Android Application: Rapid Prototyping

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Role

Company

Activites



Opportunity

Enter the $6.1 billon app installation market by turning device manufacturers into publishers.

Admin Console and Consumer Facing Application
Designed a cloud-based service for OEMs and a consumer facing application

Problem

The product team identified a few scenarios to promote mobile app installation on Android smartphones and tablets. Some questions emerged:

  • When consumers setup a new device, do they want to install mobile apps?
  • How will people perceive this?
  • How does this change the device experience?
  • Who is most likely to respond?

I used these questions to define my research plan, which became a communication tool whenever someone asked “What are we trying to learn?”.

User Research Documents
User research requires planning and documentation

Mobile Prototype & User Research

The business needed consumers to install and open mobile applications as an alternative to the current OEM process. As a result, earning revenue for both the startup and device manufacturers. But I was unsure how people would react when their Android device promoted something new—this had to match users' existing behavior or encourage a change. To reduce uncertainty, I proposed an iterative approach of design ⇒ prototype ⇒ evaluate. These are the steps I took to make this happen:

  • Reviewed an early product demo with the design team to understand the initial strategy
  • Gained consensus on research goals via a research plan
  • Developed a survey to recruit the right people to interview
  • Prototyped 4 versions of the application install process
  • Observed and interviewed 24 people as they used one of the prototype variations
Axure Prototype
Axure prototype as a mobile application
Android Application Prototype
Prototype setup

Results

Participants quickly skipped over every app-focused prototype because the suggested content felt random and irrelevant. One quote summarized the fundamental problem with this approach: “Don’t ask for my favorite apps…I’d already get them myself”. This feedback challenged our beliefs and, more importantly, it allowed us to rapidly generate new ideas.

Research Participant
Real people, real feedback

After a few prototyping cycles, I learned that people are painfully aware of pre-loaded software. Simply displaying a catalog of mobile apps isn't an engaging experience. When I integrated customization into the prototype, users responded positively by browsing different options that suited their preference. Continuous iteration took us from the initial strategy to a product design that could resonate with consumers.

User Research Results
Samples from my research presentation

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