Amigo is a mobile application that merges finding friends and events/groups to combat the awkward phase of meeting new people for the first time. It supports users matching based on interests, as well as location, sex, and age, to allow for the optimal matches for each user.

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ROLES
  • research
  • ux design
  • visual design
  • branding & identity
DURATION
  • 7 weeks
DELIVERABLES
  • user surveys
  • competitive analysis
  • user personas
  • user stories & flows
  • wireframes
  • branding & identity
  • mockups & prototypes
  • user testing
TOOLS
  • adobe photoshop
  • adobe illustrator
  • figma
  • invision
  • draw.io
  • google drive
  • usability hub

PROBLEM

While there are several friend-finding apps on the market, as well as a few meet-up type apps, there are really no sites that combine the two, and give users venues and events to meet new people.. There is also a lack of friending apps that allow users to match based on interests.

SOLUTION

Amigo addresses these issues by allowing users to search for groups and events they might be interested in, as one way to meet new people there, or even invite new “amigos” to join them. Users are also able to filter their searches based on interests as well as location, sex and age, therefore eliminating users who they don’t deem interesting.

MY INSPIRATION

Amigo is an app that was designed based on my own passions. I am always looking for fun clubs and groups to join, but I’ve found it’s hard to join sports leagues without creating your own team. Being fairly new to the city of Pittsburgh, this is difficult for me. I only really know people I work with, and they don’t necessarily share the same interests as me. As I explored apps like Meetup and Bumble BFF, I found gaps that needed to be filled, that Amigo is designed to solve, such as groups with people my own age, or figuring out things to do once you match with a new “friend.”

RESEARCH & DISCOVERY

USER SURVEYS

My primary method of user research was creating a survey, designed to see what users thought of friend-finding apps, how many people used them or were willing to, and what they used them for.

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KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Users seemed very interested in an app that allows them to meet people outside of work or school
  • Users want to be able to filter other users based on interests specifically so that they can find interesting people
  • Users want to be able to view other users’ profiles to find out more about them
  • Users want an easy-to-use interface
  • Users want to be able to message other members directly and within groups
  • Users want to be able to search, host and sign up for events and groups

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

To better understand the strengths and weaknesses of my competitors, in order to figure out how to compete in the marketplace, I created a competitive analysis.

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BUMBLE BFF

  • Bumble BFF is a simplified way to create meaningful friendships and serves as an app to "empower women and end misogyny."
  • Reaches around 26 million people across the world - targeting women from 18 to 35 years old
  • Easy and fun to use but there is a time limit
  • A lot of people seem to swipe with no intention to actually meet up, and keeping a conversation from dying off is difficult
  • No way to filter users by interests
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MEETUP

  • If you’re looking to create an in person event or market an in person event, forming a Meetup is a great way to do it
  • Gets around 2.6 million visitors a month in the US and has over 110,000 groups around the world
  • Great for finding specific events but not great for finding specific friends - brings people together and unifies people around common causes
  • Low commitment level because of low communication and lack of getting to know other users - people don’t message each other often
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SKOUT

  • Marketed as an app to find “instant connections” and “‘me too’ moments at the club”
  • Targets people looking for a friend in their hometown or on the go - 13 years and older
  • If you shake your phone, you will be in a chat with a complete stranger
  • Poor design interface, hard to use and doesn’t filter as you specify
  • Ages aren't verified, anyone can message anyone, and too many questionable people (rape cases)
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USER PERSONAS

Based on the researched gained in my user survey and competitive analysis, I created three user personas of who I thought would benefit from this new app.

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GOALS

  • Join other people interested in sports clubs/events
  • Find a gym/running buddy
  • Filter through people to find the ones who are truly interested in being active like her
  • Be able to sign up for different clubs and events
  • Meet people without it being awkward or forced

FRUSTRATIONS

  • Too many “dating” apps and not enough friend related ones
  • Not enough ways to join or plan groups/events to get to know people
  • Has to filter through so many different people to find people that share her interests
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GOALS

  • Meet people from the area to play sports and go out with
  • Find an app that doesn’t have a stigma against searching for guy-friends
  • Find people with his same interests, around his age
  • See what events and outings people are most interested in/ attending to see what is popular near him

FRUSTRATIONS

  • Friend-finding can feel like dating
  • Has had a few online advances from guys looking for more than just a friendship
  • Hasn’t found an app where he feels comfortable
  • Hasn’t found an app that is for both finding friends and finding events and clubs

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

USER STORIES & FLOWS

In order to map out the flow of the app, I created user stories to rank what features were most important to least important within the app. I then created user flows to allow me to visualize the structure of the mobile app, and see how users can access different functions. I wanted to make sure the app was easily navigable and fun to use. In order to decide on the flow, I created user stories to rank what features were most important to least important within the app. I then created user flows to allow me to visualize the structure of the mobile app, and see how users can access different functions. I wanted to make sure the app was easily navigable and fun to use.

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VIEW USER FLOWS

VIEW USER STORIES

WIREFRAMES

When drafting my wireframes, I wanted to follow my surveyor’s desire for an easy-to-use design interface, and make sure the navigation was simple and straightforward.

