My name is Wicksell Metellus. I'm a passionate UX designer and front-end developer with over eight years experience in this domain, focused on creating great, customer-centric experiences.
For every single project that I have done my focus has been on creating the best user experience possible. I've worked on several projects over the years ranging from small to large while taking on various roles.
Responsible for developing best-in-class consumer experiences (user interface designs, interaction models, prototypes, etc.) in a fast-paced, startup-like environment. Work closely with product management, engineering and company leaders to successfully go from early stage product concepts to launch.
Implemented UX process which included brainstorming, research, design iteratation, to refine user experiences within specified product requirements and deadlines.
Designing interfaces (prototypes & mock ups) for various online projects and clients.
Creating web site mockups & prototypes, working closely with development team on site designs & development.
Create a mobile app called “Lunch Money Buddy.” The app allows parents and guardians of school age children to manage various aspects of their kids’ in-school cafeteria lunch accounts.
I first needed to understand what Lunch Money Buddy was and what features and functionality would be built. While this wasn’t a full functional specification document, it was enough to help me see what the main purpose of the app would be.
After reading the doc, I had a high level understanding of the key features. What I felt was missing were clear goals for the app.
After understanding the functionality and features for the Lunch Money Buddy App, I wanted to get to know the users that would use the app day in and day out.
After reviewing the provided personas, I came to the conclusion that the app should cover a wide spectrum of user types when it comes to usability. For example, Samantha and Jorge are tech savvy but Henry, 70, is not as tech savvy and prefers to use desktop.
After reviewing the app functionality and features, and getting to know the users we are building for I wanted to see what apps existed today that did things will in terms of usability, especially when it comes to funds management.
I started with PayPal and miscellaneous banking and finance apps. What I noticed is that they all did one thing very well; which was bring the most important information forward and in almost all the cases the balance was that key piece of info presented first.
I liked this approach because with Lunch Money Buddy, parents and guardians will need to constantly view available funds to make sure their kids have enough money to purchase lunch at school.
Secondly, when it came to PayPal, I noticed the payment methods and activity were they next pieces of information emphasized more to users.
With all this domain analysis collected I was ready to start some initial sketching.
With all the needed information and inspiration gathered, I started sketching the experience. While exploring these sketches, I constantly kept the personas in mind to make sure I was always making customer centric design decisions. I referenced the functionality doc as well to make sure I was aligned with the business goals and accommodated for all the functionality that was needed.
After deciding on the sketches that would meet both the customer needs and business goals, I started working on further refining the designs. While doing this I also used it as an opportunity to improve the experience even as I noticed certain elements either didn’t make sense or wouldn’t be the optimal user experience. One example was the payment methods screen, which would highlight only one payment method at a time and allow users to scroll left and right to see their other payment methods. While I liked this approach from a visual standpoint it was not practical in terms of usability and not scalable in terms of design. While wire framing, I simplified this experience.
I also used this exercise to start thinking about interactions, flows between screens, error states, visual feedback, and the end-to-end journey for uses completing certain tasks. This allowed me to think about the experience in a holistic way and made sure I looked around corners and did not leave any dead ends for users of the app.
After polishing the wireframes and the flows for them, I built a low fidelity prototype to explore the navigation and interactions even further. My goal with this was to make sure I delivered the simplest user experience for the users that would be using this app. I constantly thought of Henry, Samantha, and Jorge as I put together the flows and interactions between screens. Similar to when I was wireframing, I found that certain decisions I made would not deliver a smooth experience. This was uncovered as I built the low fidelity prototype. One example was my initial idea for setting up and managing auto reload. I noticed that the combination of radio buttons, hiding and showing form elements would not be a good experience at all on mobile.
After building the initial prototypes, I started building hi-fi prototypes to build out more refined interactions, flows, visual feedback, animations, etc. This exercise allowed me to explore the full spectrum of possible interactions our users would take when they use the Lunch Money Buddy app. Using what I learned from my domain analysis, sketching, and wireframing, I continued to make changes on behalf of the user. Thinking of Henry and other users that are older, I went with a design that featured bigger fonts sizes. In addition, the major interactions were kept simple to help build familiarity with them.
When it came to the information architecture, I decide to keep the most important elements higher in the tree for instant access, followed by management if needed.
As a result I compelted a fully functional, working prototype that is now ready for user testing. All the functional specs are accounted for while making design decisions with the user or the defined personas in mind.
As I prepare to plan usability testing for the final prototypes I've come to realize the real importance of interaction design within the UX design process. While building the prototypes, starting with the low fidelity versions I was able to uncover opportunities for improvement immediately. Building out and documenting interactions helped me to find potential pain points and continously refine the experience throughout the entire process.