Tommy
UX designer
Made with

ZestMeet

Powerful organizers & speedy participants

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What's this all about?

🍋 About ZestMeet

ZestMeet is a web app that optimizes activity and meeting scheduling for organizers and participants. ZestMeet helps organizers efficiently poll for the most optimal times with powerful add-ons and third-party integrations. Organizers are also able to keep their participants in mind—ensuring participants can speedily respond to the poll and continue on with their lives.

📂 About this project

This case study was designed as part of the capstone project for BrainStation's UI/UX Bootcamp Diploma Program. The challenge was intended to challenge our skills as we navigated through the vast topics of UI and UX. From its inception, the project took approximately 10 weeks to complete.

🎩 Roles

  • UX Research

  • UI Design

  • Wireframing

  • Information Architecture

  • Prototyping

  • User Testing

  • Branding

🔧 Tools

  • Pen & Paper

  • InVision Boards & Prototype

  • Figma

  • Zeplin

🔭
Discover

Problem Space

Meetings for work and meetings with our friends & families have been making up much of our daily lives.

A source from Harvard Business Review identified that scheduling meetings face-to-face is 34 times more effective than digital ones. However, how many times have you committed to something in-person only to regrettably learn that your impulsive agreement led to scheduling conflicts or distasteful cancellations?

Furthermore, with the recent pandemic accelerating our digital lifestyle changes, surveys have shown that we are not only meeting more online but much more in general. With this kind of frequent meetings, it is definitely unreasonable to expect organizers to consistently schedule the best time for their meetings.

The challenge here was to identify a digital solution that reduces the friction in scheduling for both users organizing and users participating.

Objective

The challenge here was to identify a digital solution that reduces the friction in scheduling for both users organizing and users participating.

The aim is to make scheduling activities with others as easy as possible— addressing pain points in users organizing and participating.

A solution should allow users to initiate and partake in scheduled activity efficiently—reducing the friction and cognitive load when organizing and participating in scheduled activities.

Dan Nessler's Double Diamond Design Methodology Link

Dan Nessler's Double Diamond Design Methodology Link

Methodology

Double Diamond

To tackle this challenge, I primarily employed Dan Nessler's revamped Double Diamond process. Nessler takes design thinking and human-centred design to a new level and lays it out into 4 clear phases separated by 2 stages—composing a diamond, each.

Doing the right thing

  1. Discover / Research — insight into the problem (diverging)

  2. Define / Synthesis — the area to focus upon (converging)

Doing things right

  1. Develop / Ideation — potential solutions (diverging)

  2. Deliver / Implementation — solutions that work (converging)

I chose to employ this methodology because of its structural flexibility and agility. This method allows me to diverge and explore the field, converge and narrow my scope, then explore once more when ideating for solutions before converging to the final solution.

ZestMeet

What's out there?

Various digital calendars like Google Calendar and Apple Calendar allow users to manage their time and track their meetings. Calendly, Doodle, and When2meet are some popular digital solutions that go beyond the calendar by addressing group schedulings; they generally do so by allowing organizers to send participants a selection of available times to select from.

The solution should

  • note that users may already track their time in digital services like Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Notion

  • note that people already communicate using various platforms like in-person, emails, SMS, iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger

  • be a supplementary tool that can lend itself to these existing platforms. To adhere to accessibility and efficiency, the solution may prefer to be a web application and mobile web application.

Secondary Research

Virtual meetings are here to stay—need efficient scheduling

74% of respondents in the scientific community poll prefers meetings to continue to be virtual post-pandemic Nature

Scheduling tools to help facilitate this shift

52% surveyed to be involved in more meetings because of the shift to digital spaces Banty Inc.

