An actionable event app redesign for easier and more personal event discovery experience.
Completed in an open design challenge by a local startup
Mojin Yu (me)
2 weeks (Feb 2020)
Zeacon is an app that connects users to experiences, events and deals around them in real-time. It was released in 2019 and is currently available in the App Store.
I was invited by the startup to make design adjustments and create new features that will improve the functionality of the app with a focus on event discovery.
I collaborated with another designer in the project. My responsibilities include evaluating existing design, conducting user research, and creating three main sections of the final high-fidelity prototype.
Zeacon provided us with the following prompt:
Zeacon is a discovery app that connects users to amazing experiences, events, and deals (called “Zeacons”) in real-time. At the moment, the main ways a user will discover Zeacons of interest is through searching by categories and scrolling through the home page which shows recommended Zeacons.
Please design an experience that will improve the functionality of the app focusing on how users view and discover Zeacons.
Zeacon's design question:
How might Zeacon make it memorable and enjoyable for users to consume content and come back to the app on a daily basis?
To get a better sense of the problem space, I installed the Zeacon app on my phone and used it for a few days while taking notes of my experience.
I then conducted a heuristic evaluation, compiling a list of usability problems that might affect the user experience based on Nelson's 10 General Principles for Interaction Design, and then rated them by severity.
To understand the strengths and weaknesses of Zeacon and identify the opportunity areas, we performed a competitive analysis and compared Zeacon against three other popular platforms people use to discover events.
We surveyed 35 young adults living in urban areas and asked them about their preferences regarding online event discovery and invited them to share their experiences.
Some of the questions in the survey include:
What online tool do you use to discover new events?
How do you discover new events with your tool?”
(we asked how frequently they would view recommendation, filter by location, etc.)
Tell us about the the favorite event that you’ve been to in the past 2 months.
I conducted semi-structured interviews with two event-goers to learn more about the goals and pain points in their event discovery process. Additionally, I invited them to try out Zeacon in the second half of the interview and gathered their thoughts on the product.
Research Insight #1
Friends are a valued source of event discovery.
I went to the New year fireworks show 2020. It was quite popular among my friends.
When asked to describe their favorite recent event experience, over 30% of the survey participants mentioned finding the favorite event through friends.
When all my friends are going somewhere I usually do the same. You know, FOMO.
Research Insight #2
There is not much /
too much going on.
A great event discovery experience is about the balance between feeling the abundance and having control and clarity.
I don't use event apps that much-it's like drowning in a sea of events and I don't really wanna spend time going through stuff.
My first impression? The Zeacon home page is kind of empty.
Research Insight #3
information needs to
be more visible.
Viewing nearby events is among the most frequently used features rated by survey participants. There is still room for the Zeacon app to better develop functionalities in this area.
I really liked how I can see all the events around me on a map. I hoped it would be easier to just scroll through things with the map there.
Synthesizing the insights, we set the following goals for our final design solution:
Easy to Use
Fix usability issues identified and enable users to consume content in a delightful and digestible way.
Make discovery more efficient by enhancing the search and filter experience, with a special focus on finding nearby events.
Deliver event info in a more personal manner and help users keep up with friends’ activities
Generate designs that fits in the existing design system and can be easily adopted by Zeacon.
Rephrased, user-centered design question:
How might we redesign Zeacon to help users discover events that are more relevant and relatable to them?
We started ideating new features by doing design sketches.
My sketches for a card-swipe event discovery feature and comparing different map view designs
My sketches for new user onboarding screens
I mapped out the key user task flow for our prototype.
We had to work with a very limited time frame - the diagram helped me get a visualized overview of the design, see where new features fit into the system, and prioritize prototyping these interactions.
Redesign: Event page
Redesign: Search and Filter
We designed an onboarding experience to walk new Zeacon users through the main functionalities. We also use this as an opportunity to introduce some terms and feature names in the app.
Easy to Use
This is a new feature designed to provide users with bite-sized event recommendations. It's easy to mark interest by swiping left and right. There is also an option to bookmark for later. A new batch appears everyday so that users are encouraged to come back daily.
Easy to Use
Personal Zeacon Journey
We designed new components for the user profile page. Users will be able to view their monthly activities in a simple and straightforward manner. The achievements section records the user's event discovery journey on Zeacon and can be built into programs such as special discounts and premium features.
Easy to Use
Below is the interactive prototype we submitted to Zeacon.
Feedback and iteration are essential parts of the design process.
I am currently gathering thoughts from the Zeacon product team to see how well the current solution aligns with the company's business and product strategies.
Further usability studies will be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the redesign.
In a recent discussion with a fellow designer, I learned about potential accessibility risks surrounding the light blue and white color palette. This is an important issue that I didn't have previous experience with - I will better inform myself on the subject and explore solutions.
Prototype quick and often
Prototyping quick and often is what allowed us to generate a satisfying solution in such a short time frame. Sometimes the ideas we had took a different form when they are prototyped; new ideas might also pop up during the process.
Research and design go hand in hand
It might seem tempting to skip the research portion when in a time crunch. I am glad that I did not do so. Whenever I run into issues or feel unsure, research insights keep me grounded and informed.