experience that will increase efficiency and conversion rates.
User Experience Map
To help me visualize all of the customer's journeys they experience and how those journeys are connected I created a customer experience map which helped me to identify problem areas.
Card Sorting & Sitemap
Before I started with card sorting and creating a sitemap, I did a content audit and SEO research of the previously identified competitors of Taskly. This helped me to get a clear structure of the application, type of content to create and what needs to be done.
After the content audit I conducted live (using post-it notes) and remote card sorting (using optimalworkflow.com) exercises to help define the information architecture for Taskly.
Based on those results I have created the sitemap (using lucidchart.com). This helps me to understand the structure, how it all comes together and serves as reference point when designing wireframes and prototypes.
Screenshot online card sorting
Card sorting session
During this phase I started sketching out every iteration to be able to quickly see which idea would work best, using mobile first approach.
Different dashboard ideas
Sketching User flow
After reviewing these ideas I selected the favorites and sketched the wireframes and user flow in more detail and added annotations. Sketching helps to work rapidly and consider more ideas.
User flow for creating new project
Prototyping & Usability Testing
After sketching I created wireframes. I used Sketch so it would save me a lot of time (thanks to symbols and styles) when doing iterations, hi-fi mockups and prototyping.
Wireframe and flow for adding a team member starting from project screen.
Wireframes and prototypes were tested constantly and iterated progressively to determine the user flows and put these to test with potential users from my target audience. To test I used paper prototypes and created working prototypes for mobile, tablet and desktop versions in Invision to conduct interactive tests with live and virtual test users.
During the tests, usability issues have been identified and iterations have been made to solve these issues and re-tested for validation.
One of the issues that came up during the tests was that, when a user was asked to assign themselves as project owner, they missed the option to select their own profile on the invite screen. Instead they had to select themselves from contact list. This was solved by adding the logged-in user at the top (1).
Another issue on this screen was that most of the test users found the “add manually” input box (2) distracting on this screen. This has been solved by changing this into a selectable option like the others, which would open a new screen to enter details manually.
For the design of the application i created a mood board, style tiles and a UI kit which were discussed and iterated resulting in a user interface design that communicates the message effectively and creates brand awareness.
Taskly UI Kit
Testing & Analytics
After creating the designs more testing has been done to further improve on the design and user experience.
For each test I did research to discover problems and performed analysis to figure out what the problems might be. That resulted in a hypothesis which was used for testing.
Tests that have been conducted were A/B testing, multi-click testing, Google experiments. With the help of Google Analytics and Verify I was able to make data-driven decisions.
All research, testing and iterations have led to final designs and decisions for this project some of which I present to you below.
Create a new project
Assign a team member
It's not about you
You can have the best ideas in the world, but only when validated during tests
with portential users and focus groups the idea can be proven to work or not. I really loved to find out where the pain points were, figure out solutions, test, iterate, test etc.
I also learned that paper prototyping can significantly reduce the time to create new visions and ideas to be tested, validated and developed.
Using the mobile first approach during the project allowed me to create a better experience on tablet and desktop as well.