Colours and Branding
I realized at this time I had to take on the difficult task of finally naming and branding my app. I wanted to work around the idea of the currant berry, but I also wanted to work with a colour scheme that wouldn't remind anyone of any existing product.
During this process I constantly interviewed and checked with my peers, asking them what the colours reminded them of and edited based on feedback. Intitially I was getting comments that I was using colours too close to Airbnb so I changed things to be more pinkish.
After a few iterations of the actual logo and numerous changed the original colour scheme of turquoise and black I got to something I was comfortable with. The final thing I had to do was check with accessibility. I checked and made the appropriate edits. Came up with a logo and a good colour scheme I was happy with and now I could finally move my wireframes to HIFI designs.
The story behind
Currant was inspired by events that took place on a backpacking trip through Europe in summer 2015. From losing reservations that were saved in my email when I couldn't access wifi or data, to being lost and unsure where we should eat and ending up at Mcdonalds. I realized I just wanted one place to go that would have everything I needed just there at my fingertips, and thats where this idea sprang from. Currant was named after the only berry we could find to eat at a decent price in Iceland, as well as a play on the word Current.
This project was my Fourth Year Thesis project and successfully showed at Sheridan Illustration Grad show 2016.
Initial Research and
Currant was presented to my thesis class as one of three ideas I wanted to bring to life - and was my favourite idea so I was beyond exited to go forward with it. Before any design was done, I wanted to look into what already existed and what I could do to build on that and create a user-centered app that would work for all types of travelers. I researched up information, appropriate persona's and a proper plan that would take me the course of two semesters to finish. At this time I also contacted a friend who interned with me as a Front End Developer and pitched if he would be able to create this and bring it to life in time for my graduation.
I was able to be mentored throughout this thesis class by a technical professor, who knew about UX/UI Design (coming from a program where that was not a focus I was thankful to have him every step of the way).
Who did I want to focus on for this? Obviously the idea came to mind from a backpacking trip so I decided to put my first focus on a mid 20s backpacker, who is traveling on a budget and moving around a lot. Additionally I thought creating something that would be easily used for families was another great idea so I created a second persona who was a mom with two kids she also needed to plan for. This now included multi-sign on and options to organize more than one traveler. Finally I came across a third persona who would be a business person, who would probably do similar trips in frequent timings. He would need something that would act as a template that he could just import past information into a new itinerary.
Fun fact the backpacking persona is my sister, taken during the same trip that inspired this app.
Which features will make Currant stand out from existing travel apps? How would the three persona's run through the app for the first time? The next step was to take the pain points from persona research and turn them into something feasible. I created a list of important aspects that needed to be included and ran through each story. This ended up with me having a clear path on where to go next and what to include in the app before I even started any screens.
After figuring all this out I moved on to sketching up some initial screens. What would this app look like? How would I bring it to life from paper to something that was actually tangible.
After reviewing persona stories, Currant needs to include the following features to make sure it stands out from other travel apps:
Four sections :
Itineraries, Packing Checklists, ID
and Contact and Photo Gallery
Needs a secure login, where users can create accounts and the account information is stored on a server. Allowing access on multiple devices
Needs to have the ability to save trips as templates and reuse them over and over again
Needs to cache information to allow offline use
Needs to have the ability to allow numerous accounts to access one trip, which allows for collaborative planning with families.
Needs to have the ability to share information via social media and map integration to show directions.
The final stage was to get all the designs organized and send blueprints over to the developer. I finalized all the HIFI designs and laid them out in one sheet to bring to users and do final testing before getting development involved.
Due to this being a personal project the developer was only able to work on this near the end, in other circumstances he would have been included right from the beginning research. As well to create a branded video to advertise. This project was able to teach me a lot, I was able to run from start to finish on a product all by myself. Figure things out as I went along.
Do you ever find yourself lost in another country, realizing you may have not planned your trip 100%. Unsure where you're supposed to be going, where you should be eating and lacking wifi to access emails with your reservations and other important information?
I wanted to get some input from potential users if they liked the direction I was going in, what wasn't working and what they wished I could add in. I started with gathering a few friends at school I knew would be interested in something like this. I ran through my sketches and journeys and asked relevant questions.
I then brought the designs into my internship at IBM and asked some seasoned designers there for input on what I could improve on. This caught minor issues such as me missing a first time user experience to walk through and introduce someone to this app. As well we found out a good first time experience would be to directly jump into making a trip instead of landing on the landing page.