(Above: Wireframe sketches during the initial planning process)
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist. But since I ended up going to business school, I had stopped drawing in pursuit of academics and more business-oriented activities. But spring semester of my sophomore year, my passion for creative projects resurfaced. I started drawing again, and joined a student-led course on mobile product design.
It was not for credit and I took it on top of 6 classes and my work-study job, but it was easily one of the funnest things I've done. As a result, I began to see more of an intersection between my creative interests and my degree.
This was my first UI/UX project ever, and I worked on this over the course of 3 weeks in March/April 2018. Here is a summary:
The Challenge: Language learners struggle to find study partners and native speakers to practice with them.
Personal Interest in Area: I taught myself Japanese growing up, but never had people nearby to practice with. My family spoke Chinese, and my friends spoke mostly English. As a result, it took me very long to correct bad grammatical habits I developed early on.
Research: I looked at similar apps like HelloTalk and what would make mine different. HelloTalk is focused on connecting people online based on language preferences, no matter where they are located in the world. I've used apps like these before and they work well, but they do not put an emphasis on facilitating local meetings with language partners.
Prototyping and Iteration: I built my screens using Figma. Over the 3 weeks, I showed others my wireframes and screens for feedback. I made many changes to the colors, navigation bar, and overall aesthetics.
The Result: An app that focuses on setting up in-person meetings between language partners. I presented at our Demo Day in April 2018, which concluded the class.
What I Learned:
How to use Figma (digital prototyping)
Best practices for mobile app design (avoid pastel colors, keep navigation bars consistent, keep drop shadows subtle)
How I can love and practice design while studying business