Sol Case Study

Sol monitors time spent outdoors by using smart devices to detect sunlight exposure and setting personalized goals. This helps users be intentional about spending time outdoors to achieve a lifestyle of improved health and wellness.

Problem Statement

For most people, sunlight is the largest single source of vitamin D, and with busy schedules, adults often don’t take the time to ensure they and their families spend enough time outside during daylight hours.

Design Process

My Roles

Proto Persona, User Research, Wireframing, Prototyping, UX Design

User Research

Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data and to understand the needs and wants of potential users. Our team created surveys using Google Forms and distributed them via Facebook and LinkedIn. Over 60 responses were obtained.

Key User Research Insights

During interviews we saw a pattern of responses from people stating they don’t believe they get enough sun - even though they were relatively active. Most people reported that work and busy schedules prevented them from receiving enough sunlight. 

We found out that users were spending most of their free time indoors and not getting enough sun exposure, but those same people believed that getting enough sun would provide a mood-booster and benefit their health and wellness.

It's alive! (User Persona)

Meet Ben. Ben is our user persona. He enjoys walking his dog, doing yoga and wants to have a good work/life balance. He currently wears a FitBit that tracks his daily activity levels. Benjamin has set a goal for himself to spend more time outdoors to improve his health and well-being.

We discover Ben's pain points could be low energy or feeling guilty about not spending time outside. What can we do to help Ben?

Ideation

During the ideation phase we brainstormed ways our product could help solve Ben's problem. We then categorized our ideas according to the impact we could make in Ben's life and what we could reasonably expect to do for Ben within the scope of our project.

User Journey Map

To launch into ideation, we decided to take a walk in Ben's shoes. We constructed a user journey to tell us a story about Ben's situation. This process informed our first prototype designs.

Paper Prototype

We quickly designed a paper prototype of an app that would allow users to sync devices such as smart watches; have a daily, weekly, and monthly log; and set and track goals for spending time in the sunlight.

During testing, we discovered that users were having difficulty locating the device sync feature and that they were uncertain how their mood was being measured.

Mid-fidelity Prototype

In the second iteration three new issues were identified:

  • Users needed feedback that the app had started tracking their time spent outside.
  • Users needed labels for the activity log.
  • Users didn’t associate log with activity tracker.

These findings were translated into changes in the High-Fidelity prototype.

Final Prototype

The final deliverable includes a high-fidelity prototype of the app as well as a detailed case study of the design thinking process.

Summary

Using design-thinking we were able to understand the needs, wants, and frustrations of users. Sol goes beyond tracking sunlight exposure, also aiming to improve a user’s overall wellness. This was the first in a series of Georgia Tech bootcamp projects, taking place over a very short period of time. It is nice to look back and speculate how I might approach this project differently now. I believe if I were to revisit this project, I would possibly shift focus toward push notifications to remind users when the optimal time to go outside might be during day. While I personally do not enjoy reminders sent to my phone, I still set an alarm clock to remind me to wake up, or use a timer for cooking, etc. Why wouldn't I use an alarm or jingle to remind me to do something good for my health and well-being?

Thank you for taking the time to read this case study.

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