An adaptive app across mobile, tablet, and desktop that provides a solution to adolescents seeking support and a short term home before becoming homeless.
The objective is to design a unique end to end digital interactive project that solves a current core government problem in one of the following areas: safety and justice, housing, food security, transportation, or public works. Through this objective, I wanted to figure out how to solve the on growing problem homelessness with teens and young adults. The concept of the app “Open Arms” was created to help battle the issue of homelessness for people who can’t quite take care of themselves while also aiding them to get back into society.
Lending help to young adults and adolescents, Open Arms is an app that provides a solution to those seeking support and a short term home before becoming homeless. A benefit to Open Arms is its assistance with actively locating and providing open homes, also it offers to aid resources. By offering resources, the app offers a safe support system to help individuals find the help they need to get back into society. With this option, adolescents and young adults can worry less about where to stay and how to get the help they deserve.
PDF Download Link to Press Release
Throughout the entirety of the project, my responsibilities included the home page, sign in, account setup, profile, and setting pages for all three platforms (Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop) along with overlooking the functions throughout the app. The home page, sign in, and account setup were the initial steps that were required to be able to gain access to the app. With being able to implement basic/ personal information in the account creation, the user would be able to give hosts a better idea of the persons physical identity in order to help make the judgment for accepting a new temporary tenant. The Profile is part of the app in which all of your information would be presented to the hosts who look over the users account before deciding to accept their request. The Profile also consists of the function that leads to the questionnaire which helps to assess the users situation more in depth. Other things that I was responsible for in this project was the Usability testing of the mobile prototype which was conducted along with my teammate, Julie Nguyen.
The Low Fidelity screens for all three platforms were created to figure out how the layout for each section and page would be configured. By being able to illustrate the basic concept of the app, these pages are outlines of how the pages would navigate and interact across each other. Each page serves as the key idea of how each sections function will work within the Open Arms app.
Through the process of figuring out how the sections would be laid out in the Low Fidelity, the concept and approach of the projects could finally be shown in the High Fidelity. The High Fidelity screens present what the complete look of Open arms would be in all three platforms of mobile, Tablet, and Desktop. The screens presented showcase the navigation of the functions it takes to complete the tasks of creating an account, finding a place to stay, requesting a ride, and finding helpful resources.
You can check out the Mobile High Fidelity here.
You can check out the Tablet High Fidelity here.
You can check out the Desktop High Fidelity here.
User Research Synthesis
The research objective for this project was to answer and understand if this app’s interface causes any feeling of distraught or anxiety for a user who is in a rush to search for help and resources. Keeping in mind that the users are/or are about to become homeless already have anxiety with their situation, Open arms wants to be able to help these individuals find a solution for short term housing and resources without raising their anxiety. This means to make a User Interface that has a comfortable feel so they feel open about the choices they choose.
ON WHOM DID YOU CONDUCT YOUR RESEARCH ON?
The research of this project was conducted on teens and young adults from the ages of 14 to 26. The research was conducted on this age range as they would still be considered dependents since the latest age you can still be on parents health insurance is 26. With a total of eighteen participants (nine for Mobile, four for Tablet, and five for Desktop), each participant had the same situation in which they were dependent on their parents along with being within the range of the age group. A Usability test on TrymyUI was used to conduct these research on these individuals to gain qualitative and quantitative research on their views and experience of having to find housing and if it would be helpful.
WHAT WERE YOUR QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE INSIGHTS?
My Qualitative and quantitative research came from the testing of eighteen individuals across all three platforms: Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop.
My qualitative research was retrieved from TrymyUi consisting of responses that gave feedback on what could be improved and what did not work so well through out the app. some common trends that were discovered throughout the testing were that individuals had a hard time navigating/finding their way to the Map section, and that the resource page access were some aspects of the app that confused most testers. Most users felt that the app should have just made maps apart of resources since they thought locating a place to stay is the same as shelters. Some felt the functions cohesive with how each step would automatically follow each other back to back instead of relying solely on the navigation bar to get to each of these functions. That way they have an easier way of navigating and knowing exactly where to go in the app step by step.
For Quantitative research, TrymyUI provides insight from each individual through the measurements of the scores in the System usability, Task completion rates, Task usability, and Task duration. For task completion rates on all three different UI’s we found that there was really no problems with figuring out the tasks in general as it was 100% on both Tablet and Desktop. Mobile on the other had only had 4 errors among 2 users out of 8. Three of the errors was from one users on he first three tasks while the last error was on the first task of the other user as they did not read the instructions clearly. With that information, there was not other problem with completing the tasks in general among the other users of mobile. Going into task duration, their recorded information gave a similar insight that correlated with the other users task completion rates. The mobile task duration average for task 1 (Create and account and take questionnaire) was the highest being 182.6 sec.. The next highest average for mobile was task 2 (Finding a place to stay) which was 127.6 sec.. This was still a high average like the Tablet whose highest was 71 sec.. This had a similar perspective because of the transition from task 1 and 2. This information clarified that we should have made the button for the Maps portion more visible or made the instruction more clearer about going straight into the maps to locate housing.
A Project Retrospective
WHAT DID I FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT THIS PROJECT?
The most challenging parts of this project was figuring out which government issue to solve along with how we would solve it. Narrowing it down to housing, the concept was was hard to establish the concept of how we would solve this issue for what demographic and situation. The other obstacle what I found must challenging about this project was how we would equally divide and share the project among the group members whether that meant a task or section.
WHAT WAS THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON I LEARNED?
In this project, I found that the most valuable lesson was the management of time and and communication. The time management was important as we had to figure out when to meet for group meetings as well as to make sure we get out portions of the projects in on time. The management of communication proved to be equally as important through the fact that we needed to make sure that each member was creating a cohesive piece as well as making sure everyone could reach each other when needed. Communication is important as it allows each members thoughts of how we could improve on each others sections as well as your own since we are all relying on each other as a whole group.