🕰️ Duration - 2 Weeks in March 2023

Shane Cullen | 781-742-5573 | shane@ktchupstudios.com 

Project Overview

This case study details a project I completed in my Google UX Design Course. Prompts were generated automatically. The prompt I chose was “Design a mobile virtual tour app for wedding venues.” For this project, the goal was to go through all aspects of the UX design process.

Roles & Responsibilities

Lead UX Researcher and Designer from conception to delivery. User research, conducting interviews, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs.

Problem

Engaged couples and wedding planners need a convenient, time-efficient, and detailed way to explore and compare a wide range of wedding venues without the logistical challenges and expenses of in-person visits.

Goal

Design an intuitive, accessible, and engaging app that offers virtual tours of various wedding venues, allowing users to conveniently explore, compare, and make informed decisions about their ideal venue from the comfort of their homes.

The Product

Venue View is a mobile app designed to offer immersive virtual tours of wedding venues. It provides an efficient and enjoyable solution for couples and wedding planners to explore and compare venues without the need for an in-person visit

The Process

Understanding the Audience

Research Goals

  • Identify common behaviors and emotions people experience when looking for a wedding venue
  • Understand the process people go through when deciding on a wedding venue
  • Understand what frustrations and difficulties they encounter in the process

User Types Interviewed

  1. Newly engaged couples planning their wedding
  2. Wedding planners
  3. Recently married couples

Research Findings

“I need an easier way to explore and compare wedding venues.”
“I want to involve my friends and family in the decision-making process.”
“Pictures can be deceiving and makes it hard for me to visualize and understand a venues layout”
“I simply don’t have enough time to visit a lot of different venues, especially the international ones we are looking at.”

Pain Points
  1. Time constraints – not everyone has the time and money to travel to many venues
  2. Visualization – pictures don’t provide enough when it comes to visualizing a venue on your special day
  3. Comparison – it can be very challenging to effectively compare different venues from only pictures and text on a website
  4. Collaboration – It is very challenging to remotely collaborate on choosing a venue

Research Summary

Users seek an efficient and immersive solution to explore and compare wedding venues, addressing their busy schedules and the challenges of visualizing venue atmosphere and layout from static images, all while facilitating remote collaboration in the decision-making process

User Personas

I created 2 user personas for VenueView. For this project design, I focused on Kelly’s user flow however Johns persona could use the platform the same way by creating shortlists of venues for his clients to view on the app.

Kelly, a recently engaged school teacher who is beginning her search for a wedding venue

John, a busy wedding planner who is looking for ways to innovate his process for his clients

Kellys User Journey map

Defining User Needs

Once I completed my user research, created user personas, and mapped their user journeys I began to understand their core problems and needs so I could create a solid goal to work toward with my designs.

Problem Statments

Kelly’s Problem – As a busy, newly engaged teacher, Kelly needs an efficient, user-friendly solution to explore and compare wedding venues remotely, because her limited time and need to decide with her mother make traditional venue hunting expensive and time-consuming.

Johns Problem – John, a seasoned wedding planner, needs to balance a busy schedule and family life while keeping up with evolving wedding trends and client expectations, all to maintain his commitment to helping couples find their ideal wedding venue and create lasting memories.

Goal Moving Forwards

VenueView will let users explore and compare various wedding venues through immersive virtual tours, which will affect engaged couples and their families by simplifying the decision-making process and reducing the need for in-person visits. We will measure effectiveness by tracking user engagement, the number of venues booked through the app, the time spent on virtual tours, and user satisfaction ratings on the app’s features and overall experience.

Understanding the Industry and Innovating

Industry Research Summary

Before I could begin working on my own designs I needed to first understand what was currently available in this industry. In my competitive audit of the virtual tour offerings within the wedding venue industry, I found that Wedding Spot and 360SiteVisit are our main direct competitors. Wedding Spot stands out with its comprehensive database and booking capabilities, while 360SiteVisit offers immersive 360-degree virtual tours. Indirect competitors such as The Knot and WeddingWire provide more general wedding planning tools but lack a focus on virtual tours.

