General Assembly UX design course, weeks 3-4: wireframing with Sketch, prototyping, and learning some valuable lessons

These last couple weeks in the course have been somewhat of an exercise in persistence. I’ve gained a ton of knowledge and experience, but overall, I feel like I’m creating something that adds work for people. Which is probably the opposite of what I should be doing as a UX designer.

Let me back up a bit. I’d written previously about how, according to my user research, people were having problems with yoga classes not being quite what they expected, and they wanted to know more information before stepping into the studio. So my mission was to figure out a way to give them more information. If you want to know where it all went wrong and what I’m learning from it, keep reading.

The final project for the class involves creating some type of website or app, so first I decided to go the app route. I had a rough prototype, and I was pretty excited about it. Then after some initial testing, I found that users really aren’t excited about making the effort and using up space on their phones to download an app to find yoga classes when a Google search is readily accessible and does what they need. Which is totally understandable.

One thing I’d failed to consider in my original research was how much of a problem this was for people, and what they’d be willing to do to solve it. When I asked those questions, it turns out that people were willing to maybe go one click out of their way to get more information about a yoga class.

So here I was, thinking I would save people all this time, money, heartache, etc. by creating this yoga finding app or website, and it’s really just not something anybody wants or needs. What they want is better information within their existing resources, i.e. studio websites, Facebook events, etc. And I can’t go to every yoga teacher and studio and be like, “Hey, um, could you just make that class description a little more detailed?”

I suppose in the real world, this would be when a designer or a business abandons a project. But this was week three of a six week class, so I was advised to carry on with the plan for the sake of creating something.

It kind of sucks to be creating this thing that people (myself included) are just kind of “meh” about, but in a lot of ways, I’m grateful for the lessons. So, onward and upward!

In addition to humility and perseverance, I’ve learned how to use Sketch and InVision (two tools that lot of UX designers use) over the past couple weeks. Before this, my last significant experience with design software was Photoshop, when I was in high school. In 2003. It didn’t go well. It was slow, it was complicated, and it left me never wanting to touch the stuff again.

But Sketch and InVision have been amazing, actually. They’re easy, they’re intuitive, and I can create pretty good products on the first try. I’ll write more about what I’m actually creating in a future post since this one’s getting kind of long-winded. But for now, here are some screenshots of what I’ve got. Yay for continuing to work, and grow, and learn even when it isn’t all perfect.

SearchStartScreenshot
The start screen. Users will be guided through a series of questions. And be given the option to search just by location and time.
ClassMatchScreenshot
This one shows the classes that match the user’s preferences.
PreviewScreenshot
This gives them a detailed preview of what the class will be like. 

If you’d like to see a clickable prototype of this design, visit my InVision project here.

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