What to do with movies and lockdown blues

This was the first concept design I did as a student on General Assembly’s UX Design Immersive remote course. It was a 1-week design sprint.

Overview

This case study will show you my process of what I learned, what I found out and the ideas I developed for this concept project.

Discover

I interviewed Ibby about her chosen topic, remote-social. Firstly I asked her questions to understand what kind of person she is, what sort of activities she enjoys with her friends, and how she socialised virtually.

From the interview, I was able to understand and build my empathy towards Ibby and the struggles she faces. She told me that she had a difficult time connecting with her friends virtually during the pandemic. This was because the conversations felt very repetitive and not genuine or deep. She also missed watching movies with her friends, as that is one of her favourite activities to do.

“I think everyone is struggling a little bit and I miss being able to see and give my friends a hug.”

With the information I had, I built an experience map around how Ibby watches movies with her friends on the internet together.

user flow depicting Ibby’s frustrating process watching movies with her friends using different devices.
An experience map showing the key pain points of Ibby’s process when watching movies together with her friends online.

With this task, I was able to discover where exactly her problem hot spots are. The process starts off nicely, and it begins to take a downward turn when the movie starts to play, resulting in an unsatisfactory experience for everybody.

Define

After doing my user testing, it was time for me to start defining Ibby’s problem by focusing on her pain points. It was important to understand her goals, and what her motivation behind it was. So with the information, I gathered from the map and interviews, I am able to define the problem statement.

Ibby needs an efficient way to watch movies virtually with her friends because she wants to connect with them like she use to before the pandemic but virtually.

Ideate and Solution

With the problem statement described, I started coming up with ideas to solve Ibby’s problem. I sketched out some ideas on paper and played around with ways of counting down and how the mobile app would work in a different setting like a website or as a website extension.

a picture of some idea sketches to come up with a solution. chosen solution has key features needed to solve Ibby’s problem
sketches of ideas to possible solutions

In the end, I decided to stick with the circled sketch because it includes the key features to help solve Ibby’s problem. These features are:

  • a way to watch with friends
  • a simple and clear way to play and pause the movie
  • an option to chat with friends on one device

Once I’ve gotten an idea to create my solution, I began drawing out a storyboard and writing down outcome statements. This is to help me make sure this idea is a suitable one in solving Ibby’s pain points.

a picture of sketched storyboard describing the situation, problem, solution and outcome of the possible idea to the solution
my storyboard

Outcome statements:

Situation — Ibby is a fun-loving person who enjoys hanging out with her friends.

Problem — Ibby feels frustrated when her movie doesn’t play at the same time as her friend’s movie.

Solution — Ibby uses a mobile app to easily watch movies with her friends together.

Outcome — Ibby feels she is able to connect better with her friends virtually and feels happy.

Develop and Test

Firstly, I made a user flow depicting a straight-forward ‘happy’ process that Ibby would take when using my app. I did this to help me plan out how my app should function and what key features it should have to help Ibby watch movies easily with her friends virtually together.

a user flow. the key features include connecting to friends and device, pausing and playing, and a chat option.
User flow

Key function areas in the flow chart:

  • Being able to connect with friends and devices
  • Pausing and playing movie together with ease
  • Chat feature

After creating my user flow I started sketching out simple wireframes to get a sense of how Ibby could use the app’s interface to perform the main functions to solve her pain point. I put them on Marvel software and did some usability tests on the wireframes with Ibby and two of my other coursemates.

pictures of initial wireframe sketches in theMarvel app
initial wireframes in Marvel

I showed the prototype on Marvel to Ibby and my coursemates. I conducted 3 usability tests to find out what improvements can be made in my design. After the usability testing, I created a venn diagram to display the findings and to locate the common points that were pointed out.

a venn diagram showing the common points from the 3 usability tests
venn diagram showing the common points from the 3 usability tests

Here are some of the key findings:

  • everyone thought the chat window was clear and easy to understand how to use
  • the disconnect button was unclear of its function and process
  • the wireframes did not show how to connect with friends and devices and so that was made unclear

I also made sure to write down the suggestions as I think they can be useful for creating a holistic solution.

Final Prototype

To iterate, Ibby’s problem was she could no longer do the activity she loved doing before during the pandemic, which made her feel lonely and bored from being unable to connect with her friends as deeply.

Click here to see the final prototype in Marvel.

Reflections

At the end of this project, I have been able to provide a helpful solution by setting an effective space for an exciting activity for Ibby to do with her friends, however, I haven’t been able to create a solution for her to communicate with her friends in a more realistic way. I think if I had more time I would probably include a feature that can do video calls or voice messaging because I feel that they are a step towards more of a realistic communication than just messaging on text.

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You can read about other projects I’ve worked on here in Medium or you can view them in my portfolio!

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