Sometime in mid-August, I joined a team of full-time Microsoft developers and product managers as the sole designer. Over the span of three days, I conceptualized, designed, and prototyped a mobile app that uses facial recognition to identify at-risk children in developing countries and match them with reported missing info.
Looking back, this was definitely an incredibly enlightening experience for me, as someone jumping into design, mockups, and prototyping for the first time.
Some of the things I learned:
- Thinking in perspective of the target population: At first, I wanted to reduce the number of screens to reduce user friction. After talking to my team members, many of whom older with children, however, I realized that our target users such as mid-aged parents and adults are not as comfortable with quick snapchat-like transitions and needs more guidance in user flow
- The importance of depth as a signifier for actionable items like buttons, etc: Despite how trendy flat design has been, after trying out both while iterating, I've realized that it is much harder for users to recognize action hotspots if everything is flat.
- Design takes time and iterations: Unfortunately, because this was a three-day hackathon and my first time, I was not able to go through the user research, testing, and iterating as much as I would of liked.
- And how to use tools like Sketch, Moqups, and InVision!
Overall, I really enjoyed my time working on my first design ever. This project has really inspired me to dive deeper into the rabbit hole of design and implore the role of design in our daily lives. I have discovered a new passion and look forward to continue improving myself as a designer!