In the summer of 2016, I spent two months in Cape Town, South Africa learning the intricacies of User Experience Design. For our capstone project, my group was tasked with defining a problem in the
"Small-Business" space and providing a digital solution using design thinking methodology (i.e. our solution needed to improve some aspect of the lives of small-business owners).
Not well versed in the pain-points of small-business owners, we conducted interviews during the research phase of the class. After gathering data from shop-owners around Cape Town, we developed personas, journey maps, and user stories. Next was the ideation phase. My group brainstormed possible solutions to a problem we identified from our research:
We decided to build a networking app that would connect entry-level entrepreneurs with successful and knowledgeable business-people. After designing and testing paper prototypes, and conducting heuristic evaluations, it was time to build and test lo-fi wireframes in order to see what worked. We studied concepts like emotional design and micro-interactions to further help us with the minute details of the app. During the last step, or hi-fi phase, we made style-guides and mood-boards to help us determine the overall theme. At the end of the course, we pitched our app idea to the rest of the 200 kids in the program, marketing Kinekt as a tool designed to connect young entrepreneurs in a social and dynamic way.
We began by interviewing entrepreneurs in South Africa as well as young American entrepreneurs about their goals, frustrations, and needs. From those interviews we formed insights that guided us throughout the process. We also performed a market analysis and found that while there currently are many apps on the market for young entrepreneurs, they lacked an empathetic quality.
We created several personas and journey maps to help us better understand our user base.
We narrowed down our app to include four features that we deemed the most important: Profile, Newsfeed, Community, and Chat.
Initial Screen Prototypes
For the majority of the four weeks, our group focused on research, ideation, and low-fi prototypes. Although we were proud of the app's concept and functionality, we felt we needed to test the hi-fi prototype more and iterate further on both the branding and the hi-fi prototype.