Welcome to the final installment of the AT&T Mobile Application Redesign. For the past eight weeks we’ve been refining our designs, tested with users, sliced through features to fit into a release timelines and now we can deliver a final strategic design brief. This blog post contains a description of the final iteration of the application, the collection of the Insights & Value Promise, the construction of the strategic road map, and finally the culmination of combining all the elements into the brief itself. The final version of the brief can be found at the end of this post.
The first task that needed to be tackled was another redesign of the application. The additional challenge was that this iteration needed to be completed in Sketch instead of Illustrator. In order to complete this I first needed to get an IOS toolkit & some icons build for Sketch and watch a few quick tutorials. After that, I was ready to go. It thankfully wasn’t a complete redesign of my application. For example, my flows that had been established and the features I had created, both of these were keep in the redesign. It was more like I was redesign the layout of my application. Sketch also makes the creating of an application extremely simple once you’ve already gotten a toolkit. All total the redesign took me a significantly less amount of time. Below is an image of the Billing Page from the last iteration (left) and the most current version (right), to give you a sense of what was leveraged from the last iteration and what this final version looks like.
Once I had finished redesigning my application, I could move forward with other concrete pieces of the Design Brief. The next portion I chose to complete was to collect and revise my insights and value promise. Again I didn’t have to completely rewrite the insights or the value promise, but both of these elements were a bit rusty since they hadn’t been reviewed in a while. The final insights I decided to include within the brief were:
- Customers only spend an extended period of time in the application if there is an issue with their account.
- The lack of standardization of visual design within the application cause users to feel disjointed when navigating a flow.
- The diverse capabilities of the application are overshadowed by feelings of confusion and frustration.
With each of these I added an explanation containing their significant and evidence from research. These would be integral for an individual reading the design brief to understand what prompted my reason for every design decision.
I also had to review the Value Promise, so that individuals reading the brief would understand what was the goal of my application. During class Jon had said the Value Promise had a structure to it. The first part is a quantifiable goal for the application to strive for, the second is a reason for that thing. For my AT&T application redesign “We promise to expand customers’ knowledge and use of the application, so that they can feel a sense of control over their account and service”. The quantifiable part is a user’s knowledge and the reason is so they have more control over their account. Each of these elements began to feel more concrete and substantial enough to put them into the brief.
The next piece I began to focus on was the Strategic Road map. This was introduced to me with the initial assignment. Jon had shown us an example on one, and explained how it’s very similar to a Product Road map. The key difference is that this map does not contain dates or resource allocation. Before I began my own creative exploration of this map, I did some preliminary research around what these typically look like. Once I had gotten a better idea of what the layout and structure should look like, I began concepting my own. Below is an image of that first sketches I did before moving into Sketch.
I decided to move forward with the bottom right design. The gradual decrease of the triangles perfectly represented the decreasing workload for the team. It also made breaking out the different phases of the release easy to represented. Once I transitioned the file into Sketch I keep messing around with the various elements: the capabilities’ location, the colors, the shape of the triangles. I never felt it was communicating its intention. I decided to show it to Sally and Conner who pressed me with questions about the design. This conversation though short, gave me insight into what elements the design wasn’t communicating properly. For example, Conner asked about the color choice and after explaining the reasoning, I understood that for him the current color options weren’t conveying the idea of a continuing development. So I went back to Sketch with their questions and feedback fresh in my mind and I tweaked the map to be more inline with what I wanted the audience to understand. Below is a PDF of the final image that is included in my design brief.
Since we had already defined the features and controls when meeting with our developers, I know I didn’t need to redefine them again for the Feature Brief. Instead I now needed to build out my actual brief. Knowing from the beginning that the brief would be printed out, it was recommended to build it out in Indesign. This way I could control the layout and size of different elements more easily. Jon gave Elijah and I a quick tutorial as a starting point, and then I began my brief. I was finally ready to begin compiling all the elements into the one document. As I went along adding the Insights and Value Promise I realized the transition was a bit rocky. To provide a smoother transition I decided to add in Design Ambitions, which I considered to be large overarching aspirations that support the Value Promise, but are also parallels to the insights. These gave a direct connection to the Insights and helped support the Value Promise.
Once I had completed the Overview, Insights, Ambitions, Value Promise and Strategic Road Map; the Capabilities came next. This section contained each of the different features with a description so that anyone can see the feature and its value for the application. To help prompt my description of the features, I merely posed the question “what does this do and what does the user get out of this?” Then I also tried to tie each feature and its abilities back to the North Star of user control. That way the reason is clearly defined for the feature.
I ended up doing three other iterations of the full book. Throughout each iteration I would print out a few of the sheets to decide on a layout. Below is an image of two different layouts I tried while reviewing, I ended up going with the option on the right.
The review process, both editing written content and reviewing layouts, helped me to narrow down and polish the final design brief. I especially found it was useful to flip through the final PDF’d brief to catch any misplaced texts or images.
Ultimately the process of combining information and polishing a brief was arduous, but the effect of feeling a printed out piece of my own efforts was rewarding. Below is a link to the final PDF Design Strategy Brief.
AT&T, Design Strategy Brief