Post coming soon!
QUITTER was a fun dabble into design. Hopefully my designer friends won't laugh, since I really like messing around in their territory.
A friend had a fun product idea around using Apple Watch to help people "quit" bad habits. The pitch essentially was: by recognizing a motion, you could train away certain bad behaviors. I chose to think of how this would feel for smoking.
Approaching this "product" I wanted something that would become a daily habit. Why? Because that's precisely how smoking works. Smokers form routines throughout their days that center around smoking. By creating a product that can become a tech-replacement for a cigarette, I hope to replace a bad habit with a benign one. For this reason, I focused on a couple main elements of the product:
1. Log a Light Flow - Increase stickiness, a la MyFitnessPal. Ancillary benefit of knowing the severity of the smoking habit.
2. Your Smoking Stats - Quantified self, progress, and positive reinforcement
3. Social - Keep the user accountable to their friends and family
4. Personal Journal - Recommended to record emotions as you transform yourself
Upon wireframing the product, I figured that I could get away with not using an Apple Watch integration in the "go to market" version, since the log a light flow was pretty simple and easy. However, in the future, this could be added in a number of places - the first time user onboarding or in a phased onboarding approach as the user becomes more engaged.
OLLO - Weekend Hack - Web App PM
Born in a 24 hour Hackathon for Outside Lands, OLLO is your social scheduling tool for Outside Lands. The intimate team also included Stuart Griffiths (http://lesssmokemoreheat.com/), Nicklas Giertz (https://github.com/ansman), and Pelle Almquist (https://github.com/peralmq). There were lots of laughs, very little sleep, and I think only one death threat.
We started our journey by compiling a rather emotional list of the worst and most difficult things about festivals, hoping we’d land on something that we could fix or eliminate.
Porta-Potties: Sometimes when you gotta go, you’re not willing to walk across a whole festival to do it. Too much of a just-in-time interaction to mess with.
- Illicit Drugs: Not much has changed since Woodstock. Drug situations seem to usually work themselves out, and we didn’t want to become some big sting operation for SFPD.
- Food Stands: Food was an interesting angle, but having not tried all the restaurants who will be present at the festival, we decided we didn’t have enough information to do recommendations or interact with them much.
- Horrible Weather: Weather is practically considered an “act of God”, so we decided not to mess with that either.
- Long lines and Mislead Maneuvers: While a product to solve crowd management was interesting, only one of us has been to the festival before, so we probably couldn’t make an educated guess from a cartoon map. It’s also really hard to get insight into the landscape when it’s partially covered by a forest!
We realized that the best part of any festival is rocking out with friends both old and new and we wanted to facilitate friend-to-friend meetups at the show, yet still keep the music experience as our primary focus.
IDENTIFYING THE FRICTION
Once we narrowed our focus towards structuring festival schedules and communicating plans, we began looking at the information-flow from a birds-eye.
Navigating expansive concert grounds quickly turns into a safari, while rowdy crowds just make everything that much more of a zoo. We all agreed, minimizing the pain of getting stuck in an aimless venture would be a win. Continuing to unbundle routing pains, the instigator to scattered scurries between artist performances became blatant. The gant schedule and the cartoon map.
Trying to come to consensus between friends is a battle. Giving users an excel-spreadsheet of taste-preference options does not lend itself kindly to emotionally charged agreements. And the cartoon map — talk about paralysis analysis.
We found our problem: Multiple stages and artists playing at overlapping times makes mapping when-to-be-where no walk in the park.
“ OLLO pits artists who overlap in the schedule against one another, creating a fun tool for scheduling.”
With the hackathon’s time constraints at play, Stuart and I prioritized the night’s goals:
- Structure a brief yet thorough onboarding
- Make the process of picking artist performances more human and exciting
- Output schedule itineraries for users
- Map time locations for when to be where
The wacky color palette and style of Outside Lands made building a bearable brand identity for our product that much easier. Loud and edgy, choosing a typeface and gamut for our overnight prototype was painless.