Solution to be customizable for users

Need comprehensive scheduling system that summarizes available info for quick, flexible, and reliable scheduling Source

Avoid fully automatic solutions

Grey box” over "black box" solution—allowing people to analyze results and see why a certain time was favoured PDF

Allow organizers to customize constraints

A theoretical research found participants on platforms like Doodle who have a higher yes-threshold tends to improve overall social welfare PDF

Build up Doodle's polling

Doodle and similar services employ social choice function or approval voting — where each participant in an election must indicate approval/disapproval for each candidate timeslot PDF

Provide clear instructions and invoke honesty

Doodle tends to lead to sincere pure Nash Equilibria—where participants can't unilaterally defect to an alternative strategy where they can disproportionately PDF

Build on Doodle's features

Scheduling with Doodle instead of email lead to an average of 64% reduction in process time PDF

Hypothesis

I believe that designing a digital solution that reduces friction and cognitive load for general event schedulers and participants will improve their efficiency and enhance their satisfaction when securing an event.

I will know this is true when my research shows that people acknowledge that their scheduling process could be improved.

Assumptions

  • Organizers want to schedule their events ASAP

  • Organizers want the best for their participants

  • Organizers struggle to initiate because of the complication of scheduling

  • Participants want to schedule their events ASAP

  • Participants are frequently slow and unresponsive to digital scheduling

  • Existing digital solutions can be improved

Primary Research

Interviews

Doing the secondary research first gave me a better sense of how to approach my interviews. I was able to conduct effective interviews with organizers and participants at various degrees of activity—categorizing all of their content into summarized pain points, motivations, and behaviours.

📝
Define
ZestMeet

Converging

Moving into the define phase, it's time to consolidate what I've learned from my interviewees and secondary research.

ZestMeet

Persona

To get a better sense of who I am trying to design for, I introduced Carl, my primary persona, to this project.

ZestMeet

Experience Mapping

I really feel for Carl. I really love my friends, but there's a lot we need to keep doing to keep our lives progressing.

Let's see what Carl's general experience is like when it comes to scheduling activities.

User Stories & Task Flow

Getting deeper into Carl's role as an organizer and participant, I authored dozens of user stories. User stories took the perspective of either an organizer or participant. For each, they accentuate a certain task for the user and how that helps achieve a certain goal.

After accessing all of the user stories, I was able to divide up the user stories into several categories. Ultimately, I was able to narrow to a specific area of focus—scheduling optimization.

This area of focus helped bring about this task flow. The task flow is meant to achieve the minimum viable product (MVP) of this application—allowing a frequent organizer like Carl to optimize their scheduling.

🧪
Develop
ZestMeet

Sketches

To preliminarily brainstorm and mock-up various layouts, I did a handful of exploratory sketches to get some ideas of what the solution might look like. I pulled inspirations from the UI Inspiration board as well as the existing solutions like When2Meet and Doodle.

The intent was to reduce the friction of crafting by quickly penning out thoughts and ideas and they arise. Sketches can be unflattering, however, they provide a strong foundation when moving towards low-fidelity wireframes.

Wireframes

Despite having my solution sketches ready, my first iteration of wireframes still took plenty of time. Thinking ahead, I wanted my design to be extremely robust—allowing me to make small critical edits that can quickly reflect across multiple frames. To do so, I mapped out all of my potential components and spent time creating those first.

The trick to creating components is to identify what repeats. I started with simple low-fidelity wireframes using rectangles, circles, and blobs to help me visualize how it might look digitally. As frames begin to call for similar visuals, I would immediately draft up that element as a component.

After several iterations, I had a mid-fidelity greyscaled wireframe ready to be used for some testing. I avoided introducing colours to facilitate testing. Usability testers should have their attention primarily focused on the application's usability and design and not whether the colour or contrast is appropriate at this stage.

🚚
Deliver
6
Screens
100+
Frames
97%
Fun
86
cups of coffee
Final Prototype

Next Steps

I recently connected with a developer who believes in this project and would like to build it out in full along with me.

Seeing further potential with this idea, I plan to revisit all of my stages with my newly trained eyes and mind to improve on my original efforts.

For starters, I want to make this prototype much more robust and complete—accommodating more task flows and actions to really support our organizers and participants. That being said, it is essential that I find more people like Carl to test this application to truly fine-tune its usability and thus improving their quality of life.