the logo for river
a hero photo of the River app's homepage
  • time length
  • research: 2 weeks
  • design: 2 weeks
  • team
  • elvira gaite
  • my role
  • wireframing
  • user testing
  • user interivews
  • hi-fi prototyping
  • user researching
  • journey mapping
  • competitor analysis
  • information architecture
  • toolkit
  • miro
  • maze
  • figma
  • photoshop
  • blush.design

The Challenge

During this time of uncertainty and loneliness due to COVID-19, how can we create an app that will help ease the social isolation/distancing burdens thrown upon us?

Our Solution

RIVER

a gif of the entire river app prototype
River is a tablet app integrated into various streaming services. Our main goal with River is to uniquely connect friends and family while watching entertainment programs. Download River today to expand your connections through streams!

Key Features

Customizable profiles

a screenshot of the river app

Screen mirroring/cast to TV

a screenshot of the river app

Video chatting

a screenshot of the river app

Scheduling of watch parties

a screenshot of the river app

Research

Competitor Analysis

To find out what other products already exist similar to our idea we conducted a competitive analysis of the most well-known brands on the market. We learned what the pain and pleasure points for each existing product and decided to use this as a basis for developing our product. Click here to read our complete competitor analysis report

a screenshot of the River's competitors
A screenshot of our tablecomparing other products similar to River.

Ideation

Brainstorming

Elvira and I worked together to originally think of possibly 5 app ideas. After an hour of thinking, we managed to create a list of 9 potential app ideas. We both created our top 5 from the list but also created a survey for our classmates to vote on to help us decide.

a screenshot of all of our brainstormed ideas in a poll

After waiting for a couple of days we decided to choose a topic for our app since we did not receive a lot of responses to our survey. We decided to go with Netflix for social networking app.

This app essentially will appeal to those who enjoy watching movies in the company of others, but either live too far from friends or family, are social isolating/distancing, or are in long-distance relationships.

Elvira thought of a cool name for our app: River: A Connection Through Streams. Since our app is based on streams (movies, live-streams, etc.) we thought it would be cool to have a slogan that incorporates how streams work in real life and online. “Just as rivers are important or the earth, our app is important for human connections”.

Personas

While completing our competitor analysis, we thought that it would be best to develop two personas that we thought would most likely use a social media app.

a screenshot of the personas
We introduce Sarah who represents the a younger generations on social media. Then, we have Thomas, who is a model for older generations on social media.

Design Response

User Flow

Our user flow was crafted to present a bird’s eye view of our app. Our user flow has over 7 different potential flows that one could take while using River.

a screenshot of the predicted user flows for River
click image to enlarge

Hi-Fidelity Wireframes

Our user flow was crafted to present a bird’s eye view of our app. Our user flow has over 7 different potential flows that one could take while using River.

a screenshot of the predicted user flows for River

After a test-run of our wireframes amonsgt our classmates of our wireframes we’ recieved a mix of reviews: 3s, 4s, and 5s as overall ratings for our app. The Maze website had a lot of limitations with the free version.

User Testing

Here are the results of our user testing conducted on maze.com. After our first round of user testing with our wireframes we implemented changes and ran a second round of user testing with a Hi-Fidelity prototype

Click here to view the results in a new window

Hi-Fi Prototype

Final design of our app River

Flatlay of our finalized design

the flatlay of our finialized design

Visual System

a photo of our visual system (UI) for our app
icons: found at: icons8.com, logo.wine, nicepng.com. hiclipart.com, cleanpng.com, material.io, @Flatart

Click here to open the visual system in a new window

Future Implications

If we were to develop River into a real tablet app these are the changes we would make:

  • Add an additional settings button on the screening page
  • Get rid of the pop-up that asks if the a person would like to screen mirror to their TV after they choose a program to watch
  • Redesign the streaming page so it is easier to find the video chat button on the chat menu and make the page sleeker to improve usability
  • Work on a way that allows the audience to use the streaming platforms without having to sign into each individual; a master log in.
  • Make the text box bigger from the sign in/login page, so that users can click and fill it in easily.
  • Add more animations. (slides, indicators,)
  • More options for audience on how they want to set up their app. (Set their screen mirroring in default, set their favorite streaming service in default

Takeaway

Based on feedback received from our testers we have determined that there is a want for a app of this sort, especially during this pandemic.

After reports of technical issues we’ve concluded that Maze does not accurately prove our app’s overall usability. These errors are shown on the complete user testing report. Various tasks were not recorded into Maze accurately despite the participant progressing through the missions. We received a 50% split rating of 3/4 and 4/4 of usability from our testers.

Even though we received a mix of good and bad reports, we admire our audiences’ input on how to improve our app with features they would like to see. Therefore, we now have more ways to improve our app.

We think our app is passable to move onto the next step.

click here to read more about my experience while developing this app