SEEK: A UX Case Study

Project Overview

Project Brief

I created an end-to-end design of a scavenger hunt app.

The target audience was 18-40 year olds, but players may cover a wider age range. Players may be individuals, teams, friends, or colleagues. The mobile-first responsive design must enable players to use the app on the go.

The Problem

Create a fun way for gamers to engage with friends (or meet new people) in a platform that allows them to interact in person.

My idea was a game that allows players to build scavenger hunts in three platforms: by linking to the Geocaching app and adding missions to find Geocached items, by linking to travel guide apps to hunt for local landmarks, or by using customizable templates.

My Role

I was responsible for the entire design process. This included

  • generative research
  • competitor analysis
  • personas
  • user journeys
  • user flows
  • empathy maps
  • copy and microcopy, including on-boarding modals
  • wireframes in various fidelities
  • interactive prototypes
  • user testing
  • iterations
  • design documentation
  • final mockups

Tools

Adobe XD, Balsamiq, Sketch, Figma (final design in Sketch), Conceptboard, Prott, InVision, Microsoft Visio

Process

Partial Analysis

Competitor Analysis

Let’s Roam

Let’s Roam is a scavenger hunt app that allows players to purchase pre-planned scavenger hunt games in many major cities. The developers have partnered with many city chambers of commerce and tourism bureaus to promote those cities by engaging in scavenger hunts with the app.

Geocaching

Geocaching is a world-wide gaming experience in which players hide – or cache – objects and log them in the game using GPS coordinates. Other players then use clues and coordinates to find cached objects.

Gap Analysis

Let’s Roam

Let’s roam does not allow users to customize the game in any way and is only available in specific cities. Players may request customized games from the developers if they provide sufficient advance notice.

Geocaching

The Geocaching app does not have a mechanism for grouping objects into an organized hunt or for for forming teams. Though players log their finds in the app, the game also does not have a mechanism for competing with individuals or teams.

Initial Testing

Methods

I used an unmoderated user survey and moderated user interviews.

The survey deployed on SurveyMonkey and consisted of 6 questions. 26 potential players responded.

The interview consisted of 5 questions, plus 2 follow-up questions. I interviewed 5 potential players.

Unmoderated User Survey

Question 1

How often do you use an outdoor activity app (Geocaching, scavenger/treasure hunt, fishing, hiking, Pokemon GO, etc.)?

If you do not currently use an outdoor activity app, how likely would you be to try one if it caught your attention?

Responses

~54% have used an outdoor activities app

41% used an outdoor activities app 1-6 times/year

Only one respondent used an outdoor activities app 4+ times/month

49% were likely or very likely to use an outdoor activities app in the future

Question 2

When you use (or if you started to use) an outdoor activity app, what are those activities? Please choose all that apply.

Responses

60% for state or national parks

24%  for scavenger hunts or Geocaching

44% for fishing or camping

35% for hiking

Question 3

When you use (or if you started to use) an outdoor activity app, what features do you (or would you) use most? Please choose all that apply.

Responses

88%: GPS location/map

64%: logging/tracking results

60%: prepared experience

44%: creating an experience from a template

40%: inviting friends

24%: creating an experience from scratch

16%: sharing results

  8%: joining a pick-up game

Question 4

When you use an outdoor activity app, do you prefer that the app be fully enabled, or are you willing to set up your activity on a web app (a website that syncs with the mobile app)?

Responses

91%: fully enabled

  9%: web app

Question 5

Please list up to 5 things that you like about your outdoor activity app — or any app that you use.

Responses

Intuitive, easy to use and navigate

Access to resources and help

Interactive and engaging

Rewards

Question 6

Please list up to 5 things that you do NOT like about your outdoor activity app — or any app that you use.

Responses

Hard to use or navigate, not intuitive or user-friendly

Repetitive pushes

App failure

High cost

Moderated User Interviews

Question 1

How often do you use outdoor activity apps (Geocaching, scavenger/treasure hunt, fishing, hiking, Pokemon GO, etc.?

