Axio is an app that allows users to find others to plan and do activities together. The name Axio comes from the word actio which means activity in Latin. The idea came to us when all of us were reflecting what we did this past year during the covid era. Lockdowns globally across the world have made socialization difficult to both strangers and even friends and family. With lockdown mandates becoming less strict, people are eager to go out once again but some might be uncomfortable as socialization has been rusty due to the lack of interactions. Our product allows others to break the barrier by planning and doing activities together to help break the social barrier and make interaction with others more relaxing.
User Pain Points + Feedback
We demoed our product among friends and family to get feedback from our product. Overall the product was interesting among the group but there were a few hurdles that could be improved. While most of the feedback was positive, there were a few concerns and criticisms:
- Lack of a search function
- Difficulty discerning the categories, e.g. movies, restaurants, weightlifting
- Had trouble selecting date and time - didn’t know where to click to perform the tasks
Landing on a solution and Explanations
- Added a search function (search icon) to the tab bar
- Changed the category text into purple-blue (logo color) to make them more visible.
- In turn, I changed the links to “select date” and “select time” to orange-red (CTA color) to be more consistent. Previously, they were purple-blue, but this is not the color I wanted to convey that they are links (“actionable text”). So, this also provided a possible solution to make these links more obvious to click.
Hi Fidelity Designs
Our Product can be further developed by adding more features. The features we did not include was a location function as it is currently set to only one location (New York). Another function we would like to include would be to find specific criteria when searching for other users (gender, age, etc.). These were removed from the original designs for simplicity's sake.
The ability to set location could be added in the future. Like gender and age, this feature was removed in streamlining our goals during this first product development cycle. Ideally, the user would be provided the function to set or change location on the initial screens (currently, it is assumed location is set in the user’s profile and defaulted to that location).
To take the app towards even greater user customization would be to give the users the ability to add/remove categories.
Further testing would be needed to see if the solutions are adequate in lessing user pain points. For example, the “select date” and “select time” links may need additional visual cues to signify their functionality, such as bottom bars or “underlining.”
Product Manager Learnings:
This is the first project I have managed. As someone with no experience in Product Management prior to Co.Lab, I had a lot to learn. The most important thing I learned was MVP; Minimum Viable Product. It is the foundation of the product you are building and you must clearly define what it is and what is possible during the amount of time we were given. There were more things we wanted to do but we had to pause them for the duration of the course due to the resources and time we were given.
With that being said, I believe the MVP we have created is still a great viable product. Working directly with a developer and a designer was a great learning experience as well. Talking to them directly about what's possible and the process of getting to “point A to point B” was mind opening as some of the simplest features many apps have in common were actually very time consuming and challenging.
Being exposed to all the new programs that I will be potentially using in the future such as Jira, and Trello was very fun to learn and allowed me to be more efficient when organizing task. Overall, doing the Co.Lab was a very enjoyable experience.
I learned that the first step in product development is to define the problem space. Once that’s defined, you proceed to find solutions to the problem space. I’ve also learned how to better synthesize the research by breaking down the interviews down to pains, gains, and jobs.
The agile process is an important practice to facilitate collaboration across the different disciplines and functions of a team, particularly with the scrum methodology where weekly sprint cycles are instituted. This practice helps the team define clear, reachable goals for each sprint cycle in order to move the product development along at a healthy, constructive pace, all the while maintaining regular cross-functional communication and feedback.
The handoff process requires documentation to clarify the logic behind the elements, e.g. the order in which certain elements appear, or the change in content over time and product usage, or how the content will adjust to different device sizes, or any effects/animation that cannot be replicated in the prototype. Documentation can also clarify important sizes of elements and spaces (e.g. redlining).
Some time is needed between the synthesis of the usability testing results and design reiterations. One change in design can result in a cascade of changes that make the designs more cohesive and consistent.
As a software engineer, I have been tasked to work on several projects independently and with a team of other developers. Getting to work in a cross functional team has been a whole new refreshing experience, knowing that my opinion really counts.
Exploring problem spaces together with the PM and PD, making design suggestions to the PD were all wonderful. Getting to learn about prioritisation of tasks, crafting a good pitch, importance of communication, feasibility of product ideas and a whole lot of other cool stuff was really eye opening.
Getting to know about the importance of MVP, what should go in and what should not, it was just brilliant on its own. I am super pumped with everything I have learnt at Co.Lab and I can't wait to share this knowledge with my colleagues and peers. Knowing that I was in charge of my own experience felt like I had super powers. I will definitely recommend Co.Lab to anyone.
Full Team Learning
This was everyone’s first experience working directly with each other to build a product of this size. Constant communication with one another was very key as well as being able to manage each other's schedules so that everyone knew when and what to work on.
Designers working with developers to see if their designs were possible was a new experience as well as constant communication from the PM to everyone else was a new experience.