Helping an entrepeneur in Rwanda envision his first web app

While based in Kigali, Rwanda, I helped an entrepeneur with his budding venture. The output of the project was a series of strategic deliveries supported by a proof of concept (UX and UI).
It was an individual project that was run in parallel to other twos, over the course of three weeks.

My role

Strategy
Design
Branding

Type of project
The goal

Helping an entrepeneur define the experience of his budding online service

Hellojob is a online service that that puts people in contact with specialised workers (e.g. cleaners, electricians). After an initial conversation with the founder, I decided to help him tackle some big assumptions I thought he was making, and help him see his product beyond what he’d already built. I decided to focus on three things:

1

Map all assumptions and unknowns to understand what to prioritise in terms of research and planning.

2

Define a roadmap of an MVP, focusing on delivering the highest value to the users.

3

Create an initial iteration of the app to flesh out UX and UI.

1: Mapping assumptions

Behind every new product or service hide leap of faiths and assumptions.

The first activity we did was an assumption mapping exercise. The objective was to uncover as many assumptions and unkowns as possible, and come up with actions to tackle them.

Prioritising your knoweledge gaps

By looking at the business through the three lenses of desirability, viability and feasability we isolated all the assumptions the entrepeneur had made (e.g. who exactly are his users, should the app be on iOS, Android or web).

To prioritised them we mapped on a grid that gave us a sense of the important unkowns that needed to be researched further as well as the important knowns that were missing from the current business plan.

Created with Sketch. HelloJob DESIRABLE VIABLE FEASABLE Should be already in the business plan Investigate and research IMPORTANT UNIMPORTANT UNKNOWN KNOWN
2: Defining a roadmap

Understanding what an MVP for HelloJob looks like

Since the start, it was clear that the entrepeneur didn’t have a clear idea of the overall experience his service had to provide.

Putting yourself in your user’s shoes

To design anything meaningfull we needed to see his service from the point of view of his user, so we did a User Story Map.
A User Story Map is simply a story that tells how a user interacts with your service from start to finish. As the journey unfolds you start defining what pages the users need to go through, as well as what kind of features he needs to use to complete the journey.

Finally we sliced the journey into short and medium term strategy. The short team was our MVP, the bare minimum the service had to offer to bring real value for their users.
The mid term strategy was the stuff that makes a service nicer to use, but that is not critical to its success.

3: UX

User flow and sketching

The first step in my UX process, was to create a series of flows, where I described what the user sees and does (below), Using the User Story Map as a backbone.

Next I started sketching out some inital wireframes to explore things like layout, UI element, and hyerarchy of information.

3: Wireframing

Welcome to HelloJob

For someone looking to hire a professional the search functionality had to be front and center.

The inital exploration were considering two main layouts. The first one presented the users with a search bar, centered on the screen accompanied by category filters. The filter give the user the ability to skip the search and go straight to the category they need.

The second layout intergrated the search with a map, with the ability to filter out results. Because geo-location was not a priority for the user (the service provider would come to you, so distance from the user was not a key decision factor) this layout was discarded.

Default states

To make the search as easy as possible, the default states of the search page provide suggestions based on previous searches, common catergories and current location.

The results page, specialist’s profile and “my jobs” pages

The results page has two main objectives. Showing easy-to-scan information about specialists, and make it as easy as possible to sort and filter the best options.

Thinking mobile first the filter was placed at the bottom of the page, making it easier to reach it with a thumb. The quick filter have been designed with the intention of allowing quick filtering without needing to open the filter tab.

3: Refreshing the brand

Aligning the brand with the new design

In parallel to defining the experience of the service I spent some time refershing the branding of HelloJob. I started by defining some principles of what Hellojob stands for.

Hellojob is serious not formal

Hellojob is supportive not demanding

Hellojob is simple not complex



Using those principles as reference I started reworking the original logo. After exploring different ideas, I opted to keep the original playfulness of the smiley face but opted for a less caligraphic, more readable and not-too-serious typeface.