VIA: a mobile app for the mobile person
Lisa Imas, Dillon Grove, Elina Kim, Soyeon Hwang
Researcher, interaction designer
Our group decided to design an application to help mobile workers navigate between jobs/travels. To start, we conducted user research to get a better idea of who our target audience was, and what they were like.
We interviewed 6 people in total with a variety of jobs, the only common link between them being that they all require frequent travel of some sort. We asked about their daily routines, where they ate, flexibility of their schedules, how they interact with coworkers, and what sorts of technology they use. What we found was the following:
- Mobile workers generally have irregular and short breaks during the day. Thus, they sometimes have to look for a place to stay for a short period of time.
- For food/dining, they seek for a place close to their work place or places that are on the way to somewhere.
- They still want to be connected to people and communicate with co-workers or friends.
- They use various sources and application to find places.
- They discover new places to go through co-workers.
With the research done, we built personas of the typical user we expected to have for this app based on the research results.
Karen, a busy consultant who works in different cities every week. After a busy day at work, she just wants to have a relaxing dinner in her hotel room. She uses the app to search for restaurants on the way back to the hotel so that she can order ahead and pick the food up on her way.
Timothy, a police officer who loves socializing. When he gets hungry during his shift, he hopes to get dinner with his coworkers. Timothy uses the app to find a restaurant (gluten-free, according to doctor's orders) between his location and that of a coworker's, as well as send out an invitation to make it easier for them to meet.
Julia, an NYU student & part-time in-home tutor who is always on the move. Whenever students push back lesson times at the last minute, Julia is often left stranded in an unfamiliar neighborhood until the new lesson time. She uses the app to find cafes near her student's house to spend the spare time in.
With an idea of what we wanted our app to do, what kind of people we were serving, and what their concerns were, we began to work on the app's interface itself.
We brainstormed together a bunch of different implementations of the app, and then gave feedback on each other's ideas. Eventually, we weeded out the ideas we didn't like, and kept the ones that we did. Once we knew how we wanted to design it all, we built a navigation map and created wireframes:
And then to create our high-fidelity mockups of the wireframes, we each created our own separate mockups in Photoshop to show to each other. Again, we gave feedback on each other's mockups and then combined the aspects we liked together into one final, cohesive look that we coded with HTML/CSS.
To try out the prototype yourself, click here and resize the window to phone proportions.