BarWave

Mobile App Redesign

Working as a ux design intern for BarWave, I was part of a three-person team tasked with redesigning the nightlife app under the direction of the Lead iOS Engineer. At the beginning of every week, I was assigned a particular task flow to create mockup screens for. During weekly video conferences that included company stakeholders, designs were critiqued for subsequent rounds of iteration and new task flows were assigned in order to generate additional mockups.

Early on, mockup designs were focused mainly on content and functionality. As the project advanced, the ux team was able to collaborate on the evolution of specific style elements - like the header, footer, colors and graphics - which are reflected in later stage mockups.

Design Challenge: Refinement of the app design and user flows, which included the development of a sleek and consistent look as well as an expansion of existing features.

 

Solution: Utilized Axure to create mobile iOS wireframes and mockups. Implemented a new style guide, enhanced chat features, built a new explore section and created task flows to aid in communication and clarification of app settings. Collaborated with the design team and company stakeholders, which included weekly Skype meetings and media sharing on Trello.

Iterative Design

Although subsequent mockups include a chat window within each bar's profile page, stakeholders also wanted to explore the possibility of a separate News Feed chat section that allows the user to views messages according to recency or location, for example. The images above show several variations on that News Feed idea, with prominent visibility given to details like user name, location, time and the ability for others to up-vote or down-vote a particular post.

Building New Partnerships

The success of this particular app is dependent upon the number of participating businesses for users to discover and interact with, so there were two particular task flows related to driving this type of growth.

The screens shown above depict a client-facing feature that allows a bar owner to add their business to the platform by submitting a form and confirming their bar through a unique verification code. After the verification process is complete, the owner is able to personalize their bar profile page by uploading pictures, staff members, messages, and more.

We wanted the users to be able to suggest new bars for the platform as well. The above images show a task flow that starts with the BarWave map, where the user can choose to add a bar by tapping the street location. A pin then marks that business address and the user is prompted to check and confirm their selection, with feedback appearing at the end of the process.

After internal debate regarding the color scheme of the app, A/B user testing was conducted with two sets of prototypes: a dark theme and a light theme. Feedback showed a preference among users for the dark design theme.

User Testing

Mockups

Later stage mockups highlight the final color scheme and design aesthetics, while a sampling of screens below show some of the expanded features.

Location required in order to use this application.

Allow BarWave to access this device's location?

A previous barrier to entry was the app's default location-sharing. Some people did not wish to participate at all if it meant sharing their location. The images above show the initial notification (far left), the options for the user (middle) that will affect app functionality, and the settings page (far right) where the user can make manually set location service details. 

The newly designed Explore section shown in the images above allows the user to browse different locations based on what they are looking to do that night as far as featured venues, drink specials, events, or whether they just want to browse all participating bars.

Final Thoughts

While not all of the redesigns shown in this case study were implemented in the final app redesign, much of the work informed versions 1.0 and 1.1.0 on the Apple App Store, leading to a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. In the future, subsequent rounds of user testing and iterative design could serve to improve the app even more as it scales.