Pigeonhole

About Pigeonhole

Pigeonhole is a cloud storage app for educational purposes. A platform to store, collaborate, share ideas, and communicate anytime, anywhere. This app is designed specifically to define a new way to learn with the most fun, effective, and easy to use educational assessment tools for students and educators.

Background

Pigeonhole is a passion project that I did in the Bloc UIUX design track under the a senior UX design mentorship. The creative brief is about to create a cloud storage web app for users. To create a specific audience for this project, I chose to solve a problem that I had while I was in college and I hope this will help the other student who has the same problem as me.

  1. I had a hard time contacting my professor because sometime they did not look at or forgot to reply email
  2. Writing an email took so long because it requires a formal format
  3. Deadlines are different for every class, scheduling is a big task for me every week and semester
  4. I had so many docs for different class and I did not know how to organize it
Role

UX Reaserch
Interface Design
Branding & Identity

Deliverables

Competitive Analysis
User Survey
User Personas
User Stories & Flows
Wireframes
Branding
Usability Testing
Hi-Fi Mockups
Clickable Prototype

Tool

Figma
Photoshop
Invision
Maze
Illustrator
UsabilityHub

Target Audience

I started with defining who are audience, who would use this product the most.

Student
Educators
Parents

Competitor

To see where Pigeonhole will sit in the market, I needed to dig deeper into the world of cloud storage and organization apps. I did a competitive analysis for Google classroom, Pinterest, and Dropbox. Overall, I think they all are good in different ways and serving different purposes.

Google classroom
Focusing on education purposes for class but the service might be too general that might be hard to a bigger scale class to use it or any professor who has multiple classes. The advantage is that with Google, everything is linked in together and saved automatically.

Pinterest
Serves a purpose for researching or gathering ideas platforms like cooking, decorating, fashion, gardening, and other topics of interest to women. Most of the users do not use it as a storage platform.

Dropbox
One of the most popular cloud storage services. It’s easy to use and able to access with any devices but they are pricey compared to other similar services such as google drive.I noticed that there’s no actual cloud storage app that can be combining all of these functions.

What if Pigeonhole can offer users all these functions at once? Will it create a new learning experience for students and help educators to be more successful?

Research

I am not sure if everyone had same problem as me so I created a survey to learn about cloud storage apps and their users. I asked questions about which apps participants use and which features they found most important and used most frequently. I also asked what their hardest part was as students/educators and what are the features they would like to have if there were educational assessment tools. Surprisingly, only 50% of people having hard time communicating with their teacher outside of class but 87% people hope there's a communication tool. This data was weird to me so I interviewed with one of participants who was a dad of 3. He said "sometime when my kid asked me how to do this homework, I did not know how to answer it because I did know what was the teacher expecting and I did not know where to ask either." This is why communication tool has the highest percentage.

Most of intervier use google drive the most (92%), Dropbox (38%), iCloud (30%)

80%

User cloud storage app daily

80%

Use online platform to submit assignment

50%

People had a hard time to communicate with their teacher while outside of class

Problems

  1. The organization can be complicated with so many files for different class
  2. Sharing file process can be confusing
  3. Students find it hard to communicate with their educators outside of class
  4. Students are having so many deadlines.

Solution

  1. Files can be saved into each class folder to make sure student can organize
  2. Create a simple file sharing process
  3. Instead of sending an email, students and educators can communicate through messaging with each other
  4. Introduce assignment status tag and event & activity reminder

User Persona

Katy G

39 years old | Real-Estate Agent | Los Angeles, CA | married

“AS A MOTHER OF TWO, I WANT TO PROVIDE THE BEST EDUCATION TO MY KIDS.”

Goal
Katy cares about her kids' education. She spends lots of time with her kids to help them on their homework. However, it is not easy for her because she may not understand all the questions, and the only way to get help from the teacher is to wait until they are in class. She thinks it would be great if there was a tool for her kids to ask questions whenever they needed.

