Sam had recently finished her PhD Thesis in safety procedures and incident reporting in the workplace. The insights she gathered spurred an idea for a start-up that makes incident reporting easy. She wanted to create a prototype that translates her ideas into a real mobile app.
She liked our expertise in working with insights from academic research. We were delighted to work with a bright young founder who had done her homework. It didn’t take long until we kicked off the prototype design project to get her start-up off the ground.
Sam shared her PhD thesis with us, plus a set of research articles, a presentation and a book chapter. We summarised and organised the insights that were relevant to the design of the prototype. We create a bank of ideas, plus a checklist of what would make the prototype a really good tool for reporting incidents in the workplace.
In week 1 we focused on creating an information architecture where user journeys are as simple as possible. However, we had to plan for significant flexibility because the incident forms differ depending on the type of incident. We explored 3 architecture concepts. It was delightful to engage in conversation with Sam, explaining the pros and cons and integrating her perspective.
This is Sam’s first start-up and her first experience creating a digital product. While the designers were working on the prototype design we organised a few separate sessions to shape the overall product strategy. We shared examples from past experiences with her and helped her understand the options she has for development, financing, partnerships with early adopters and how to stage the release of the product.
Weeks 2 and 3 were intense. We did 3 iterations of wireframes, adding design detail every time. First we figured out how to create a design for the form that can adapt to both short and complex reports. Next we designed a medium fidelity wireframe of the entire process and in the final go we captured the fine detail. At every step we involved Sam, explaining the design thinking and getting her input. Sam’s comments were spot on and she owned the vision of what the app would be from start to finish.
In week 4 we did user testing. We learned a few valuable lessons and had to adapt the user journey, plus other tweaks in the report form. Once the wireframes were completed, we assembled the final prototype.
In week 5 we worked on UI interpretations, showing what the app could be like with visual design. We used the visual UI design assembled and created an investor demo.
In 4 weeks we transformed Sam’s enthusiasms and theoretical ideas into a real app that users like. The fact that she was well prepared made it possible for us to focus on design solutions and to have productive conversations after every design iteration.
We worked closely with her to make the most out of her bootstrapped budget. By doing even a little bit of user testing, we improved the design significantly. When it came to the investor demo, we focused on showing what investors are looking for: a product that adds value and the team’s ability to execute.
Interactive prototype built in 4 weeks
Fully documented for development
Investor demo created in 1 week
Two UI roll-outs for branding ideation