As I’ve mentioned in class, the course’s structure and my process are not completely inline. The main difference being the need to prototype early and often in Project Development Studio, and my desire to do adequate user research prior to pushing my basic concept prototype any further. There are pros and cons to this misalignment, but I’m mainly mentioning it to put my latest version of the prototype into context. While I’ve been able to bake in valuable feedback from my user research to date, this prototype is still meant to be evaluated on concepts and nothing executional (i.e features and functionality).
One thing that has been re-iterated further in this latest round of interviews is that email is a productivity tool. As much as I want to make email entertaining and more visual, I need to account for this primary use-case. I’m a firm believer in not trying to please everybody and focusing on doing one things well but I also must look at the underlying behaviors. I originally thought that it might be possible to have people open my mail client when they wanted to engage with the more light-hearted email and could use the more standard apps when interacting with the more work-oriented emails, however, that’s simply not how people navigate various mail applications. For the few people that have several mail apps on their phone, they use each separate app for specific email addresses. And as much as people have a personal email, school email and work mail, there is always overlap. What I’m getting at is you’ll still have things you need to deal with even in your personal account. Therefore, my initial concept would not accommodate the more task-oriented emails creating an issue where a user would need two different mail-clients for one email address which is not going to happen. Therefore, this had led me to a direction that sections out a person’s mail into “Mail”, “Fun/Media” and “Browse”. The Mail tab will be a more standard mail interface with a modern twist to allow people to easily handle the more serious content. And The “Fun/Media” tab (still looking for the right name) and the “Browse” tab will follow the visual treatment that I have been exploring. This is a direction that I want to marinate on for some time because I think it has a lot of promise. It works for those looking to quickly accomplish tasks, as well as those looking for a different email experience. To combat the possibility that people might get lost in where their email is being filed, I might need to include an “All” Tab so that they can find everything easily.
[Click Here] to check out the V3 of the prototype.
Lastly, my time to orchestrate research is limited but I’m still making gradual process and hope to be able to begin affinity diagraming soon.