The Audiojack App is a combination of different sound effects layered together to create a scene or story. In other words, Audiojack is an audio-based movie with no words, no music, no video, only sounds, and it requires the use of someone’s imagination to tell a story.
The Audiojack app has a simple home navigation screen yet unlike other apps it does not have an initial walk thru or introduction.
The home navigation lists 6 genres of Audiojack’s an “activities” link and a “contact us” below that. The user is meant to click on a genre and navigate through to a particular 3-5 minute Audiojack he/she would like to hear.
There is also an “unlock” link that lets the user purchase additional Audiojacks by subscribing monthly or annually.
- Users would like to be able to bookmark favorite Audiojacks and come back to them later.
- Users wish to have a 30 second preview of the Audiojack before they “unlock” or purchase it.
- Users need a search bar to be able to find an Audiojack genre quickly.
- First time users need an introduction or “tutorial” to know how to navigate the app.
Needfinding : User Interviews and Research
Based on the research we conducted it seems that most of the Audiojack users use the app to alleviate some form of stress, focus more clearly, and induce creativity. This was seen in all 4 personas we developed. For example, a busy Graphic Designer and Software Engineer would need a “break” from working all day and from staring at the screen thus, they turn to Audiojack which is all sound based. Often times the Audiojack will take their mind off of work or actually spark an idea he/she hadn’t thought of before. Another example is the 3rd grade teacher that uses the Audiojack as a teaching mechanism. She creates an activity from an Audiojack by playing it for her students and having them develop a story from it. More interestingly we discovered that there are apps that aim to reduce stress, help with insomnia, and serve as a “mental yoga” but there are none that use a mixture of sounds to purposefully invoke stories.
Empathy Map & Persona Development
Based on our user research we created an ideal persona that sums up the goals and needs of our interviewed users.
In order to determine the pain points of our persona, we developed a user journey map for Alicia while she uses the app. Our map tells a story about her interaction with the Audiojack app while she is lesson planning. Based on this map we determined that the main pain point Alicia is likely to come across is the inability of bookmarking, previewing an Audiojack and creating a playlist she wants to use in her class. This is a problem for Alicia because she already has a lot on her plate and wishes to spend less time on poorly designed apps.
Redesigning the App Based on Research
Based on the information and solutions we gathered about our persona’s experience and pain points we discovered in the journey map we developed a preliminary prototype using the Marvel App. We chose to use this software because it enabled us to design the app within the dashboard instead of relying on a second software program like InDesign or Illustrator to create the images.
We decided to keep the original color and layout of the Audiojack app because black is less bright and the existing layout was fairly simple. However, we added key features that will make it even easier for our user to interact with.
For our user test we tested three new features for the Audiojack app:
How to search for an Audiojack
How to bookmark and Audiojack
How to add the bookmarked Audiojack to a playlist
We used usertesting.com to conduct our usability test. The user was given a short introduction about what Audiojack is. Next, the user was given cues about what they should be looking for on the prototype. We observed that initially, the user wasn’t able to figure out how to “search” for the Audiojack. However, after a few clicks they followed through the process and completed the task of searching, bookmarking and adding to a playlist successfully.
After analyzing the user test video we realized that there are two ways of actually searching for an Audiojack; one is to click on each genre until one finds the right one and the next is to type it in the search bar. One just takes a little longer than the other but both arrive at the same solution. If we were to re-test our app we would make both options functional.
Furthermore, our user found that our bookmark and playlist feature was straightforward and simple; there were no issues while navigating through that part of the prototype.
1. Creating personas and persona journey maps helped me visualize the pain points of the user better
2. Conducting a comparative research helped in identifying features that existed in competition and could be useful for our app as well.
3. There is nothing as a "final design", there is always room for improvement. After conducting such an intensive research I still have more ideas to improve the app to enhance the experience for the stakeholders.