ERIN | Product Research and Design

ERIN is an application that provides drivers with tools to manage their tight schedules on the go, optimizing the time that people spend in their car. ERIN advises the most productive task completion strategies and provides the users with contextually relevant reminders for busy drivers. HCDE 518 Final Deliverable.

Role

UX Researcher
UX Designer
Visual Designer

Methods/Tools

Contextual Inquiry
Survey
Card Sorting
Sketching
Adobe xD

Timeline

Jun 2019 - Sep 2019

Team

Minkyong Kim
Cassandra Lee
Carrie Ding

Project Background

This project was done as a part of my first HCDE class, "User Centered Design". We were tasked with designing "something in a car" that would be intuitive and easy to use. For a group of people fresh in the field of UX, we didn't know where to start. In order to zero in on a problem space that intrigues us, we had a few brainstorming sessions.

Finally, after much deliberation and many ideas, we decided on working in the tasks and productivity problem space. Here, we were hoping to solve the problems of busy drivers that are on the go, and also help promote safe phone usage while operating a motor vehicle.

Research

"How might we help busy individuals better plan their daily errands in advance, and increase efficiency in executing them using their automobiles?"

The research process was exciting, as we were able to connect with many drivers to learn more about their contextual struggles when it comes to task completion and productivity in a car. I aided my team research leads in completing an array of methods, including stakeholder mapping, survey, contextual inquiry, semi-structured interview, affinity diagraming, and persona building.

Key Findings/Insights:
Through affinity diagramming, our project team worked together to identify common themes in our qualitative data.
     1. Participants plan based off of location where errands must be completed
     2. Participants have specific times at which errands must be completed
     3. Participants often forget to complete certain parts of errands
     4. Participants struggle with the planning and prioritization of errands

Personas:
Based on our key findings, we created a primary and secondary persona to guide our design efforts.

Design Process


In order to get started with design ideation, I lead a group sketching session with my team. After we decided on our design direction and features, we began prototyping using Adobe Xd.


Key Features

Our team specified major design requirements based on the key user needs that we had identified during the research phase.

Create Personalized Lists:
Users can create personalized lists for various tasks or errands that must be completed. The Erin app provides users with the opportunity to check off items, add reminders, and add a location for each list.

Contextually Relevant Reminders:
Reminders can be set based on Date/Time as well as location in order to encourage reminders while driving. Optimized for users who have similar commute patterns on a daily basis. These reminders will be contextually relevant to ensure they are reminded at the most optimal time. For example, for a user that passes the same Walmart everyday around the same time, they can set up a reminder to trigger around the time they leave work everyday to grab groceries.

Automated Planning and Modification of Tasks:
Through enabling voice interactions, users can safely plan and modify of tasks in a hands-free way while driving. The command "Hey Erin" will allow the user to interact with the application in a hands free way.

Route Optimization:
Primary and alternative routes offer the user the ability to find a balance between efficiency and preference when completing tasks. “Primary” offers the optimized routing based on the customers existing lists, while “Alternative” suggests a route with different stores with a shorter trip time. When using the routes feature, users have the option to select from their current lists to "execute" a task, as well as assign estimated times for each task.

Customized User Preferences:
Through collecting the preferences of the user, ERIN can provide smart suggestions for list locations and alternative routes. Research revealed that although users are time-sensitive, many are selective about the location at which they complete their tasks. In the preferences screen, users can select and rank their perferred stores to complete their errands.

Integration of Scheduling Tools:
As an extension of the Google Suite, ERIN affords the integration of google calendar, allowing users to import their personal calendars in order to cross-functionally plan and reschedule errands around existing commitments.



ImpAct

This project was the first ever UX project that I got a chance to work on. I was able to gather so much new knowledge, and was thankful for "being thrown in the deep end" to learn a lot of these methods and tools. I got a great chance to learn so much about UX, and apply it to a real world project. To this day, there are still elements of this project that I reference when reviewing my strategies and methodologies of approaching a problem.

Through working on project Erin, I was able to learn how to tackle a UX problem with a tried and true process. I also was able to better understand the dynamics of a UX team. These learnings, coupled with my recent reference to business education and teamwork was a great way to use my skills and talents to help lead and design for a team. This project and course transformed me as a UX professional, as I went from having no knowledge at all, to being comfortable running a usability study. All within 3 months!