Mentoring Wrap-up….For Now

I met with D. again on the Saturday before the Monday when our prototypes were due.  At that point, I had  revised flow charts, a site architecture map, mobile screens developed for two scenarios and a few tablet screens.  D carefully reviewed my work and even though he initially said he only had an hour, he found the work interesting and delayed his departure by about 45 minutes.

He liked the work I had done but made a number of recommendations, based on the following principles:

  • Minimizing hero photos (particularly their height)
  • Avoiding tab menus in mobile and opting for ‘hamburger’ menus instead
  • Using contrast on or behind priority images/widgets/text
  • Grouping text buttons together and separate from icon buttons, versus striving for symmetry
  • Grouping related sections together as a best practice in forms

Although it was tempting to save time and proceed with the wireframes I had, I couldn’t do so after D had flagged improvement opportunities.  This meant spending a good portion of Sunday revising the screens and working through the night to deliver the prototype on Monday.

With my prototype completed, I met later in the week with M. and two agency colleagues of hers: a content strategist (S) and a strategist (J). M had kindly set-up the opportunity for me to present my project and hear their feedback.  I introduced my concept with the banner designed for Digifest (as my project is part of the upcoming student exhibit) and then walked them through my prototype.  M. and her colleagues like the targeted focus of my project, its content and the UX features I’d incorporated.  They offered numerous recommendations to strengthen the solution and highlighted a few best practices to sustain.

Specifically, S. advised me to keep in mind the following best practices:

  • Ensure a consistent voice and tone throughout the site, as often this is lost after the initial pages.
  • Keep the site focused and try not to be all things to everyone or provide content for every senior relevant topic
  • Include some sort of rotating content on the home page to keep people interested, engaged and give them a reason to return

The group’s tangible suggestions included:

  • Checking UX principles and approaches airbnb embraces for ideas
  • Adding a field to the caregiver’s profile to address their personal needs
  • Adding the functionality for someone to share via email in addition to social shares
  • Changing the heart icon for ‘follow’ to something different since a heart is commonly associated with ‘Like’
  • Replacing the map icon with something like an MLS map locator – or even Google maps link
  • Adding overall maps to show seniors’ facilities in key regions/cities
  • Replacing the Upvote button with a thumbs up icon

I was pleased by how supportive they were and surprised to hear J. say that with a few tweaks, my concept would be ready to move to the next stage of bringing a developer on board.  I didn’t think I was that close but who am I to challenge mentors with light years of digital experience on me?

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