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Project Overview

The Problem

Using public transit late at night or in a foreign city can sometimes result in missing your stop due to being asleep, distracted, or not being familiar with your surroundings. This can result in you needing to either backtrack on transit or take a taxi, which can be costly in both time and money.

The Solution

Creating an app that allows users to set location-based alarms to notify them they are near their destination.

My role

Project Manager, User Experience

Tools

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Slack

Client

BCIT

Team

Alessandro Grunwald, Danny Burton, Juliana Tamizaki, Xiaodan Chan, Dov Kushnir

Ideation

Concept

For our third term at BCIT, we were asked to pitch an app to the program’s faculty and students that would end up being one of fifteen term projects for the program to work on, as determined by a program-wide vote. While brainstorming ideas, I remembered the troubles I had while commuting late at night as a bartender: I’d often wake up on the bus to find that I had missed 

my stop, causing me to have to double back on the bus, if possible, or take an expensive cab ride home. I used this as my inspiration for creating Proxy.

I was fortunate enough to have my app voted in the top 15, (with the most votes, too, but who’s counting? *ahem*) so I began to assemble my design and development dream teams.

Concept

For our third term at BCIT, we were asked to pitch an app to the program’s faculty and students that would end up being one of fifteen term projects for the program to work on, as determined by a program-wide vote. While brainstorming ideas, I remembered the troubles I had while commuting late at night as a bartender: I’d often wake up on the bus to find that I had missed my stop, causing me to have to double back on the bus, if possible, or take an expensive cab ride home. I used this as my inspiration for creating Proxy.

I was fortunate enough to have my app voted in the top 15, (with the most votes, too, but who’s counting? *ahem*) so I began to assemble my design and development dream teams.

Scope

In its first draft, Proxy was a very simple app that only set off location-based alarms. As the idea began to evolve and take shape, the idea of using geofencing to trigger events suddenly lent itself to other applications; instead of triggering an alarm when the user enters an area, what about sending a message? Proxy could try and reduce the amount of texting and driving on the roads.

Unfortunately, considering my team had less than 100 days to complete the app, some ideas needed to get scaled down. Through discussions with the development team, we decided to keep our minimum viable product to an app that sets off alarms and notifications, as there simply wasn’t enough time to get into accessing the phone’s contact information and messaging features in time.

User Journey

User Personas

The user personas created for Proxy are targeted men and women aged 20 to 35 with a mix of comfort levels with technology and professional backgrounds. Keeping these users in mind helped us focus our creative vision to satisfy their needs first and not to get caught up in flashy design or superfluous options and features.

Information Architecture

Next up, a sitemap and user flows were created to map out the key tasks required by the average user using the app. Laying out all the choices our users would need to make helped us ensure a seamless experience, prioritize content requirements, and also helped us with brainstorming new ideas for possible features and options.

My Roles

User Experience

The UX process began with creating detailed user personas, sitemaps and user flows, followed by creating wireframes with these personas in mind. Other team members contributed to creating mockups and an InVision prototype from these mockups.

Once the development team had a workable demo, we began user testing. User testing was performed by instructing each participant to use their own phone to load the app via Expo, giving our team an opportunity to see what kind of issues might arise on different devices and operating systems.

From our user feedback, we incorporated a feature that let the user select a destination by holding their finger down on the map.

Project Manager

As our program’s students were divided among three different classes, an important aspect of successfully managing the project was the coordination of task flow among the five members of the group. I used Slack to set up a workspace where the design and development teams could collaborate or communicate independently of one another.

From there, the design team began developing wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and assets such as icons and the loading animation. Meanwhile, the development team needed time to research React Native as well as how to incorporate geofencing and the Google/Google Maps and Facebook APIs.

As the team began to contribute ideas for the app, it was important to keep in mind the entire scope and timeframe of the project into account. As we still had seven other classes to consider, I needed to ensure that the project was manageable and realistic to complete within the timeframe given.

Project Manager

As our program’s students were divided among three different classes, an important aspect of successfully managing the project was the coordination of task flow among the five members of the group. I used Slack to set up a workspace where the design and development teams could collaborate or communicate independently of one another.

From there, the design team began developing wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and assets such as icons and the loading animation. Meanwhile, the development team needed time to research React Native as well as how to incorporate geofencing and the Google/Google Maps and Facebook APIs.

As the team began to contribute ideas for the app, it was important to keep in mind the entire scope and timeframe of the project into account. As we still had seven other classes to consider, I needed to ensure that the project was manageable and realistic to complete within the timeframe given.

The Results

By the end of the term, we managed to deliver a fully-functioning app that was met with excellent reviews from students, faculty, and industry professionals alike. From the results of our project presentation, our group was offered the opportunity to be mentored by an employee of Intel as we completed the app to a point where it could be uploaded to the Google Play and the Apple App Stores.

www.proxyapp.ca

Client

BCIT

Date

September – December 2017

Roles

Project Manager
User Experience

Software

Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Slack

Skills

Presentations
Project Management
Branding
Wireframing
User Testing

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