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Abide Prayer App - Prayer Space Project

Palo Alto, CA
2015

Project Background

Carpenter's Code's Abide app helps users connect with God through the scriptures, personal mentors, guided prayers, and meditative space. Before the proposed new design changes were implemented by the engineers, the team wanted to see if the new changes/features would be consistent with the intended direction of the app & if the target users would go through any pain points in terms of usability (tactical research). 

My Role

As the only UX Research Intern in the team:

  • Identified target users and created user profiles through data analysis on social media marketing platforms
  • Conducted user surveys to help craft marketing messages around new features
  • Scanned, recruited, and scheduled participants upon qualifications and availability
  • Communicated research questions to be answered through usability sessions with the rest of the team
  • Scripted and ran interviews & usability tests to gather users' feedback on the lo-fi prototype of the new feature
  • Analyzed the results and summarized them into digestible design reports
  • Reported key takeaways from my research to UX designers and engineers in order to create hi-fi prototype

Research Questions

Through discussion with UX designers and engineers within the company, I identified three main research questions I wanted to answer about the new design change: consistency with the app's purposehelpfulness for users, and improved usability. Based on these guidelines, I wrote my interview questions and usability test script and had it reviewed over from other members in the UX team, making sure it covers all the questions we want to scope into.

Research Methods + Design

I collaborated with two UX team members, who have created wireframes and the prototype I can use in the usability research. After scheduling 4 participants who match with our personas, I set up a mini-usability lab in the meeting room. With IPEVO Camera recording the participant's interaction with the prototype, I set up my laptop on the side for taking notes. The testing constituted of warm-up and background questions, questions around the usability of the new features displayed via the prototype, cognitive walkthrough questions, and finally some follow-up questions which included the net promoter score and open-ended questions. Throughout each session I made sure the participants felt welcomed upon arrival, signed the research consent forms in the beginning, and received the participation gift at the end of the usability session. Each session ran from 45 minutes to an hour.

Credit: http://thisisrory.com/

Credit: http://thisisrory.com/

Impact

After the sessions I compiled my notes and analyzed the video recordings, which were summarized into a 1-page digestible design report that was shared with the rest of the company. This report communicated friction points and in the new design changes and possible improvements on each of them, which were outlined as key action items. The action items were implemented right away by designers and engineers to create next step prototype and better improve the user experience. I also included relevant verbatim quotes from the participants & my user study notes as a reference, which team members could check out and learn more about what users think.

Challenges + Constraints

  • Due to known limited interactivity of the prototype, users might have had experienced breakdowns during usability sessions.
  • 1 out of 4 participants did not perfectly fit our target user profile, which could have confounded the study results.
  • More rounds of testing and iterating could have been done, but was not possible due to time and space constraints.

What I Learned

  • How to work within a team of UX professionals
  • How to present UX deliverables to the rest of the team effectively
  • How to conduct UX research under time and space constraints
  • What users say is not necessarily what users want or what they do