Mytim is a tool to organize informal sports events. Organizers use it to invite friends and communicate necessary updates. Invited users can confirm or decline the invites.
The main goal is to reduce the workload and time waste for event organizers.
The client described us the primary purpose of the product. It solved a problem the client himself experienced. A features list and some rough UI suggestions have been provided, but we agreed to do some research before finalizing the specifications.
The goal was to search with potential users for pain points while using currently available tools (text, email, Facebook).
Analysis of directly and indirectly competing products was conducted. The comments sections provided additional clues. Users often don’t just point out the pros and cons of an app but also describe the context of use.
Two pain points have been discovered:
1) Invited users and the organizer are friends. Often the invited users will use the received invite as an opportunity to chat with the organizer. At the same time, they will either confirm or decline the invite. That takes a lot of time and additional effort from the organizer.
2) The second pain point is managing changes either with an attendee canceling on short notice or location and time changes. These issues require more work and follow up communication from the organizer.
The primary focus is on the organizers. These are the people that will push the product to other users. Following characteristics of the organizer have been identified:
2) Has an occupation with lots of social interactions (e.g., news editor, middle manager)
3) Isn't tech savvy and uses only the essential apps on the smartphone.
Getting the Hands Dirty
One of clients wishes was to use various wallpapers of random sports events as background. The UI had to be clean and not cover up too much of the screen.
We also had to find ways to automate specific activities. For example, updating invited users about the location or time changes. For the users, the app had to offer a fast way to respond. Otherwise, they would default to previous communication alternatives
Due to the wallpaper requirement, the number of UI elements needed to be kept to a minimum. The primary actions of the app were creating/editing an event (organizers) and responding to the invite (invited users). The proposed solution merged the two into a single button.
How it works:
Step 1: Tap and hold the button.
Step 2: Swipe to the appropriate option
Color is used to indicate the decision of the user to either accept or decline an invite.
Tests showed the menu wasn’t an optimal solution. The main issue was the need to tap and hold to see the options. Users kept tapping the button, and it took to many tries to learn to use the control with tap and hold.
We went and iterated the menu so that the options remained visible at the tap. The user didn’t need to tap and hold the options. While tests confirmed the improvement, another issue quickly confirmed our worries. Compared to tap and swipe, the need to tap twice took more effort.
Back to Pen and Paper
A concept has been tested to use gestures to accept or decline an invite. The user had to either swipe up or down anywhere on the screen to either confirm or reject. That way only the controls to create/edit an event are visible.
Initial tests didn’t prove to be promising, so the gesture was scrapped. Different layouts of a typical row of buttons were tested. The goal was to allow the user to use the app with one thumb, visually separate the buttons for the two main actions (responding to invite, creating/editing an event) and keep the additional UI clutter to a minimum.
Besides the buttons, we also introduced an indicator ring. The ring has two reasons to exist. The first is to indicate the selected state (e.g., invite accepted). The second reason is to show the interactiveness. One of the issues with buttons, is no feedback until the user releases the finger from the screen.
By tapping a button the user instantly receives feedback and the confirmation that an action will be triggered. The ring expands outwards and, with a subtle glow, provides the needed feedback.
Based on the selection to accept or decline the invite, the ring is slightly increases in size and has a subtle glow.
Noteworthy UX Elements
For most of the time, ten or fewer users are invited. Using separated categories for each group (attend, don’t attend, no feedback yet) means having a low number of users in each category for most of the time. It also takes up more space with three different labels required for each of the categories. That’s why the attendance indicators are used for each user allowing to display all contacts in the same group.
A high percentage of events are on a weekly basis. The weekly event feature reduces the workload by automatically creating the same event every week.
The organizer, or any of the invited users, can post a message. In combination with push notifications, it helps to inform participants of last minute changes.