Spike Box is a social networking app and similar in concept to Craigslist but with followers. The brief was to design a simple and easy-to-understand UI, where users can easily share stuff that they don’t want anymore. The app must stand out from other competitors and create value for the user by being easy-to-use, yet engaging.
Developing a native app was a first for Metaps and we didn’t have any firsthand user data to work from. We held several meetings, with a projector to discuss planning and strategy. Once we started to define a direction another round of meetings and checkpoints were setup. I used personas to help understand demographics, behaviors, needs and motivations of the user.
Researching the competition helped benchmark industry standards and identify opportunities to innovate upon. I used Balsamiq to quickly create designs for soliciting feedback with the team. I made paper prototypes to quickly test out user flows and then iterate improvements.
The biggest challenge was information architecture and simplifying the UI just enough to provide clarity and direction. I decided to utilize icons for globally recognized signifiers such as Comment, Like, and Menu. For less afforded global signifiers (Sale, Trade, Rent, Giveaway) use simple text and colour to distinguish functionality. Group similar functions together and hierarchically order elements according to use-value importance.
Design assets were exported and handed off to the engineer until both iOS and Android apps were ready for review. We used an agile scrum process to cycle through each stage of development.
Swipe and fade in/out interactions were deployed throughout the app, however, animating the individual elements (Like, Comment and Menu) would delight and provide a more intuitive UX.