loading please wait..

Gather App

Gather App

Facilitate social interactions with your building’s residents
VIEW PROTOTYPE

The Challenge

After moving to a new city and into my first condo building, I found myself encountering a few issues. I didn’t know anyone and I found it hard to make new friends in the building with limited discussions in the elevator. Also, some people just don’t care to chat. That’s cool. I don’t talk much before my first cup of coffee either.

I also ran into some communication issues within the building. For example, I had a leaky faucet and couldn’t find the water shut off anywhere. I called the management office but had to wait an entire day before someone got back to me. They’re busy, I get it, but I couldn’t help thinking, there must be an easier way to get answers to questions about my building and connect with the people in it. What if there was an app that could better connect people living within the same condo or apartment building?

 

User Research

 

I conducted a survey directed at people who live in condo buildings to find out how they currently get information about their building and how they feel about that process. I was also interested in hearing about how they feel about the current level of social interaction with other residents in their building. I collected the data and noticed some patterns. Most were satisfied with how they received information about building issues, but 80% of participants had an interest in more social interactions with their fellow residents. My research indicated the best ways to do this was through:

  • discussions
  • similar interests
  • meet-ups

 

Personas

JUSTIN – A new resident to the city who wouldn’t mind meeting new people with similar interests.

“It would be nice to connect with some people with similar interests.”

STEPHANIE – A new mom who works part time and would prefer an electronic way to communicate and get information about her building.

“I would make the info more accessible online. They do distribute paper info pretty quickly, but if you’re not home, obviously the online system is more efficient.”

TOM – A single guy who likes to keep to himself but has specific hobbies he wouldn’t mind discussing with others.

“I don’t go out much, so having someone close by to talk about comic books or superheroes could be cool.”

All of the people I spoke with are very familiar with smartphone technology and use many apps on their devices. I felt like there were enough similarities in their answers to validate the need to design this app. They want an online source for information and there seems to be a desire for more social interaction with others in their buildings – particularly with people who have similar interests.

 

User Flow

User Flow

I started collecting ideas on how the flow of this app may work. How would a user sign up for an account? How would a user engage in a conversation with another resident? I created a user flow to figure out what the user would need to do and how they would go about accomplishing those tasks.

 

Sketches, Wireframes & Prototypes

Design is an iterative process. Sketches, wireframes and prototypes always get a good workout with every project. This was no different. I started round one with some very rough, hand-drawn sketches. These were just my quick, initial thoughts. It was a place to start. The more I thought about the app, what it was for, who would be using it and how they would use it, I made some adjustments and did a second round of sketches.

Rough Sketches

Here are a few of the rough sketches I drew. (Click image to enlarge)

Sketches

ROUGH SKETCHES – 1) Login screen 2) Profile setup 3) Talk screen 4) Buddies screen

Wireframes

I created multiple rounds of wireframes using Balsamiq. I created a prototype with these wireframes in InVision and sent a link to my designer friends for a review and some feedback. This will be very helpful in refining the design of the app.

Wireframe_Login

LOGIN – 1) Initial Login screen 2) Forgot Password screen

Wireframe_Profile_01

PROFILE – 1) Some basic info and image upload 2) Address info 3) Create a password 4) Confirmation screen

 

Prototype

I received some great feedback and suggestions from friends about the flow and how to minimalize the design further. I made some adjustments base on their feedback. This time it felt like a smoother process for the user and had more clarity as well. Thanks guys!
 

Facilitate social interactions with your building’s residents
VIEW PROTOTYPE

 

Visual Design & Interaction

Now that I have a solid flow to work from, I can move on to some designy goodness!

visual-design

VISUAL DESIGN1) Login 2) Chats 3) Profile 4) Buddies

Voice & Tone

  • Casual
  • Friendly
  • Happy/Playful

 

Colours & Fonts

I chose an upbeat colour palette and a relaxed font style. Orange is the main colour. It’s friendly and positive and also a complimentary colour to many other social apps, which are blue (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

 

Naming The App

People gather for events. We also gather information and share what we know with others. Gathering is a social behavior and it seemed very fitting for the app’s name since it enables both information sharing and social get-togethers – which is what this app is all about!

Posted on November 30, 2015 in App Design, UX Design, Visual Design