October 20th — December 8th, 2016
This project prompt was extremely open-ended. The main task of the assignment was to create something that connects to a brand narrative and reinforces it in everything it does. The project ran for a whole semester and had a specific set of deliverables we had to deliver. I was solely responsible for creating the branding pieces, the brand narrative, the concept for the app, UI design, UX design, research, interviews, motion design, and compiling the final presentation.
The whole goal behind the Crowd Burger app is to squash that "I dunno what do you wanna eat?" paradox. The current options for finding new places to eat aren't as effective as one would hope, as they require the user to filter through a bunch of stuff they aren't interested in. The whole reason the user is consulting these apps is that they can't decide in the first place. If the result was chosen for the user, perhaps it would be more effective.
The concept for this project as a whole began through a process called Forced Connections. In this process, you establish two groups of concepts and smash them together. For instance, I had a group of broader topics such as crowd-sourced, video game, generative art, human-centered design, and a print piece (and some more) in one group, and I had a list of specific problems in another. The problems I listed included what to eat, clean water, mental health, money management, and music discovery. These problems were generated through research into the world’s current largest problems, as well as personal interest.
To gather information on our target demographic, millennials 18-25, I posted a Google Form Survey in a community on Reddit.com dedicated to conducting research like this. I intentionally made several of the questions sarcastic and tongue in cheek in order to break the tension most people feel from taking things that feel like tests. In doing so, I also received some very useful information and some very weird results. Both of which I received with open arms. Those surveyed were very honest and gave me a good amount of ammunition to get working.
This is an unconventional mindmap. It establishes all the important pieces of the brand and its touchpoints, and the two main task flows that the app focused on. This map was an evolving piece and shows all the elements of the project in a visual layout. It was a requirement for the project that I leveraged to do a little bit of task flow work.
As this was a single man project, I elected to do lo-fi proto-personas personas on paper, as opposed to spending the time to make them high fidelity. This effectively saved me a lot of time designing something that only I would see, and also kept me on track for designing for a user and not myself.
I wanted it to be fun, engaging, and unique, but still usable. I started out trying to make the app more minimal but moved away from that quickly as it didn't seem to be serving my target demographic well. I started out with lo-fi wireframes on paper, then moved up to lo-fi wireframes from Balsamiq Mockups.
The visual design of the app was largely inspired by the contemporary work of Stefan Sagmeister & Jessica Walsh, as well as various influences from post-modernist design. I wanted it to be very colorful, and to use the color to signify different sections and processes inside the app.
After the first round of testing with the lofi wireframes, I adapted the design to match the feedback I had received and came to the current state of the app. Given more time, I would continue to test and iterate upon this.
This project is really weird. It's flashy, colorful, and started backwards. By the nature of the task, I had to back into the solution. Overall, however, it ended up being fun, and produced a produc that's at the very least interesting, and at most a good example of my visual design chops.