FREEBIE: WE ALL LOVE FREE STUFF
Freebie is a native iOS app that mirrors the delightful experience of discovering and sharing free stuff that people encounter in real life. My team wanted to design a product that aligned with our personal interests and could fit within the identity of an existing brand. After multiple deliberations, we chose GROUPON
Explore a problem or area of opportunity for an existing brand in order to create a new product. As a team, we wanted to design something that aligned both with our interests and a company's brand.
MY TEAM: Nicole Lucaroni, Zachary Rayman, Chriss Sugg and Inma Varandela.
TIMEFRAME: 2 weeks
TOOLS: Sketch, InVision, Balsamiq, Photoshop, Trello, KeyNote
MY ROLE: Researcher, Designer
Users love the experience of happening upon free quality goods and events. However, searching for them makes users feel overwhelmed by irrelevant and low quality free offerings.
How might we design a mobile experience that mirrors the delight of naturally finding free goods and events?
Considering Groupon as the leadering e-commerce marketplace for deals, we contemplated their possible interest in incorporating a product based on user-generated content that works as a platform for free services, events, and products offered by individuals and companies.
This is what FREEBIE brings to the table:
- Build a more engaged local community through user generated content
- Reach a user-base whom competitors have failed to reach
- Gather data on users’ behavior and preferences
- Enhance brand identity
- Learn about attitudes and feelings related to free events, products and services and their subsequent behaviors.
- Discover how popular Groupon is and the motivations to use it.
- Screener Survey
- User Interviews
- Comparative/Competitive Analysis
After analyzing our competitors, we discovered a gap that could be fill up by Freebie: a reliable and specialized platform to find free stuff.
These are some of the most important insights we extracted after putting together an affinity map:
- People love free stuff.
- People don’t just want freebies; they want good freebies.
- People share with their friends when the freebie is good enough.
- People enjoy stumbling upon free events.
- There is not a resource exclusively focused on freebies.
- Current resources are not very tailored/personalized.
"New York is a free classroom full of great opportunities to learn and meet new people if you can find the correct events."
Representation of the three different paths a user can follow on Freebie app.
After several rounds of Design Studio to come up with potential solutions, we prioritized these 3 ideas to implement as MVP:
- MAP: To satisfy our users’ need for access to real-time, local freebies. They can explore their local surroundings for all reported freebies.
- ANNOUNCE: as an essential part of a crowdsourced app, users can share the freebies they stumble upon with the rest of the freebie community.
- FILTERS: Users have access to more tailored and personalized freebies on the main map using specific categories.
From our screener survey and later user interviews, we learnt that the vast majority of our respondents (82%) reported owning an iPhone. This was the reason we went with the iOS platform as our starting point. However, developing an Android version became part of our next steps.
WIREFRAMES & USABILITY TESTS
We created a rough first version of wireframes on Balsamiq and immediately tested a prototype with 4 people.
Tasks Scenarios provided :
- Search for free food
- Announce a discovered freebie in real time
Highlights on Low-Fi Usability Test:
- Navigation was confusing
- Some icons didn’t make sense (esp. the “report” icon)
Highlights on Mid-Fi Usability Test:
- Copy was confusing (“What does culture mean exactly?”
- Unclear iconography (specially the “Announce” icon).
- Confused by the categories
As part of the final iteration, we created a short and fun onboarding process to help users understand how Freebie works. Intended to be an overview to explain basic app features but, mostly to clarify icons ( finally, we got people to understand the "speaker icon"!)