My analysis revealed that while competitors have established strengths, including detailed venue information and planning resources, they also exhibit weaknesses, particularly in the realm of personalized user experiences and collaborative planning features.

I identified significant market opportunities for VenueView to innovate. By incorporating personalized venue recommendations, a suite of virtual event planning tools, and enhanced communication features for real-time collaboration, VenueView can offer a distinct, more tailored service that aligns closely with the needs of modern couples planning their weddings.

This competitive landscape analysis sets the stage for VenueView to not just enter the market but to redefine the standards of virtual wedding venue exploration.

However, this being my first UX project, I decided that VenueView should first build out a simple app before innovating. This would include features for searching venues, comparing results, viewing info about a venue, exploring the virtual tour, and contacting the venue.

Low-Fidelity Designs & Prototypes

Initial User Flow

Starting with the simple app idea, I created a user flow that covered the main features and pages needed. This flow while simple went through multiple fast iterations to come to the final one you see below. This format allowed me to quickly and easy run through a user flow and change it without having to create any designs.

Low-Fidelity Mockups

Being more comfortable with digital tools, I skipped the paper drafting stage and moved to directly to Figma to start my wireframing. The goal was to lay out the basic elements and screens needed for the complete user flow.

Low-Fidelity Prototype

Being more comfortable with digital tools, I skipped the paper drafting stage and moved to directly to Figma to start my wireframing. The goal was to lay out the basic elements and screens needed for the complete user flow.

Testing

After completing this low-fidelity prototype it was time to test and iterate before moving on to a high-fidelity version. This crucial step allowed me to identify critical user issues before the designs became too polished to make drastic adjustments.

Usability Studies Summary

I conducted 2 remote, moderated usability studies, utilizing 5 participants who were newly engaged couples between the ages of 25-45. Each participant’s screen and audio were recorded for analysis of trends, pain points, and opportunities for improvement. Upon completion of the studies, I created affinity diagrams to organize all feedback from the participants. I then consolidated the information into the pages they were referencing. Once I had all the feedback I organized them into actionable insights I could implement into the next version.

Low-Fidelity Design Iterations

Using these insights I went back to my designs, duplicated the user flows and created a Version 2, which addressed all the issues, pain points, and feedback from my usability studies. Below are a few screenshots from my research study presentations.

High-Fidelity Designs & Prototypes

Hi-Fi Designs

Moving on to High-fidelity designs and prototypes is what excited me the most. Being able to see how the colors, texts, and images come together helped improve the overall design.

I started by creating a sticker sheet with all the buttons, icons, and other components I would use across various screens. Once complete I implemented them into each screen to produce a high-fidelity version of VenueView. Using AI I was able to create copyright-free unique images I could use on the venue cards. This made the app feel very real. The final high-fidelity prototype presented cleaner user flows for searching and choosing a venue. It also enabled a cleaner messaging system with a dashboard of all your messages and another for all your saved venues.

Hi-Fi Prototype

After completing the screens it was time to prototype everything and conduct another usability study using the high fidelity versions.

Hi-Fi Testing Summary

This last usability study helped identify a few small improvements, one of which was adding a dedicated call and email icons the the venue info page allowing faster, easier contact options than our direct in-app messaging.

Accessibility Considerations

Going Forwards

Takeaways

Impact

The WeddingView app will drastically enhance user convenience by saving users significant time and resources spent on physical visits.  Furthermore, it will empower users with detailed information and visuals, enabling informed and confident decision-making when choosing their ideal venue. 

What I learned

User research and testing is the most important part of the UI design process. As a solo designer on this project my views were unconsciously bias initially as they were only from my perspective. As I conducted testing and received feedback the design became much more inclusive for all audiences.

Next Steps

Shane Cullen | 781-742-5573 | shane@ktchupstudios.com 

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