Agatha Tutia
amisu.jpg

Amisu

A MOBILE APP TO HELP LONG-DISTANCE FRIENDS SCHEDULE VIDEO CALLS AND DOCUMENT MEMORIES WITH EACH OTHER.

amisu

A mobile app to help long-distance friends schedule video calls and document memories with each other.

amisu.jpg

Human-Computer Interaction
fall quarter 2017 | 11 weeks

Design Problem:
How can we provide an intentional focus on long-distance friendships?

  • When a friend moves away, maintenance of that friendship becomes difficult to maintain
  • Social media newsfeed cluttered with ads, acquaintances, articles, etc.
  • Scheduling one-on-one is tedious when friends are in different time zones and work/school schedules

Design Solution

Amisu, a mobile app to help friends schedule video calls with each other and store memories documented in shared friendship profiles.


The Team

Agatha Tutia
Kellan Grant
Yang Liu
Add Gritman

My role

I led the group in project management, research, ideation, prototyping, testing, synthesis, and visual design.

Project Goal

Our team wanted to create a more intentional communication application for long-distance friendships. We decided to focus our app on video scheduling and memories. Friends can schedule video calls without worrying about time differences and treasure their friendships even as they live far apart for another.

My Takeaways

  • I'm really good at pumping up undergraduates to get work done
  • Team work, being on the same page, listening to each other, and having fun made this one of my favorite projects
  • The word "user" was not my favorite, I preferred calling them "friend"
  • Primary research and usability testing were absolutely influential in the final design
  • I need to keep a copy of Heuristics Criteria on me at all times
  • Designing the digital mocks was easy especially since we knew exactly what was need on each screen thanks to paper prototyping
  • With a looming deadline, I had to be comfortable in making educated decisions in the final design mocks

Team Research

We conducted interviews with 2 underclassmen, 2 upperclassmen, 2 graduate students, and 2 international students so that we could look for similar pain points across age and culture of students. From our interviews, we sticky noted problems, moments, anything special that came to mind and formed an affinity diagram of the constant themes throughout. We answered a series of Task Analysis Questions to fully understand our target audience, their current tasks, and what they hoped to accomplish.

Documents

Download Research Report - Download Research Presentation - Download Final Report - Download Final Presentation - Download Final Poster


Task One: Scheduling a Video Call

Research Insights

  • People struggle in maintaining long-distance friendships due to busy schedules and time differences
  • Friends mostly desire face-to-face communication

Goal of Task

Provide a simple way for friends to schedule face-to-face time with each other.

Paper Prototype Hero FLow

 
  1. Tap on a friend you want to schedule a video chat with on the Home page
  2. Tap on "Schedule Video Call" button on the Friendship page
  3. Tap on "Your Date and Time" to edit when the call should be scheduled for
  4. After editing the day and time, click the checkmark on the top right to confirm your changes
  5. The app shows the scheduled time for both friends and alert option. Tap on "Send" to finish the scheduling and send it to your friend
  6. Celebration page appears and confirms the invitation was sent
 

Key Post-Heuristic Test Change

After our heuristics test, we decided to remove the "Schedule", "Call", and "Video Message" buttons from the Friendship Page and replaced them with a "+" symbol in the right corner in an attempt to have a minimal look.

 
 Before Heuristic Test: Three Action Buttons on the Friendship page

Before Heuristic Test: Three Action Buttons on the Friendship page

 After Heuristics: Action buttons replaced with a "+" in attempt to be more minimal.

After Heuristics: Action buttons replaced with a "+" in attempt to be more minimal.

 
IMG_7945.JPG

Usability Test Findings and Key Changes

Turns out that despite our attempt to minimize the visual design, it confused our testers when attempting to schedule call. In reaction to this, I made the call to bring back the buttons. There was also a noted complication in how the tester was setting the time as there were two time pickers on the screen and it was difficult to determine which one set the time. I had believed the adjacent ticker would change in relation to the primary ticker based off of time difference, but turned out to be too overwhelming in testing. In response, I decided to cut the second ticker and allow instead a clickable row to switch to that ticker instead.

  • Return of the three action buttons on the Friendship page
  • Use only one time picker instead of two
 Before: Two time pickers

Before: Two time pickers

 After: One time picker and added row to toggle between

After: One time picker and added row to toggle between

Digital Mockup of Hero Flow

  1. Tap on a friend you want to schedule a video chat with
  2. Tap on "Schedule Video Call" button
  3. Tap on "Your Date and Time" to edit when the call should be scheduled for
  4. After editing the day and time, click the checkmark on the top right to confirm your changes
  5. Tap on "Send" to finish the scheduling and send it to your friend
  6. Celebration page appears and confirms the invitation was sent
  7. Friendship page fades in with an "Upcoming" section added of the scheduled video call

As the visual designer for the group, I ardently believed Amisu to be a playful and warm app, the opposite of Facebook's cool blue style. This was to be a home away, an intentional media. And that's what I pursued in visually designing (and redesigning) the screens in the last weeks.