Frustration

  1. Hard to find out due-date
  2. Hard to communicate with the teacher as parents
  3. Do not know the expectation of the teacher
Christina E

21 years old | College Student | Orange county, CA | single

“I WANT TO BE ABLE TO ORGANIZE MY FILE ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.”

Goal
Christina is at the end of her college undergraduate journey with lots of assignments, papers, and tests to go. She also has a few group projects, a large number of contents, or notes in her current cloud storage. It’s hard for her to look for the files effectively and always having problems with file accessibility with her professor. She is always busy with the other things so she needs to have access to file anytime on the go so that she can make sure everything works well.

Frustration

  1. Hard to find a file for different classes
  2. Time management is becoming hard because a lot of things going on
  3. File accessibility problem

User Stories

Based on the information gathered from the surveys, and competitive analysis I created user stories to highlight the main features of the product. The user stories were then converted into User flows done in illustrator, to illustrate how the user would interact with the product and accomplish those goals.

As a user, I want to be able to/ have:

  1. Upload files (videos, images, PDFs, etc.)
  2. Organize that content using things like categories, tags, groups, and/or folders
  3. Create content (notes, documents, or spreadsheets)
  4. Share an item or folder to an individual or a group
  5. Access in any type of devices
  6. A communication tool, chat room
  7. Event and activity reminder

User Flow

Keeping the personas in mind, I compiled a list of high priority user stories and converted them into user flows to show how the user can accomplish primary tasks, like the two below.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

With my user stories and flows in place, I can begin sketching with paper.

When the wireframes were done, I was able to test them with a few people to collect some early feedback. Most of the comments were about how it may be confusing, so I considered this when moving into the High fidelity wireframes.

“I WANT TO BE ABLE TO ORGANIZE MY FILE IN ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.”

- Aaron

“THE PROCESS IS BASIC. IT'S EASY TO UNDERSTAND.”

- Kelvin

“OLDER PEOPLE MIGHT NEED MORE TIME TO UNDERSTAND HOW IT WORKS.”

- Fannie

Key Take away:

  1. Overall it’s a easy process to finish all these tasks
  2. Try avoid as much action as possible (scroll or click)
  3. First time the user's dashboard should be an empty board
  4. People in different age groups need different instructions

Branding

Pigeonhole is a fun, professional and trustworthy brand. I believe colorful and fun illustrations will help students to be more engaged and interested in using this program. It builds a personality and comprehensive look + feel - it evokes a sense of education like "building blocks".

Pigeonhole is a metaphor of this business, students organizing things in their own locker or shelf. It’s a unique name and lends itself to a really great visual. This bold line pigeon head as the icon with the round logotype is the simplest way to represent the brand - Pigeon and also metaphor of kids. The round logotype is easy to read and memorable as well.

Final Product

Let's put all of that branding and user testing to work.

A/B Testing

Using UsabilityHub, I put my iterations to test by creating several A/B tests including a dashboard placement and a text filling design preference test to identify which organizational display of elements within the category page was most favored.

Dashboard

Option A’s middle panel is simpler than option B, everything looks easier to access.

A: 80%

B: 20%

Text filling

The line in option A is more simple, feels more open spaces, and cleaner.

A: 100%

B: 0%

Conclusion

Pigeonhole is a passion project as it seeks to solve educational problems that many students are experiencing daily. As I was creating this brand and each feature, I started overthinking certain features to incorporate that perhaps are more nice-to-haves than the prioritized features. The result left me overwhelmed as I tried to wrap my head around solutions to realize these features –I started to lose the vision of the project. I have learned the importance of MVPs in product development and that the application can always be developed with more features in the future.

Additionally, I would like to gain a better grasp of copywriting and instructing. While I was conducting a survey and usability test, I found myself spending a lot of time creating a clear message and direct wording to instruct the users. I hope I will help to create a better guide for the users in completing certain tasks. However, I found myself falling in love with making prototypes as my design became interactive in Figma. This keeps my momentum for this project.