Espy

Espy is a mobile app concept designed to make shopping for technology much easier for the less technically savvy. It enables users to find technology by finding user needs, utiling built-in mobile technology to recognize products, and presenting technical details in "real English."

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Background

For the final project for Interaction Design, our assignment was to design an app that utilizes mobile technology in novel ways to enhance the technology shopping experience for stakeholders unlike us. My group decided to focus on helping middle-aged women shop for wearables (although the interactions could be expanded to other types of technology).

Research

I started out with research by watching people shop for wearables at big box stores and analyzing online retailer's wearable shopping experience. I found out shortly thereafter that my mother (56 at the time) was going through the same process, so I interviewed her about what her motivations, concerns, and shopping experience were like. 

Findings

It became very clear to me that there was a lot to be desired with the experience of determining which wearable to purchase and why. I witnessed a lot of confusion about sizing, how to sync and charge it, and what the features actually meant in terms of reaching personal goals. This problem was compounded by shoppers not wanting to talk to a salesperson out of distrust or fear of sounding stupid, and feeling like online descriptions of features weren't descriptive enough.

Design Process

Storyboards
After conducting research independently, each team member created a set of storyboards to present their interaction concept.

Based on my research, I decided to design an experience that would help shoppers understand which fitness tracker met their needs by having a needfinding questionnaire, virtual try-on, and presenting product specs in simple English.

User Flows
My group loved each storyboard and felt that the features complimented each other, so we decided to meld each of their core features into one product. We did so by writing each storyboard's features and interactions on sticky notes and then assembling them into one synthesized flow. We sketched new wireframes based on the flow independently.

Wireframes & Visual Styles
We then reviewed the wireframes and sketched a set of wireframes collaboratively. I created the final set of wireframes, and documented the key interactions that should be demo'd in the presentation of our prototype.

Sophie created a moodboard, and I created a Visual Language guide from her work.

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Final Prototype

I created the final visual designs and our demo prototype.

Espy enhances user's technology shopping experience by going beyond basic product recommendations. It enables people to discover products 'in the wild.' Users can scan a product— whether it's on display in a store or something a person is using out and about— and find out exactly what it is and how it works for them, without having to know (or remember) what it's called. Espy highlights the features that meet the user's needs, and explains what all of the core features mean in 'simple English.'