Half Half

A self designed/developed app for couples to track and grow relationship.

MY ROLE
Market Research,
UI/UX Design,
50% of Coding
TEAM SIZE
2 Persons
(Along with my classmate)
Timeline
Jul 2018 - Apr 2019
Half Half

Why I created this app?

Over the years, I have tried a few Couple apps, and my previous obsession is Between, The App Couples Love.

It’s a cute app that allows me to organise my pictures as well as keeping some notes and diaries. However, I found that there are still a lot of UX to be improved, but it seems like Between are focusing more on the functions that make money, instead of the overall user experience.

So I decided to put my App developer hat on, cooperate with my high school classmate and venture into the wild to see if anyone else shares my problems and if I could purpose a better idea to open up a new market.
My ex: "Go and develop a good couple app that can beat Between."
Me: Okay

Development Process

The Research.

We did the following steps to identify the needs of couples:

1. Searched for 'couple app' on the App Store and the Play Store and evaluated the apps, as well as the reviews/ratings.

2. Interviewed 6 of our friends to find out their thoughts.

3. Created 2 personas to represent our users.

Interview / Personas

We interviewed 6 of my friends to gather their expectations and brainstormed ideas together to think of different functions/scenarios that a couple apps should include.

Based on my research, we created two personas that represent the type of users that we are interested in and would like to redesign the app for:

Annie — Who wants a private app to share her daily-life with her boyfriend only.

Olivia — Who wants a simple app that allows her to track the growth of her relationship.

Setting Up The Scope

With the help of the personas, we finalised a list of requirements and built a sitemap to organise the transitions and the links between the pages.

A Mistake

A Bad Prototype with No Plan. No Focus.
No Communication.
The first prototype was produced under a disorganised time management. We tried to follow an Agile Methodology to control our executions but eventually, everything runs out of control as both of us is also working on something else.

Lack of communication slows down our development process and lowers the quality of the design.A lot of designs in this version is not carefully considered as my teammate would like to start the coding/developing process ASAP.As a result, the fonts and colours we used, as well as the designs are not very consistent and we found a lot of misunderstandings from people during testing.

Life Changing Testing

We tested the prototype with four friends and found several problems from the design.

But the biggest take away from the Usability Testing is that my co-developer and I finally decided to sit down together and redefine the vision of the app, look at previous researches, define our scope and organise our time a bit.

Refined Design

Development

Tools used: Xcode (Swift 4.2).

Since myself and my teammate live in different countries, we relied heavily on project management software to communicate. We used GitHub to collaborate on the project and Trello boards to manage the tasks with agile methodology. We also discussed the project and prioritised tasks every two weeks in order to synchronise our work.

Here's a demo of our work:

Main Takeaway

Designer Mind vs Developer Mind
I have to say I hate myself as a designer when I am developing.
But on the other hand, by working on both roles, I forced myself to practice the methodology of 'Design with Codes in Mind' and 'Code with Users in Mind'.

In other words, I learned the way to empathize the developers while designing for users.

Effortless way of conduct research
Simply chatting to friends can already help me to define the personas! I also found that reading the app store's reviews of the competitors provides an excellent overview of what the user needs in the market.

Time Management
Our schedule was tight as we wanted to finish 50% of the work before we both enrolled in the postgraduate school in two different countries. As a result, we often were not able to follow the agile and design process, and the schedule was completely mess up at some points, causing a lot of redesign and redevelopment works.

Thankfully, everything started to run smoother after we finalised our main ideas and the information architecture. I also asked my co-developer to do his own design to split up our works more evenly.
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