Resist List: A UX case study
RESIST LIST is an app that quickly connects a person with a sympathetic crew when her willpower might need an extra boost. It’s a gentle nudge toward making better life choices. This project began as a final project in an immersive UX course in June 2016, and is a work in progress.
Role: Interaction Designer, Visual Designer
I interviewed six people who admitted to struggling with impulse control. Their temptations included chocolate, shopping (spending) and alcohol, as well as an unwanted OCD type behavior. I wanted to get a better understanding of their methods for controlling those actions which would give insight on how I could go about designing the features most helpful for curbing their behaviors.
Key Insights included:
- People are more willing to enlist the help of a stranger who shared their common craving, even more than a friend.
- There is a very strong negative reaction to the words addiction and addictive.
- Women were more receptive to the idea of enlisting help than men. As a result, I aimed the app towards women.
- Women admitted to many more daily temptations than men.
- Confusion over apps’ focus: how can one app accommodate such vastly different temptations, such as coffee cravings and suicide. As a result, I focused on cravings instead of more destructive urges like alcohol and suicide.
Research supports the idea that men and women have different methods for curbing temptation.
A 2008 study found that when women tried to suppress their thoughts about chocolate, they actually ended up eating 50 percent more than those who were encouraged to think and talk about it. For men the response was different — those who thought and talked about the chocolate ended up eating more than those who suppressed.
The results of this study seem to validate the key insights from Resist List’s small focus group: When women are confronted with a temptation talking it out helps.
Personas are fictional characters created to help guide UX and UI decisions about features and visual design. Amy is a character synthesized from early interviews. She represents a major user group for Resist List: a social and tech-savvy female, who would consider contacting her crew to combat an occasional loss of willpower.
Amy is a 22 year old Academy of Art student. Amy is an aspiring Fashion designer. She is digitally savvy, active on social media and has a lot of friends in the real world too.
Amy has broken up with her boyfriend Nicco twice this semester. It’s complicated. They are officially broken up but are still friendly, and haven’t unfriended each other or unfollowed each other on Instagram. She checks his Facebook page a couple times a week. Nicco is still on the fence about Amy. Still, she has made the mistake of spending the night at his place this week. Amy wants to move on.
NEEDS AND GOALS
Amy does not want to engage in any flirtatious texting with her ex anymore, especially after she’s been drinking.
Paying off her student loan
Managing class and a part time job as a math tutor
Her mother would like to see more of her
She could block his number and unfriend/unfollow him across all social media.
She could ignore his text completely.
She could talk to her friends before she texts or returns a text from him, and get their opinion.
Amy's happy path
A happy path is a user’s movement through the app that accomplishes her main goal, without any errors or backtracking. I envision Amy’s happy path as a four touch process that allows her to contact her crew quickly, when she has a sudden need for some friendly emotional support. In this instance, Amy is tempted to buy a black sweater when she knows she should be saving for a down payment on a new apartment.