It’s been a couple of weeks since our last v3 beta release, but there’s a whole lot of work that’s been happening in the background. The V3 team has been working around the clock to ensure that we’re not only building a world class product, but a product that is user centered. The design and functionality need to be able to meet our users’ expectations. The V3 user interface has gone through a major overhaul. Sophie, one of our senior designers, recently gave an account on designing for V3 and building out the pattern library. A lot of improvements have been to product architecture, user interface, workflows and terminology. However, we want to make sure that we’re keeping our users centered in the entire design and development process. We recently conducted our first user experience study on designs from the pattern library work from the design team. This study was carried out over a week on a small group of users, the majority of whom had past experience using Ushahidi at varied levels. It was a smooth eye-opening process that involved getting feedback on the new designs from the different users. We held a series of Google hangouts/Skype calls and face to face interviews, where we displayed mockup designs and asked the users a series of questions along each page. For this first study, we tackled four different sections of the Ushahidi platform:- [caption id="attachment_17043" align="alignnone" width="885"]Map View Map View[/caption] We needed to see if our designs were intuitive enough for users to navigate around the platform and sought to see if users could figure out :-
  • how to create a post
  • how to search
  • how to move to the admin dashboard
  • what the term “sets” means, among other questions
It was very exciting and interesting to see the different reactions from all the users, and understanding their interpretations of the designs. For example, the majority of the users were pleased to have a large map. It made it easier for them to interact with the data on it. The fact that the map does not zoom in and out when scrolling up and down the page was an added advantage. However, out of all the users participating in this study, only 2 out of 11 understood what the term ‘Sets’ means. We are taking user experience very seriously, and want to make sure that we are not only building a product with top notch technical scalability, but one that our users will also be able to enjoy. This feedback received has been extremely useful, and currently serves as the basis for the next iteration of designs being worked on. Another round of testing will be conducted as soon as these changes have been incorporated. This is just the first of many UX studies to come in the lead up to a full product launch, and we hope to see even more feedback coming through. If you already haven’t, have a look at our test site to have a feel of what to expect and play around with what has already been done. The login credentials:
  • username: demo
  • password: testing
You can also follow progress on the pattern library on the following links below:- Demo: Github repository: We would like to extend our deep gratitude to the amazing group of users who agreed took part in this study. Your feedback is invaluable and very much appreciated. If you’d like to be part of any of our UX studies, please sign up here and we’ll reach out to you when we’re ready to conduct the next round of UX tests.