Responses

Most interviewees use these apps for camping, hiking, fishing, and exploring state and national parks. The daily user plays Pokemon GO.

Question 2

When you use these apps, what sort of activities are you doing?

Responses

Most interviewees use these apps for camping, hiking, fishing, and exploring state and national parks. The daily user plays Pokemon GO.

Question 3

Would you try a scavenger hunt game? Why or why not?

Responses

None of the interviewees has used a scavenger hunt app. Most would try a scavenger hunt app given the right environment.

Question 4

Thinking about using a scavenger hunt game — and the features you like in other apps, what features do you imagine you would use?

What features would you not use?

Responses

The most common features interviewees would use are the platforms for creating a game and GPS location.

The least common feature interviewees would use is social sharing.

Question 5

Of these features, which three are most important to you?

Responses

The most common must-have feature interviewees want is a GPS locator/map.

Personas

User Flows

Mike Georgia

Annie Dell

Cecile Black

User Journeys

Mike Georgia

Annie Dell

Cecile Black

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

A Few UI Iterations

Usability Testing

Methods

I used a moderated remote usability test, which I recorded using Zoom (with each participant’s written consent).

6 potential players used a link to Zoom and an Adobe XD prototype file to participate.

The participants performed 6 primary tasks. If time permitted, they also performed 4 secondary tasks. Participants rated their satisfaction with each task on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being very hard and 7 being very easy.

Primary Tasks

Task 1: Pretend that you’ve created an account and logged in. Now you’ve landed on the home screen. Now you want to start building a scavenger hunt. What would you do from this screen?

Task 2: Now describe what you would do in each section on the screen to start a game to build.

Task 3: Pretend you’ve named and saved a game with a password, etc. Now you want to start building the game. How would you find the game you just saved?

Task 4: In this app, you can build a scavenger hunt

  • by linking to your Geocaching account and choosing Geocached items for your hunt,
  • by linking to a travel guide and choosing local landmarks for your hunt, or
  • by using a customizable template with hunt suggestions.

Please choose which one you want to use and tell me what you would do to implement that choice.

Task 5: Now you’re on the screen where you start adding missions to your game. Please describe how you might add objects and clues (missions) to your game.

Task 6: Pretend that you’ve finished setting up your game. Now that your game is ready, you want to invite friends to play. Please try to do that.

Open-ended questions:

Do you have any questions?

Do you have any suggestions?

Secondary Tasks

Task 1: Going back to the home screen, again pretend you’ve created an account and logged in. Your friend Maggie has invited you to join her scavenger hunt. How do you accept her invitation?

Task 2: You’ve accepted Maggie’s invitation. Now how do you join her game?

Task 3: Please describe how you would start playing the game, then click on the buttons you think will accomplish that.

Task 4: You’ve found the first mission in your game. What are your next steps?

Outcomes

I used satisfaction metrics and an affinity diagram to identify 8 errors, then used Jakob Nielsen’s rating scale to classify the errors – then I iterated my design based on test outcomes feedback.

Satisfaction Metrics

Affinity Diagram

Neilsen Ratings

Style Guide

Logo

Colors

Typography

Logo

Heading

Text

Iconography

Original Assets

Adapted Library Assets

UI Elements

Mockups

Conclusion

This design project is almost complete, but I have a few more steps.

I want to apply animation to a few elements. For example, the globe icon might spin, the photos icon might shuffle, and the leaderboard stars might shoot off like fireworks.

I also want to apply and refine a photo background to many of the screens, such as the intro, home, game setup, mission source, and game results screens. 

Finally, I completed all the screens in the project brief, but those are clearly not all the sreens that would be required if the app were developed.

Retrospective

The most important things I learned while designing this app:

  • Test early and as often as possible/reasonable
  • Keep design elements well organized in Layers
  • Make design elements exportable as you go
  • Test for accessibility at all design stages
  • Use text and layer styles
  • Keep Components clean and up to date
  • Make an archive of deleted elements in case you need them again
  • Use a version control protocol

Thank You