Additional Subtasks

I also pushed the team to think about subtasks that support our task, and created two additional flows: editing a scheduled video call appointment and entering a scheduled video call.

Editing a Scheduled Video Call Appointment

In keeping of the Heuristics Test, we knew we needed to enable friends to edit or delete the upcoming scheduled call. What I learned through the edit feature is that it really is just an adjusted creation flow.

 
 

Entering into a Scheduled Video Call

We knew from our research that people preferred face-to-face time when possible, but planning for it was difficult and if the internet connection was poor, the experience proved disappointing. Ideally, we would program a smooth-serving video experience. I think what's interesting about this particular subtask is that this was based off of our familiar experiences with video chat apps, but I definitely believe testing on whether it is favorable or not in giving friends increased agency in their video experience as this is the heart of Amisu, the communication between two long-distance friends.

 
 

Other Tasks

Because of time constraints, we could not test and screen out all potential interactions, but they were thought of and considered for future plans:

  • Acceptance of a video call request
  • Suggesting a different day/time to a video call request
  • Rejecting a video call request
  • Canceling a video call appointment

Task Two: Creating a memory

Research insights

  • Memories of friends are often cherished, but not documented in a meaningful way
  • Social media often feels shallow and unintentional

Goal of Task

Provide a space for long-distance friends to value their relationship by keeping their shared trips, encounters, milestones, etc. documented and treasured. 

First Paper Prototype Hero

Our original hero focused on viewing a current memory in the shared Friendship page

  1. Tap on a friend you want to view a memory with on the Home page
  2. Tap on "Miami Trip" highlight on the Friendship page
  3. Scroll through and interact with the "Miami Trip" memory

Post-Heuristic Test Change

The questions of how to create a memory, add to it, edit it, and delete it arose. And we focused on enabling friends to do more with their shared memory, and made creating a memory the hero task flow.

Second Paper Prototype Hero

Because we started new flows from scratch late comparable to our peers, we had a bit of catching up to do, but I was definitely adamant that we could accomplish more than the minimum.

Utilizing the "+" symbol, we explored and discussed that the meaning of it meant whatever actions were tied to it, they must be in the family of creation.

  1. Tap on the "+" in the upper right corner of the home page
  2. Tap on "Add Memory"
  3. Tap to select the friend you would like add a memory with
  4. Select the photos you want to add to the memory
  5. Input information about the memory
  6. Tap on "Share" to share the memory with the selected friend
  7. Memory is created

Usability Test Findings

I would make the call to "archive" and not "delete" as it's less emotionally charged and does not rid the friendship and its value entirely.

From our usability testing, there was not any frustration with the main hero flow. There were different expectations and suggestions to the subtasks of adding to the memory, editing it, and deleting it. A question arose that sparked conversation with a group: "What happens a friendship ends, what happens to all those memories?" It was definitely a dark moment to consider, and I cannot recall our answer, but in post-project reflection, I would make the call to "archive" and not "delete" as it's less emotionally charged and does not rid the friendship and its value entirely.

Wording Changes

I was not satisfied. Looking more into each screen as I designed, I made some snap judgements in the wording. Particularly, I shifted "Add Memory" to "Create a Memory" to distinguish it from "Add to Memory". And instead of  "Share", I switched it to "Save". However, I believe the interaction of shared memories and video calls should be further explored in terms of etiquette.

Digital Mockup of Hero Flow

  1. Tap on the "+" in the upper right corner of the home page
  2. Tap on "Create Memory"
  3. Tap to select the friend you would like add a memory with
  4. Select the photos you want to add to the memory
  5. Input information about the memory
  6. Tap on "Save" to create the memory with the selected friend
  7. Memory is created
 

Add to Memory

A friend could add to the memory by tapping on the "..." in the upper right corner or they could scroll down to the bottom and tap on the plus sign square.

 

Edit Memory

In this flow, the friend can move pictures of the memory around and delete photos within the memory. Although, I am curious depending upon the number of photos/videos, would a selection approach be better suited to deletion?

Other tasks

Again due to time constraints, we could not test and screen out all potential interactions, but these were considered:

  • Deleting/archiving a memory
  • Adding multiple (more than two) friends to a memory

Future Considerations

The purpose of this project was to focus on solely two tasks. I got ahead of myself and pushed for several more under the guise of "subtasks." In light of this, I recognize I had an overzealous drive to fully design out an entire app. While this was aspiration went over the requirements and I was eventually constrained to limited work, I noted some future considerations in looking at what other tasks should be prototyped and tested.

  • Sign up
  • Signing in
  • Adding a friend
  • Setting a friend as a best friend
    • Should there be such a thing?
    • Should people be allowed to categorize their friends?
  • Map interaction on homepage
    • It was well-received in testing, but we did not make it a priority
  • Ending of a friendship
  • Return of a friendship
  • Group friendship pages
    • Add
    • Edit
    • Delete/Archive
  • Group video calls
  • Adding milestones to friendship pages
    • Are they automatic or manual or both?