For the selection process, we strived to make the real-world trade-off clear between choosing one performer over another. Sparking emotion right off the bat, we asked “Who’s a must?”. After users made their headliner choice (which we assumed would be a “no-brainer”) we structured artist toss-ups to match user behavior. Naturally, people will comb through artist selections to those they’re familiar with first. To match this pattern, we structured the content from more-likely recognized (i.e. artists performing later in the day) to less-likely known.
The time-block strategy helped users generate a sense of mastery as they advanced from familiar to unheard acts. If attendees hadn’t heard of an artist or wanted a reminder — no worry — we embedded a toggle which played song snippets via the Echonest API. To coincide with the progressive experience, we tapered question copy accordingly; “Who’s a must?” advanced to “Who are you most excited to see?” which carried along to “Who’s your current favorite?”. With the final batch of toss-ups being the opening acts, we encouraged users, “Take a listen, who sounds good?”.
Once you’ve selected your favorites from our quadrant toss-ups, you’re presented with a very simple schedule revealing a showtime and location for each artist.
After passing through necessary credentials to save their schedule(via sign in with Facebook), fans were taken to a map view. This screen plotted their itinerary onto a refined version of the Outside Lands map.
Stuart started work with the .ai file for the Outside lands map and fervently started subtracting. With the mayhem of information on the original design, he took a furniture retailer’s “Everything Must Go!” approach, honing the map's focus. It was awesome.
We were just getting cozy with map-view iterations as our 24-hour “shot-clock” approached the buzzer. With valid Facebook credentials, we had the capability of tapping into the planned itineraries of others in your social graph. This is a project will definitely try to ship out in the future!
CLAD - Side Project - iOS App PM
CLAD is the everyman’s solution to style.
By creating a social platform to detail your looks, CLAD makes it simple and fun to keep track of what you have, discover what you don’t, and plan for those vexing occasions that life throws at you. A personal catalogue for your fashion inventory. It turns your device into a digital closet, working to help you capture, archive, and plan your attire.
CLAD is the solution to wanting to look good, but having no idea where to start.
CLAD was a side project born from the aches that come from a day when nothing you put on feels right. The anxiety that builds as the deadline to pack clothing for your upcoming vacation approaches. Clad is a belief that, at a moments notice, you should be able to browse all the articles of your closet digitally. Every article; jackets, hats, shoes, pants, belts — anything and everything.
I started working on this project with Stuart Griffiths, a friend and one of my favorite designers, who you can find at http://lesssmokemoreheat.com/. I was taking a General Assembly course on Product Management and this was the perfect idea to dive into. CLAD has temporarily been put on hold, as one of our team members has moved back to Sweden. If I get the chance, I'd love to build out the outfit planner in full! I think it's a killer feature! Take a look at our though process below.
EVOO - Side Project - iOS App PM
What is EVOO?
- Tailored recipe recommendations
- Quality-verified recipes
- Easy-to-follow prep steps
- Social sharing
Why use EVOO?
Recipe discovery is broken. Search overwhelms the user and lacks direction, while Browse is inspirational but lacks follow-through. We wanted to create a product that not only allowed you to find the perfect recipe through your desired parameters, but also continue creating the recipe.
The cooking process is fragmented. There’s no single product to search, store, and take action on your recipe! Cooks are left to individually aggregate across Evernote and/or Pinterest, neither of which is dedicated to storing and displaying recipe instructions. With recipe locations and types fragmented, the cook loses out on the opportunity to share recipes efficiently. Time is lost, ingredients are forgotten, and undoubtedly, side dishes are burned due to lack of streamlined instruction. We made EVOO to be a single place to browse, store, cook, and share your recipes.
What's the backstory?
