We were tasked to redesign an app of our choice. We went with Norway Lights, an application that provides day-to-day aurora forecasts for cities in Norway. Initial concerns I had with the current app was that it didn’t provide much value for the users - which also presented itself as an area of opportunity.
Team member Yumi was planning her trip to Norway with the app, so we had a real use case on hand!
To become a go-to tool for tourists and aurora chasers in Norway and in turn, to increase the awareness of tourists towards local business and communities.
We began with a heuristic evaluation and competitive analysis of the current app. To develop a more realistic persona, we ran interviews with users who have the intention of travelling or has visited the Northern Lights. We also wanted to allocate more time to usability testing and iterations to make sure that the app is as user-friendly as possible.
The resulting persona, Felicia, was one who shared the quirks and pain points of our interviewees. For Felicia, there were two potential use cases.
- Using the app to plan for her trip, and
- Using the app during the trip.
We decided to place more emphasis on the planning aspect of the app — which was the reason why Felicia (and Yumi) downloaded the app in the first place.
Using Axure, we turned our sketches into mid-fidelity prototypes and went straight into testing with real users.
We progressively increased the fidelity of the prototype to test different tasks and features.
One major takeaway was that users required more high-fidelity content to help them navigate the prototype more realistically. As our content wasn’t fully up to scratch yet, we received a lot of feedback on things like the copy of Call to Action buttons and images. We then implemented them into our next iteration.
The solution - Key Features
Based on user feedback, we made the weather forecast more prominent and included it into the probability. For example, high aurora activity coupled with cloudy weather would result in a low probability of viewing.
The app will also feature user-generated content that users can contribute through a specific hashtag #norwaylightsup. This makes the content more timely and relevant. As the app is developed by the Ministry of Trade, tours and activities by local communities will also be featured to support the tourism industry in Norway.
At this point, we were conducting Usability Tests while concurrently iterating the hi-fi prototype.
What I've learnt
As the Northern Lights app was made to promote a visual spectacle, I took this opportunity to design a more visual-centric high-fidelity prototype that keeps in line with the current Norway Lights brand. It was fairly tricky designing for a dark interface while keeping the images and call-to-actions prominent but it was a good learning experience.
I also got to explore ideating for opportunities. It’s similar to finding solutions to problems, but there’s also more room for creativity.