Challenge

Collaborating with a team located in Medellín, Colombia, we were tasked with building an app for the LGBT community without creating another dating app. It was an encouraging sign when marriage equality passed in Colombia but we still recognized the continued persecution of LGBT folks in homes, schools, and businesses across the country. Our frustration and community research resulted in an Android and iOS mobile application solution that seeks to strengthen local communities.

Team: 3 developers and 1 product manager (located in Colombia), 1 designer
Client: TwoLinesStudios, Colombia
Duration: Ongoing
Platform: Android and iOS Mobile Application

 
 
 

Process

Discover

 User Interviews

User Interviews

We focused our energy on understanding the desires of LGBT folks in Medellin and Colombia as a whole. 

Methods: 20 participant survey, contextual inquiries, empathy map, comparative and competitive analysis

Insights:

  • large frustration with current dating apps
    • focus on hooking-up
    • focus on chatting with others you find attractive
  • difficult to easily find accurate and current information on LGBT establishments

 

Define

Taking a look at our user and market research, we realized there was a niche we could take advantage that would satisfy the design challenge.

Methods: research analysis, affinity mapping, concept modeling

Insights:

  • no app that combined access to information on local businesses and the ability to communicate with business patrons

 

Develop

Once we established our main app concept, we ideated on different UI that would facilitate connecting LGBT individuals with LGBT businesses. I worked with the developers in Colombia to carry out usability testing with potential users that further refined our features.

Methods: system and site mapping, storyboarding, sketching, paper prototype, user testing

Slack for iOS Upload.jpg
 User Testing

User Testing

System Map

Site Map

 

Deliver

After a handful of iterations and design concepts, I designed a minimum viable product that attempts to meet the needs of the particular community problem based off research and user testing.

Methods: hi-fidelity prototyping, style guide, asset management, iOS and Android visual design, branding

Branding Exercise

 
 

Solution

WiKu is a mobile application that:

  • connects LGBT business with LGBT patrons, regardless of gender/non-gender
  • allows users to locate friendly spaces to meet and build personal relationships
  • hopes to bring community by focusing on the spaces and establishments that cater to a queer crowd

 

Lessons Learned

Working cross-culturally and across time zones can be challenging, especially if you are the sole designer. Over the course of the project I learned how important it is to bring in developers into the design process from the beginning and schedule routine check-ins. Additionally, this project further confirmed that design is inherently social. With more time and resources, I definitely would’ve brought on outside designers for design critiques to provide new perspectives. Fortunately, I was able to do this with Symfonik.