I am the Pulse of the City

Poppy Seed iOS Mobile App
App Description
Created out of a desire to capture urban spaces in Shanghai before they change, Poppy Seed is a mobile application that maps memories & moods to places. People 'plant seeds' at these locations to document their feelings & memories. The app creates a homepage for each place where other people can add their own feelings and memories.
My Role
Troubleshoot an app currently in development, and redesign it to eliminate issues, while keeping the core concept of the app intact. Deliver both functional and visual spec documents to the development team with the redesign while collaborating with team members in three remote offices: San Francisco, Shanghai, and Bangalore.

Problems to solve
After an informal heuristic evaluation and interviews with the product manager & developers, I identified several of the main problems to solve. The interactions on the prototype weren’t working & could not scale as the app grew in size. The main task of ‘planting a seed’ was not intuitive, based on user testing. The iconography system was overly complex and abstract, and wasn't resonating with users.

User Flows
I sketched out a quick flow and documented which gestures would accomplish which actions on the main screens.
I simplified the iconography by using only three different icons for emotions, and categorizing them into three distinct groups: positive, neutral, & negative. User testing also revealed that the original abstract place icons were hard to decipher, so I placed those with recognizable icons. The final icon set is shown below and in-context.
Revamp Branding
Feedback from our stakeholders included rebranding the mobile app to align it more with Gensler's brand guidelines. In addition to utilizing the color palette & font family shared by other Gensler apps, I sketched many ideas to help communicate the concept of the app. I created a polished presentation to pitch the top three ideas to the creative director responsible for Gensler's brand.
Mobile App Detailed Designs
Onboarding Flow
The onboarding screens helped new users understand the purpose of the app, and gave the option to explore the features without needing to create an account right away.
Main Screens
The main screens of the app included the Main Feed (center) and Map Screen (right). This is where users can document a place by planting a seed, explore places already documented by the Poppy Seed community, and filter by place or emotion to find a particular type of place.
Plant a Seed Flow: Add Photo & Place Name
The main task for a user to complete is adding a place, which begins by taking or using an existing photo and naming the place. Utilizing existing native iOS camera & editing functionality helped reduce the scope of development. The steps are introduced in large headlines to reduce confusion.
Plant a Seed Flow: Add Memory & Emotion
Next a user can tag the place with a memory and emotion. Reducing the number of icons & removing the initial wheel interaction, helped clear up confusion on these steps.
My Seeds Screens
Each registered user has a personalized screen of all the locations where they have 'planted seeds'. Utilizing the home screen template with the additional functionality of adding photos and deleting previously planted seeds helped streamline the app.
Functional Spec Document
Visual Spec Document

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