REDArena Therapeutic Riding Center
Why this project?
Week eight, we got to work with a real client at the Iron Yard's UI design track. The task was to to design an app for for a therapeutic horse riding center called RED Arena, where administrators, staff, volunteers and riders to create, edit, and view schedules and profiles. This was a partner project, and I'm only going to show my contributions in this case study.
Skills and Tools Used
I started by conducting a competetive analytics, in order to identify some differentiating factors to give the design a uniquely REDArena flavor. For example, I learned that REDArena focuses on individual rather than group lessons, treats their horses humanely, giving them days off, and provides a broader range of offering than most centers, like job training and mental health counseling. The next thing I did, was look at our requirements to come up with a sitemap. I wanted to know what some of the pain points were of the existing scheduling flow, in order to provide solutions with our design! Lastly, I interviewed the client in order to come up with a persona for a typical user, find some adjectives that the client would like to have evoked, and make sure there are no existing assets.
We collaborated on the high-level concepts for the interactions via pen and paper, but I used the Sketch app to flesh out the details. The biggest challenge with mobile was definitely the week view on the calendar. Not much more than a dot can fit, but we managed to fit something big enough for the thumb to tap, and then display more info. We focused a lot on tablet because it seems like a great solution for the user inside the barn. Walking around with a laptop would be bulky, but a tablet would strike the balance between lightweight & usable.
My partner, Jenna, did most of the visual design work. She created Style Tiles to help her explore options for the colors and typography, which gave her something to refer to as she turned the wireframes into mockups. She did most of the design work, but we worked together using jekyll to code a style guide so that the developer could use it as he codes the actual app.
What I Learned
I learned that I love, LOVE interaction design. Way more than I love UI. I pay a lot of attention to detail, almost to a fault, but that really comes in handy when you're thinking about users, states, and modals. I also learned a lot about working with a client and multiple designers, and you are free to read more about that here.