JOOL Health | UX/UI Intern

Image Credit: JOOL Health

Image Credit: JOOL Health

 

Your Body is the Boat...

Over the summer of 2018 I had the opportunity to work for JOOL Health, an Ann Arbor based startup whose mobile and web applications focus on helping users to build a set of core values, craft a purpose, and live a more well-rounded and directed life. While working there, I had several key responsibilities in order to help JOOL move the ball forward in terms of making their user experience even more streamlined than it was when I began my work with the company. I can separate out several major areas: rapid prototyping new and existing user interfaces for JOOL’s web and mobile applications, conducting user tests both in formal and informal settings, interviewing a wide variety of users, persona creation based on interview data for JOOL’s development team to keep in mind while creating future features in their various applications, and a variety of cross-disciplinary support that I provided to multiple departments within JOOL. 

Rapid Prototyping, User Testing

My role with JOOL began with a focus on prototyping and testing. I had ample opportunity to grow and refine my testing methods, including both the soft skills needed to make impromptu user tests run smoothly as well as the technical skills required to make tests feel as genuine as using the real technology they were meant to mimic.

When reviewing user tests, I prefer to place over-the-shoulder video side by side with screen recording footage to give myself ample opportunity for understanding why a user does what they do on a given screen.

When reviewing user tests, I prefer to place over-the-shoulder video side by side with screen recording footage to give myself ample opportunity for understanding why a user does what they do on a given screen.

I began my series of user tests by utilizing existing prototypes as well as test versions of JOOL's mobile app. It was an enjoyable introduction to observing and documenting user reactions to the application, and informed my subsequent prototype creation and test refinements. 

Axure enabled me to create sliders that users could actually slide, where other prototyping software could not.

Axure enabled me to create sliders that users could actually slide, where other prototyping software could not.

With regards to the technical side of testing, I was able to develop a skill set for rapid prototyping software, specifically Sketch, Axure and Illustrator (along with a slew of relevant add-ons and plugins meant to make the prototyping process more efficient and the testing experience feel more authentic). 

Interviewing, Persona Creation

As I progressed through my internship my mentor directed me that he was in need of a solid base of user research for the company to use as a basis for their development choices moving forward. With this in mind, I wrote and refined a user interview protocol and set myself to implementing it in a substantial series of interviews with both current and former JOOL users.

I spent a substantial amount of time conducting remote interviews with thirty-five current or former JOOL users. Additionally, I spoke with a number of stakeholders both within JOOL and in companies who made use of our product (and our customer facing analytics software, JOOL Vibe). During this process I was able to build out a comprehensive set of user data that I used to connect relevant themes and synthesize said data into recommendations for JOOL moving forward.

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In addition, I created personas for the development team at the company to establish a link between what they built into the app and those who would actually use these features.