Redesigning myAT&T Mobile App: First Step – Concept Maps

In AC4D’s Rapid Ideation & Creative Problem Solving class, we will redesign myAT&T — AT&T’s mobile app that allows customers to manage their account.

Before redesigning the app, we must understand the primary use and “pain-points” (customer frustrations). To do so, we surveyed ~20 individuals, asking them to identify pain-points by rating the following account management activities by difficulty:

  1. The ability to view your current plan and features
  2. The ability to compare usage against available plans
  3. The ability to change a plan
  4. The ability to make a payment
  5. The ability to set-up automatic payments
  6. The ability to add a device
  7. The ability to suspend or remove a device
  8. The ability to upgrade a device
  9. The ability to close the account
  10. The ability to review and set account security
  11. The ability to add additional features (example: cloud storage)

Based off of the survey results, we narrowed our focus to the following functions:

  1. The ability to view current plan and features
  2. The ability to compare usage against available plans
  3. The ability to change a plan
  4. The ability to make a payment/set up automatic payments
  5. The ability to review and set account security
  6. The ability to suspend or remove a device

To understand the customer experience with each of these activities, we studied all relevant screens, some examples included below:

myAT&T screenshots

We then created concept maps to understand how these screens connect in a more abstract sense — meaning, how the objective of each screen connect to others, rather than how each screen literally links to another. Concept maps show the connection between different ideas, and help explain key aspects of an app. Understanding myAT&T in this way will allow us to design around its functionality and purpose, rather than its flow.

To take my mind out of the app’s structure, and focus on its purpose, I created a matrix of nouns, representing the app’s functions.

myAT&T matrix

Blue indicates connection points between functions. The number of total connection points (tallied in the last column) indicate the importance of each function. Based on the above, the five primary functions of myAT&T are: 1) Plan, 2) Payment, 3) Devices, 4) Usage, and 5) Data.

Regrettably, even after this exercise, I still created a site map, detailing the flow of the app, as opposed to a concept map, communicating the intent of the app.

myAT&T Site Map

After several more iterations, our teacher said that I was overthinking the exercise. “Meeeeee?” I said. “Overanalyze? That doesn’t sound like me. I better think about why I’m overthinking.” At which point, I was instructed to get off my sketch pad, and start iterating on the dry erase board.

dryerase

A key learning that the concept map is all about communicating what an app does not how the user gets there.

I then used sticky notes, using yellow for nouns, and green for verbs.

stickies

What proved most helpful was creating a concept map for an app I knew well — iMessage.

iMessage Concept Map

This finally helped me get my head focused on the objective of the app rather than structure, leading me to create my final concept map for myAT&T:

myAT&T Concept Map

A clear understanding of the myAT&T’s purpose and functions will help us redesign the experience and structure — our next step!