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Project Overview

Overview

It gets challenging for people when they are in midst of changing careers to find an expert help to understand complex concepts. Providing an app that enables a way to chat or video call with an expert for people moving from non-technological fields to technology will help solve the problem to a great extent. The app will also provide a way to ask questions visible publicly to get answers quickly and easily.

Problem Statement

Most of the time, people face difficulties when they are in the process of career transition and may need advice from an industry professional.

Solution

Providing a platform that connects users with experts will help them get answers to their questions and discuss any concerns.

My Role

As a solo designer, I was responsible for the entire design process which included the competitive analysis, user interviews, surveys, personas, flows, low, mid and high-fidelity wireframes, usability and A/B testing, style guide, prototyping and more.

Tools

Adobe Xd, Usability Hub, Draw.io, Optimal Workshop, Survey Monkey, Marvel, Figma.

Duration

September 2022- January 2023

Design Process

Competitve Analysis

At the very beginning of the project I spent some time researching other applications offering similar services directly or indirectly to understand what is already available in the market, I downloaded, tested and prepared a competitive analysis for two of them Intro and Skillshare. After I completed SWOT Analysis for both the apps. I had a pretty good idea on certain shortcomings I should avoid and a sense of what unique features my app could offer.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  • Offers a variety of session lengths
  • Access to one-on-one video calls with celebrity experts
  • Simple, sleek and intuitive UX/UI design.
  • Ability to save and view sessions.

Weakness

  • Very expensive for some sessions can cost upto $1000 for 15 minutes.
  • Limited amount of topic areas.
  • Booking sessions can be difficult especially with experts in high demand.

Opportunities

  • Create a less expensive platform.
  • Create a community for users to keep them engaged and active use app.

Threats

  • Site such as masterclass has a greater amount of well known/famous industry experts at a much more affordabe prices.
  • Sites such as skillshare has a community element where users can interact with each other, and occassionally even experts participate for sharing ideas and knowledge

Strengths

  • Provides industry experts with a large following as instructors/content creators
  • Provides access to video classes that users can access at their convenience.
  • Engaging and intuitive UX/UI design.
  • Users can share their completed course projects with others and receive feedback.

Weakness

  • Does guarantee direct communication with experts.
  • No dedicated sessions.
  • Only allows to view the first lesson of each course for free trial.
  • No search/filter option on search or homepage

Opportunities

  • In addition to experts creating video content, one-to-one lessons with industry experts could attract more users.
  • Create more options for discussion boards, small groups and direct messaging with experts.
  • To be able to customize the homepage and search page to filter content

Threats

  • Sites like coursera offers free full length courses from industry experts.
  • Sites such as linkedin learning and coursera offers professional certificates on successful completion of courses.
  • Masterclass provides a lot more famous industry experts.

Interviews and Surveys

To gain clarity on the needs of potential users, I decided it was time to talk to them. I created a survey to collect both quantitative and conducted interviews to dig a deeper and get more qualitative data.

My main research goals were as shown below

The user interviews were extremely beneficial and provided good idea of what users unmet needs were. The highlights of user interviews were as show below:

How quickly can I connect with the right expert

Maya (26), Product Designer based in London

Where I can see that they have a professionally looking website with pleasant pictures

Ben (34), Web Developer based in San Fransisco

For instance when a person that i already know and trust recommends someone, or when I can find lot of reviews expert and their services which is authentic

Jimmy (44), Web Developer based in San Fransisco

Affinity Mapping

After I was done with the interviews I spent some time creating affinity maps. This process helped me to sort through the information to synthesize and organize my findings by patterns and themes.

My key findings:

  • Users feel overwhelmed with the number of experts available and find it difficult to find those who they can trust
  • Users tend to rely heavily on reviews or endorsement of a person they know and trust
  • The design of the application should be intuitive and easy to use by not overloading the user with too much data.
  • It was difficult for most of the users to define what an “expert” is. Before speaking to a professional about a career change, potential users stated that they wanted to see a persons “body of work”, but more importantly they wanted to feel more of a personal/human connection with the individual.
  • Some users stated that they want to be able to see the work portfolios, blogs, posts and interest in order to connect better with the experts.

User Personas

Avinash Sharma

Make time for things you have to do as well as things you want to do

Goals and Needs

  • A way to connect with others who are on a similar journey.
  • Advice from someone who has been in his situation
  • Looks for an app with a trustworthy review system to feel confident an knows what to expect when choosing an expert
  • Wants a way to narrow down the search results to find a perfect match as fast as possible

Everyday Activities

  • Goes to college thrice a week
  • Part time internship after college

Frustrations

  • Two main concerns are confidence in an expert finding a trustworthy expert with the right experience and price
  • Overloaded website with too much information and bad user interface.

Motivation

  • Feels supported while dealing with an expert
  • Don't want to waste time by doing research, as at times it feel quite overwhelming with the amount of results

Tech

  • Desktop
  • Mobile
  • Social Media
  • Tech know-how

Quote

“It would be less scary knowing that someone is in the same boat as you.”

Sitemap

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Login/Signup

  • User lands on the login/signup screen
  • Enter details and logs in
  • Home screen is displayed

Search Feature

  • User is on the home-screen and clicks on search input
  • Enters search criteria for expert and search results are displayed below the input
  • Get directed to home-screen

Book an appointment with an expert

  • Search for experts
  • Choose an expert from the list
  • Read more details about the expert and click on book an appointment button
  • Selects the availability
  • Make payment
  • Appointment successfully screen displayed

User Testing

Finally the moment of truth came and I was able to put my design to test with real users. During a series of remote and in person moderated tests I observed first hand how the users interact with my app. It was an amazing source of information as well as inspiration. I got to see genuine reactions and identify parts that worked well as well as points of friction and confusing or redundant elements.

Key findings:

What was already working well?

  • The users were able to complete the task independently or with minimal support
  • Found the layout easy to understand
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Love the concept
  • Like the expert details mentioned on expert profile screen

What has to be improved?

  • Using icons, buttons and navigation elements more consistently
  • Had issues could go back to the previous page
  • Icons at some pages are confusing
  • On calendar page there are missing buttons

Here are some changes influenced by user and preference testing feedback

Change 1

Previous Version:

NO button was confusing what would happen if users click on NO button

Updated Version:

Instead of yes and no button I created “Book appointment” button

Change 2

Previous Version:

There was no Next button

Updated Version:

“Next” button was added. Once a user picks date and time slot they can click on “Next” button to navigate further

Change 3

Previous Version:

Back arrow was confusing. By clicking will users be back to the homepage or payment page

Updated Version:

I created Home Icon, by clicking it users will land on the homepage

Style Guide

Custom Illustrations, UI elements further add to the personality of Maestro. You can check out the style guidelines

Evolution of Maestro

Splash Screen

Login Screen

Home Screen

Core Features

Search for qualified experts

Book an appointment with an expert

Ask questions publicly

Takeaways

What went well?

  • Learning to appreciate gradual improvement rather then striving for perfectionism
  • Working in a state of flow, being fully immersed and forgetting about the outside world
  • Learning about new tools
  • Getting to know my prospective users well and creating realistic personas
  • Being receptive of others feedback but still making my own decisions

What would I do differently

  • I think I would have been more efficient, if I spent sometime learning tools beforehand rather than learning it the hard way, for example learning how to name and arrange design elements properly
  • To not get overwhelmed and be patient everyday you are learning. At times I used to feel overwhelmed and lost what I would have done is to keep calm and take some breaks and come back feeling fresh
  • I will definitely pay more attention to documenting all my work at every step of the way clearly naming files and assets

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