I led all aspects of the creative process for this project. I also acted as the project manager, overseeing timelines, roadmaps, developer's sprints, and client expectations. The lead developer is currently working on her Masters in Human Centered Design so I recruited her to help out with the user research portion of the app. I thought this would be a great opportunity for her to apply what she is learning in a real client project. Doing this allowed me to both help my team develop the app as well as collaborate and mentor.
I led a kickoff meeting with the stakeholders: zoo scientists, researchers and outreach specialists, to better understand their objectives and business goals. We reviewed the zoo's existing "Otter Spotter", a desktop app that allows people to report sightings of otters. We reviewed the app's features, workflows and existing quantitative data about the usage of the app, as well as timelines, roadmap and budget.
After the kickoff meeting, I led the research and usability testing. We wanted to conduct some research to help us better understand the users and their needs as well as guide us in our product design requirements. I opted for a combination of qualitative input (interviews) and quantitative data (survey). Our interviews (n=6) were semi-structured in nature. We opted to ask questions pertaining to the perceptions, behaviors, and feelings that
the interviewees had toward urban carnivores as well as demographic and technology-based questions. The findings from the interview were be broken up into two categories - takeaways from expert perception of and experience interacting with their community, and general expert preference takeaways.
We sent out a survey (n=517). The survey was sent out viaWoodland Park Zoo stakeholder and educational channels (i.e. social media, email lists). The survey questions pertained to general knowledge about urban carnivores and technology. The survey findings were categorized into distinct themes - urban carnivore knowledge, technology usage and preferences, perception of urban carnivores, and reporting. It is important to note that the majority of the respondents to this survey were people who have at least some engagement in the wildlife community.
Our usability testing included moderated user testing, where users were able to walk through different tasks and verbalize to us their experience. As a result, we were able to observe how users were utilizing the Otter Spotter (existing) app, which helped us identify the pain points and frustrations as well as get feedback on features that would be helpful in the new app.
Personas and Empathy Maps
After analyzing and consolidating all our findings, I developed personas and empathy maps for 5 different users. The personas represent our primary and secondary users. The empathy maps allowed us to get a deeper understanding of each persona's reality and pain points.
At this point, we were able to put together a list of user stories that would help us identify the app's features.
Based on the feedback and research, I actualized the ideas in the form of rough wireframes. My team and I presented them to the client and after a few iterations, we were able to narrow the wireframes down to a final direction leading us to creating some high-def comps that adhered with the Zoo's brand guidelines.