SPRINT 3: IDEATION & REFINEMENT
Dividing and conquering
Going into the final sprint, we had three main tasks. My teammates and I each took primary ownership over one. By the end of the sprint, we wanted to concept test new onboarding methods, usability test a converged prototype for our core functionality, and research ways of automating contact organization and frequency-setting.
My main responsibility was to create and test onboarding concepts.
I built three to explore new ways of organizing contacts, setting frequency-levels for check-ins, and minimizing manual entry.
Sync & Sort
My first concept took parts that worked well during our previous round of concept testing and incorporated frequency. The idea was to give users the ability to organize their contacts and check-in frequencies simultaneously.
My second concept was based on an insight we discovered during our research phase: all current users preferred to play around on the site and discover features on their own instead of going through an onboarding tutorial. This flow leveraged empty states to help them create check-in frequencies and groups for their contacts. The idea was to let users explore the platform, but guide them towards the necessary setup.
Teach Me How
Since manual input was going to be an issue until we figured out the automation aspect, I hypothesized that 4Degrees couldn’t just focus on minimizing effort during onboarding. It had to demonstrate why the effort was worth it. To test this idea, I created a third concept that didn’t ask users to set up any frequencies or groups during onboarding. Instead, it focused on educating them about the benefits of the platform.
I worked with my teammates to test the concepts with seven users and discovered actionable insights to take back to our clients.
Even though the frequency settings were automatically generated, testers did not like Sync & Sort because it seemed like a lot of work. As a result, users did not feel motivated to finish setting up the platform and organizing their contacts.
Use cards for manual sorting.
If users had to import contacts manually, a card view—as seen in Step-By-Step—was more efficient and visually appealing than the table view in Sync & Sort.
Education is essential.
Testers overwhelmingly preferred Teach Me How. Not only could they get on the platform quickly and start exploring, but they also understood the benefits of having check-in frequencies and organizing their contacts. As a result, users were more willing to invest time and energy on setup.
Finally, I worked with my other teammate to figure out how to automate frequency-setting and contact organization.
Although it was possible to get information on users’ networking habits and mental models for organizing contacts, we didn’t have the time to capture robust data. Paul and I decided to design a toolkit for our clients, so they could conduct further research on their own.
Using OptimalSort, I created a card sort that allowed our clients to understand how entrepreneurs typically categorized their contacts. I included a contact’s name, job title, and his/her affiliation to the user on each card. This helped our clients ascertain how personal and professional aspects of a relationship affected categorization and suggest optimal groupings for users’ contacts. Paul added several more contacts to make the card sort more complete.
Paul created two surveys for gauging users’ email and networking habits. This gave David and Ablorde a means of assessing key factors that could inform frequency-setting.
Presenting final deliverables
By the end of our last sprint, we had three sets of deliverables and recommendations for our clients.
We presented our findings from concept testing along with the three onboarding prototypes
, so our clients could perform further validation as needed.
Consider creating a walkthrough or video to introduce users to key features and benefits.
Test onboarding with core functionality to see how the product performs as a whole.
Core functionality prototypes
We delivered a final converged prototype
and included feedback from testers that we didn’t have time to address.
Explore tags instead of groups, as users wanted more control over sorting and filtering.
Add a universal search bar. Testing indicated that users needed a more accessible way of finding contacts.
Conduct surveys and card sorts with 50+ entrepreneurs to discover potential paths to automation.
Our clients were pleased we left them with so much to work with. They’ve begun implementing some of our recommendations and plan on incorporating more into future iterations of 4Degrees.