Ally

Ally is a geo-location app which utilizes crowd-sourced data as the means to provide accessibility for wheelchair, baby-stroller, & bike users. This app was designed throughout a 10-week period in a design agency of 4 people.

Team

1 developer

1 researcher

2 designers

Role 

Designer

Year 

2015

Design question

"How might we use a crowd sourced revenue stream to provide accessible navigation to on-the-go users?"

Research

The first step in our design process revolved around building a business canvas model; identifying our key partners, value proposition, customer segments and revenue streams. We wanted to design with the business goals in mind and focus on the client’s needs as well as creating a cohesive experience for the end user. We spent a long time identifying exactly how to market to our end users, based on our limitations with revenue models. But after doing a comparative analysis, and discussing details with our client, we decided to focus our ad targeting on new mothers (baby stroller users) as they are more likely to try new services and explore family-beneficial avenues. 
 

After identifying our users, we created user scenarios centered around our user’s needs and daily commutes. This allowed us to get a better understanding of how Ally would be used and what features we would need to focus our attention on designing. We used these stories to accumulate a feature list, and began a competitive analysis with these features (such as voice commands) with other services like Waze & Google Maps. We were able to utilize our user scenarios as a means to convince our client how their business will benefit from our feature list, eventually adding and removing features based on the level of need.

Ideate / prototype

At this point, we began sketching and paper prototyping Ally, focusing on our feature list and user scenarios; we conducted a lean usability walkthrough with our client showcasing the information architecture and user flow for Ally. After considerable feedback and ideation, we worked our way up to a high fidelity interactive prototype in which we presented to our client on a weekly basis.

Use cases

As a wheelchair / baby stroller user, I want to be able to find places that are accessible and friendly.

As a wheelchair / baby stroller user, I want to be able to report & monitor incidents during my daily commute.

As a wheelchair / baby stroller user, I want to be able to be notified when I am in route that there are accessibility barriers. I want alternative, accessible routes.

As a wheelchair / baby stroller user, I want to be able to effective use and navigate the app without compromising the use of my hands.

Evaluate

Our client’s vision for Ally changed as the design process went on, especially when it came to revenue streams. Our client initially wanted to sell the data that Ally would collect to the city. However, we reached some roadblocks when reviewing this as a formidable stream. We decided to go with a more targeted model and began to design features that would track the user’s commute and introduce them to new paths and businesses along the way (targeted ads).

Results

We realized that there was a prime niche for monetization with Ally and we should have been more clear with that in our design. As a result, we incorporated the feedback in our wireframes with a focus on sponsored content that would show users featured points of interest in nearby locations; especially new mothers. 

We also found that moderated reporting was a necessity for crowd-sourced content, especially when reporting incidents with images. We looked into future adaptations of Ally that would focus heavily on the moderating process.