Days
UX/UI designer
Overview

Days is a beautiful countdown app to all the events that matter to you. Events are important, they're the small things in life that matter the most. Whether it's a wedding, a holiday or just a night out with your friends, Days helps you countdown to those special moments.

The project began when I got contacted by a client from UK, who searched for a skilled UX/UI designer. The clients plan was to work on the app as side project, but through the development process it became more than that.

Visit the website or Download on the App Store.

The problem
After market research and competitors analysis we found that there are few similar mobile apps, that provide the same functionality, but they all offer very complex and buggy solutions. The clients main idea was to create a countdown app that would stand out, by creating a great user centric oriented experiences and meet the user expectations by allowing them to easily create, share and count down to their moments.
The challenge

The first challenge in the project was the number of team members. The client was also a developer and the only team member I was working with. At that time I was aware, that the project will require for me to be involved into the process from the very beginning to the very end and it will challenge us both to deliver the user and the business needs.

The second challenge was to work through the low budget that was available. For advance planning this meant that we won’t have all the resources available and that our research will be based on any source that we could gather, to deliver a great product.

Research

We tried to stay focused through the research, by making it short and effective. We gathered as much data as possible from user feedbacks, technical reports, etc. We also created a detailed competitor analysis that gave us insights of current apps and helped us to meet the priorities to differentiate our product from all the others. The research phase continued with creating assumptions, that we later validated with surveys and user interviews.

We started to ask questions who are the users we are targeting, which features would be useful to them, what goals do they need to accomplish and what are the users needs and desires.

Epics and design stories

Epics are stories that are providing an overview of the features. They helped me think through my design decisions, to create and provide a useful user experience. In our case, epics were that user can: create, edit, view, share and delete their events.

We continued with writing design stories, and agile technique to capture the functionality of a product. We created detailed descriptions of what the user can do.

Our design stories:

Analysis
Our main goal was to create a user experience that will be simple, effective and only provides informations that user would need for an upcoming event. We created some online surveys and interviews users on the street. We noticed that a lot of the users are still using standard calendar apps as their tool for planing events in advance. The standard calendars cover the basic of creating appointments and schedule managements, but everyone has a different workflow and that opens door for other calendar apps to suit user needs.
Persona development
In order to test our ideas and hypotheses, I created some fictional characters, to understand possible scenarios and to see which functions could be useful.
User Task flow
Task flows helped us to think through the design, before a feature is actually developed. It helped us to interject the user into the flow of the application, and determine if the conceptual model agrees with the user model.
Wireframes
My next step was to visualize the user task flow. I started with some quick sketches and continued with creating high-fidelity mockups. Since we were going to use the mockups for user validation, we used as much real data as possible.
A/B testing

By watching our test users use and fumble through our product or even just imagining using it, we quickly identified areas, where app is not simple or clear enough. We also made a commitment to make simplicity our top priority from day one and filtered every wireframe and piece of copy through questions: Is it simple enough? Is there anything we could simplify?

We created an alternative version of our product, introduced it to different users and compared the results to see which of the screens performs better.

Usability test
When we performed a usability test, we experienced interesting user behavior pattern that we didn’t predict. We noticed that 70% of our users tried to tap on the photo they were sharing on our mobile screen (where users could share their events). After we asked them why they did this in most of the cases the answer was “I thought I can edit it”. We decided that this is a feature that is definitely worth solving to meet the user needs.
The outcome
Gestures and animations
Gestures add value to the user and we are designing not just what it looks like but how it behaves. The most important criterion for me is that these interactions feel very intuitive.
We also added animations, the little things that push an app from just being usable to being delightful. In most cases, those micro interactions add clever transitions between screens and they also enable user to see what is happening, so it’s brain don’t have to "fill the gap".
An app is also a delight when animation is used in ways beyond the obvious; a menu icon that changes from one state to another and serves dual functions, etc. Users do notice small details!
Website process

After the app was finalized by developer, I took over of the last part of the design: Creating, designing and developing a landing page.

My main goal was to create a simple and valuable landing page experience: Explaining the product purpose in a tagline, describing the app functionalities and leading user to download the app.

Because of the short time period and the resources we had, we didn't perform any A/B testing or analyzing any other webpage statistics. I guess there is still room left for a lot of improvements.

The whole process of the website was made out of sketching, wire framing, designing, providing the content and developing the website.

First compromises

After our app was launched we knew we already made some mistakes. Our revenue model was based on the app being payed and since the adoption was very low we decided to change the revenue model.

By having so many similar apps on the market we wanted to give the users a free option to explore the app and integrate the revenue model into the app by creating the in app purchases. It was a compromise that we decided to make, even without any validation which can still be measurable later to see if it was successful.

Based on our research we had data that showed that the average number of events that user create, is 10 to 15. Therefore we created a pop-up screen, that is shown after user creates 10 goals, where we ask them to support our app development by giving them 3 options to choose from.

Apple watch

Apple watch offers new tools for designers, where we must carefully pick our app’s most important features or use common ideas that the users will carry on their devices.

We focused on bringing the most important screen to the apple watch: Seeing your upcoming events in a timeline, ability to see the event details and adding an event with the force touch technology to the favorites group and then share it. The interactions are super quick and can be understood instantly.

Statistics
After app being launched, we did look at the statistic and measure the task success rate, time on task, user error rate and system usability scale.
User feedback
Our user feedback from the Apple App Store.