A long weekend in Tahoe should be spent with 13 friends, but I spent it mostly over a stove. I cooked for 13 friends for an entire weekend, and planning recipes that could scale well and meet everyone's dietary restrictions was really a pain. I wanted a product that would help me plan many dimensions of a meal -- from costs I'd incur, to changing group size, to difficulty to prepare. A few weeks later, Stuart Griffiths, Thomas Chen, Yi Qin, Braulio Chavez, and I found ourselves creating EVOO at Y Combinator's first hackathon, YC Hacks.
EVOO is not delving into an uncontested market.
In the App Store, there are 2,199 results under keyword “cooking.” However, we still feel there’s demand for a consciously-designed cooking app that guides the cook all the way from recipe discovery to plating.
To validate the market for EVOO:
- Created cookwithevoo.com splash page with an email collection field to monitor as we move forward with continued product development.
- Once cooks take interest in EVOO, we will do further user research and user interview to align our product vision with the real demands and pain-points of cooks everywhere
- Our top priority, however, is to get the app into the market and respond to the needs of the cooks that use it
Product Wish List
API Integration with Instacart
- “Order with Instacart” included on Ingredients List page
- API not currently available, but would align with product thesis of one end-to-end cooking app
Tastemaker Curated Content
- Medium aced the content-production game when it first rolled out to select bloggers and personalities. EVOO should do the same for cooks, to ensure high quality recipes.
Expanded Social Sharing Options
- Cooking is inherently social, cooks should be able to seamlessly share or receive a recipe to/from a friend
- Cooking is a full-contact sport, and cooks’ hands are always busy. Voice-activated timers for cooking steps would keep the phone in a safe, clean place.
Notes on Recipes
- Cooking is the art of change! Cooks should be able to save notes or modifications on their recipes for next time
Look out for more on EVOO soon!
Wrapp - Full Time - iOS, Android, & Web App PM
September 10, 2013...
Apple reveals that iOS7 will have a new design scheme based on simplicity and clarity. While tech blogs hailed the new age of flat design, pretty much all of Wrapp collectively sighed. We had spent two full years building the most pixel-perfect, drop-shadow-laden, beveled, and reflected app on the planet. At the time, I would've put the leather stitching on our mobile wallet up against the best.
With a Series B under our belts, Wrapp went into pivot-mode and started immediately cranking out features for a new style of promotions in the application. We were betting on there being a slow migration over to iOS7, but unfortunately, things happened much faster than we were ready for. Pretty soon, even our heavily shadowed 3D-style logo looked wrong next to even the most basic flat logos. The compliments on our design stopped flowing in, and we all started to realize that we had a product from a bygone era. However, we couldn't afford to re-think all that we had done when we had new feature goals on the line. So, starting in pieces, we updated our product to a middle-ground so that when iOS6 deprecated, we could still have a live product. This was not done out of preference, but out of necessity, as we needed to keep shipping product to survive as a business. So, we shipped ugly. Very ugly. We were in a bizarre mezzo state in between iOS6 and iOS7, without a clear-cut plan on how to get flat.
Thankfully, as we went along, we started releasing updates that included flat design and a reimagined "Discover" tab to replace our antiquated homepage in Wrapp. We started removing the awful modals that created an overbearing user experience, slimming down the flows that were bloated with unnecessary detail, re-thinking how we present information to users in favor of clarity, etc.
Here's where we were. Check back soon for an update on how things are looking now.
Checking back in on this post. Wrapp has shifted its focus back to the Swedish market for Wrapp Next (https://www.wrapp.com/next). I loved working on this project, and I eagerly await its launch so I can follow its progress!
While this update includes more iOS7/iOS8 styling, it's very clearly a first version to me. Ideally, I would've liked to add a title bar on the feed view, so the user has a better sense of place. I would've liked to create better visual hierarchy for the Purchase Tab, so the user could easily focus on their transaction & the relevant offers that she earned. The list is, naturally, never-ending! Here's where we landed on our last USA release: