Full Dive into Content

Android & iOS Product Design
Summer 2017 • 6 Weeks

Fulldive is an upcoming app with a mission to streamline content consumption. At the time of this case study, Fulldive was in its early stages of development. We performed usability tests to better iterate on our preliminary designs.


Team —

Grant Lin: project management & design
Chloe Ng: design & research
My Role: design & research


NDA

Some information has been changed or redacted. More details will be released as the designs launch.

Background

Fulldive is an aggregator aiming to simplify how people view content. The app's hallmark feature are decks, where users can organize their content sources.

Decks are a collection of sources. Within a deck, the user can receive updates from multiple sources.

Fulldive began as a companion app to Fulldive VR, a mobile VR entertainment platform. As it matured into a stand-alone app, its focus and needs evolved.

Animation of entering into a deck from the “Dive”, the home screen. “Dive” is the term for content trending globally that was also used on Fulldive VR. Decks are also scrollable on the home screen.
A simplified flow that we tested.

Purpose of Decks

Our previous design was an accumulation of different product goals and directions. Though we intended decks to help people organize their content, we needed concrete feedback to understand if we were taking the right direction. Specifically, our goals were to discover:

  1. How will people interpret decks?
  2. Does the deck creation process make sense to people?
  3. How will decks fill a need for people, if at all? Who would use this, and who wouldn't?

Our Roles & Set-up

For these tests, I built the prototype and moderated. Chloe took notes, and Grant oversaw the process. We set up at a local cafe for five test sessions. All our participants were in their 20s and tech-literate.

Each participant discussed their content viewing habits and used a Marvel prototype of the app. They saw the onboarding, explored the home screens, and created a deck.

Insights

Though our participants didn’t agree on everything, they shared some major pain points.

  • Unclear purpose. Our original two tabs on the home screen — an artifact of outdated priorities — confused participants.
  • Unmemorable feed. The two tabs put “Dive” (where decks lived) and “Feed” (showing friend activity) on the same hierarchy. Despite this, most participants recalled Dive much clearer by the end of the test.
  • Terms. Using the terms “Dive” and “deck” confused users.
  • Disorientation. Most participants were disoriented after adding a deck and landing on this deck’s individual view, a view they haven’t interacted with before.
  • Unsure actions. Participants could quickly create a deck without understanding the flow.

    It's like going to a restaurant that serves pizza, falafel, and ramen. Having too many different options makes me think none of the options are that good.

— A participant describing their skepticism with the prototype’s dual purposes.

We were also surprised to see the following:

  • Content sharing patterns. People’s usage of social media were very mixed, but most participants were very conscious of their audience when it came to sharing content.
  • Skepticism with VR. Though VR was not the focus, the mention of VR in onboarding and the side menu stuck with people. Most participants who noticed the VR components were somewhat turned off by it. They felt that, because they were not “VR people”, they may not be able to relate to the app.

Outcome

After compiling our session notes and presenting to our cofounders, we integrated our findings into the design.

  1. Demoting the social feed into a deck within “Dive”.
  2. Removing “Dive” as a name altogether by simply having it as the home screen.
  3. Providing more context within the Create Deck flow, and land back home after a deck is created.
Animation of creating a deck in the revised design.
The old home screen (left) compared to the new home screen (right).
The old create deck screens (left) compared to the new create deck screens (right).
Our revised flow with the changes from our learnings.

Reflections

To revisit our original goals:

  1. How will people interpret decks? Generally, people could grasp the concept and functionality of decks. Technical details about decks were less accurate, however.
  2. Does the deck creation process make sense to people? Somewhat. People understood decks after creating one, but were confused during the process.
  3. How will decks fill a need for people, if at all? Who would use this, and who wouldn't? Most participants said that young and tech-savvy individuals may enjoy decks. Several expressed interest in the app for their own news consumption. One participant strongly disliked the social aspect of decks, citing privacy concerns.

What’s Next

We’re constantly iterating and hope to follow up on these points:

  • Selection functionality. We couldn’t accurately prototype selecting list items on Marvel. To understand how to improve our the create deck interaction, we need to test it in a working build.
  • Our participants. Everyone included in this study was in a similar age range and very tech-literate. We’d like to speak with a wider group of people the next time to see if the designs work for others.
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