The Exercise

This exercise is to design the home screen for an iOS app based around "discussions" (essentially, chat rooms). The app has a number of pre-determined “channels” based on topics (eg. Cooking, Science, Movies). Users can participate in, or create new “discussions” to go within any of the channels (for example “What’s the best kind of pasta?” in the “Cooking” channel). This is a public app, with public discussions and profiles, and is not intended for private messaging.

The app is intended to be broadly appealing and easy to use, not directed specifically towards a tech savvy user demographic. Please propose a design for the home screen, while keeping in mind the app's overall structure and navigation. If you need to design a second screen to communicate your ideas, go for it.

 

Features

Navigation elements and features on the home screen could include, but are not limited to:
A feed of discussions
Notifications
Switching between/browsing channels
Ability to create new discussions
Ability to search
Filtering (by, say, Popularity)
Ability to access your profile
 

Requirements:

Good usability!
Consideration for new vs. returning user. This is a functional app that people will use daily
Appropriate aesthetics for demographic, tone, mobile/touch paradigms, etc.
Insight into your process -- we recommend including any sketches, brainstorms, wireframes or assumptions so we can see your brain in action.
 

 

The Process

I wanted to approach this exercise from an angle that was fun and engaging with the millennial audience in mind. I was inspired by the Reddit tag AMA (ask me anything) as well as Google (I, myself, use that to ask that search engine to ask anything and everything). I used that as a starting point to build the skeleton of the "brand" of this product. I always start with jotting down all the initial ideas that come to mind. Pen and paper are a vital part of my process.

 

Product with Personality

The outcome of this exercise is an app called "Ask Mi Anything." Mi, the bee (yes, I picked a bee as the mascot since it rhythms with "Mi") would be the "face" and personality of this product. Mi would be that constant, reliable busy bee that would answer all (or realistically most) user-generated questions. All users would also be able to give input to other users' answers as well. And for kicks, I thought it would be fun to imagine animals as users of this app (millennials love all sorts of fury and furless friends + also inspired by Spiegelman).

The user is introduced to the app concept through a simple onboarding process that takes them through the concept and is brought to the home screen where there is the search bar to find the topics and discussions that they are looking for (fixed on top of the screen). The navigation mimics the conventional iOs standards for simplicity of ease and use. There are 2 sections for this screen, "Latest" and "Popular." "Latest" shows the questions/discussions being asked in real time. Users can see Mi's Answers as well as user-generated inputs. Discussions can be nested in various categories, hence the multiple channels/hashtags that are shown with each discussion. There is also the ability to like the discussions but that is not as emphasized as the current goal is to encourage users to see the value prop of this app and that is that Mi will answer any questions the users may have and that there is a community that will help facilitate user-generated curiosity. 

There is a section on the nav bar called "Ask."  This section's feature overlaps with the search feature but I would imagine this segment would give the user other ways to find and ask what they are looking for (ie. voice command search, an integrated bot that would help what category/channel their question falls under).

Thank you for reading!

MitheBeeMitheBee