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VIEW WIREFRAMES

VISUAL DESIGN

BRANDING & IDENTITY

The branding of this site I wanted to keep fun, energetic and simple. I hand-drew several logo drafts as well as created a list of words to help create the name of the mobile app. With the thought of finding friends on-the-go, I ended up choosing “Amigo” as the name (“AmiGo”). I wanted the logo to reflect the fun, easy-going nature of the friend-finding application. I drafted several “ag” logos, and with some helpful feedback, I eliminated any drafts with sharp angles or logos that looked too serious. I ended up choosing a logo that had a light-hearted feel with rounded edges that some felt looked like it even incorporated all the letters in the word “amigo,” or looked like two people together, and that I thought resembled an elephant, which, afterall, is a friendly-natured creature.

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Logo Refinement

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Colors

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Fonts & Typography

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Logo Marks

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The branding of this site I wanted to keep fun, energetic and simple. I hand-drew several logo drafts as well as created a list of words to help create the name of the mobile app. With the thought of finding friends on-the-go, I ended up choosing “Amigo” as the name (“AmiGo”). I wanted the logo to reflect the fun, easy-going nature of the friend-finding application. I drafted several “ag” logos, and with some helpful feedback, I eliminated any drafts with sharp angles or logos that looked too serious. I ended up choosing a logo that had a light-hearted feel with rounded edges that some felt looked like it even incorporated all the letters in the word “amigo,” or looked like two people together, and that I thought resembled an elephant, which, afterall, is a friendly-natured creature.

HIGH-FIDELITY MOCKUPS

After creating my wireframes and branding, I was able to begin drafting my high-fidelity mockups. Again, I wanted to keep the design simple and modern, and make sure to utilize white-space, as to create a clean look as well as a pop of vibrant color to give it a high-energy feel.

MOCKUPS ROUND 1:

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My first iterations needed a few adjustments to fix readability, and clarity issues. I recieved some helpful feedback about adding some headers on forms and making sure buttons didn’t look inactive based on the light, gray color.

USER TESTING

PREFERENCE TESTING

I conducted a series of preference tests to help solidify my design. These tests were designed to figure out what users thought about the color/style of different pages.

TEST 1:

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A

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B

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C

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of testers said they prefer option A, because the gradient looks inviting and the buttons have a nice contrast

TEST 2:

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A

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B

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C

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of testers, the slight majority, said they prefer option B, because it’s softer, cleaner and the buttons pop nicely

TEST 3:

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B

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C

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D

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of testers said they prefer option D, because it stands out the best and adds a nice brightness to the logo

PROTOTYPING

I created a prototype and tested it by having users click through and give me feedback about the design and navigation. I wanted to make sure everything flowed well and was easily navigable. This allowed me to see discrepancies in my design, change small things like validating where a verification code would be sent, or adding “next buttons.” I also created preference tests, to help decide on colors, button and logo styles, and navigation preferences.

VIEW PROTOTYPE

MOCKUPS ROUND 2

Finally, based on my preference tests, usability tests and some other feedback I received, I was able to refine the designs. I mostly adjusted smaller details to improve readability, navigation and clarity in my mobile application.

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I made the buttons stand out more by applying the bright gradient as the background, in order to make the button seem more active. I got eliminated the search and home pages to simplify the app, and I labeled the navigation icons, to better clarify the meaning of each.

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I removed the distracting diagonal opacities from the background, and changed the button style to match other existing button styles throughout the app. “Next” and “finish” buttons were also added to the onboarding pages, rather than the forward arrows at the top, making the navigation more straight-forward. I also, de-emphasized the skip button.

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Users liked the simplicity of the white account page, with the bolder buttons.

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I added boxes to improve readability on some of the bolder pages, and got rid of the diagonals as well.

VIEW HIFI MOCKUPS

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CONCLUSION

This is my favorite project, so far. I had so much freedom to be creative and really explore different style techniques. I really took to mind all of the feedback I received from the testing I did and critiques I recieved. I always enjoying hearing user feedback, to see things from different views, like styles and navigation systems, and trying to understand why people like things a certain way.

Though I had a few struggles throughout the project, like trying to figure out what flow would work best in an app like this, and deciding on colors and styles, I was able to grow and learn by making decisions and testing them afterward. I started out, like always, with so many ideas of what the app should feature, look like, and how things should work. After flipping between my user stories and flows, I was able to narrow down the navigation, and from there, simplify it as I went. I wanted to make sure my app was different enough from other friending apps, and stood out. I learned that starting with a strong concept is important when designing an app like this, and it is important to fully research what the competitors are doing right and wrong. If I had more time, I would like to explore more unique features to add to my application.

I was surprised how quickly my mockups and visual design came together. I am extremely happy with how all of my hard work paid off and how my designs turned out. They show the clean, minimalist yet vibrant look that represents my style as a designer, and I think it is an app that I would likely use if it were on the market, not only to find friends, but to find fun events and groups to attend.

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