CASE STUDY : THE SORTAL USER EXPERIENCE

Majella Edwards
Lead UX UI innovator, researcher and designer


 
Early stage mapping of the properties of what Sortal might become.

Early stage mapping of the properties of what Sortal might become.

in the beginning

In March 2017, Sortal began as an idea to solve a modern problem:

How can we tackle the vast quantities of digital photographs that people own and create everyday?

Technology can provide a quick, easy and fun experience to manage a process that is traditionally time consuming, repetitive and very, very manual.

We mapped out the problem and spoke face to face with people on the street. I conducted surveys through Facebook and Survey Monkey, and compiled feedback from 220 people.


the early mock ups

After a deep dive into the problem, I developed user personas and created wireframes of how Sortal might work. How will users journey through the app? Where would they start? How would they place their own meanings to their photos?

My team and I took our early stage prototypes back out to people for validation. Would you use this? What do you think? What don't you like? What to you enjoy about this? Why? 

We compiled more answers, more interviews and more feedback. I prepared new designs - they were intentionally unpolished, so that feedback would be more genuine.


AB testing to determine preferences with different design elements.

AB testing to determine preferences with different design elements.

the solution

After researching and testing (through Testflight), we built a minimum viable product that people enjoyed. I had refined our interface to be more intuitive and inviting.

I had created a natural flow through the app that balanced the features of the software with the anticipated behaviours of users. I started A B testing different features and looks.


The release candidate is born

Once the user flow was firming up and the enragers and delighters were identified and resolved, Sortal's design was settled. I could now focus on the aesthetics such as the colour palette, icons and buttons, layout, and typeface.

Sortal 1.0 release candidate Adobe XD design


Designs undergo scrutiny and further refinement.

Designs undergo scrutiny and further refinement.

Refinement and testing

With the release candidate firmed up, certain features and functions were finalised. Other proposed features were reserved for future releases, including gamification.

My team and I held focus groups with a variety of testers from a range of demographics. I conducted user interviews and attendees tested the release candidate in a controlled environment.

Feedback was identified, new mock ups were prepared, bugs were reported and fixes were prioritised and scheduled with the development team.

 

The beta release

We launched the beta release candidate of Sortal in late February 2018 to the hands of a closed group of signed up testers.

Using agile methods, any changes to the front end or back end are scheduled into our fortnightly sprints.


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beta testing

Sortal received positive feedback and genuine connection with it’s beta testers. Throughout the entire process, I designed a joyful and intuitive user experience - from nothing but a question, into something tangible that brings people happiness.


DESIGN ELEMENTS FOR SORTAL APP


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Sortal WEB APP

Currently in pilot trials with early customers, Sortal is now a web platform for business digital asset management for SMEs. This needs to be responsive for both desktop and mobile use. A big part of this is user experience research and design, managing expectations and deeply understanding customers' businesses requirements.

Sortal was awarded a GOOD DESIGN AWARD for digital design in 2019!


How I work

My design process involves frequent testing to  challenge assumptions . I use a variety of methods such as focus groups, online surveys, remote testing and face to face interviews. Different methods are used to match different business needs at different times. No 'one size fits all'.

My design process involves frequent testing to challenge assumptions. I use a variety of methods such as focus groups, online surveys, remote testing and face to face interviews. Different methods are used to match different business needs at different times. No 'one size fits all'.


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About me

I have 16+ years experience working with innovative design and creative solutions in a range of different work environments.

I interface the needs of people with technology solutions such as CRMs, collection and information management systems, administrative workflows, customer journey mapping, eLearning platforms, and mobile app development.

I have worked for large government agencies, startups and design studios.