Glowcare is a startup born out of the rising attention to personal health over the past few years. Exercising, eating healthy, and meditating are only a few ways that people all over the world can improve their well-being. Seeing skincare as another form of self-care, Glowcare wants to improve personal skin health by making it easier for people to understand the benefits of taking care of their skin and teach them the proper way to do so.
Getting into beauty and skincare can be intimidating with the amount of products available and how to use them together. Glowcare's mission is to focus on simplifying the process by guiding users on what products to use and how without the need to grasp the chemistry behind ingredients.
The task at hand was to design an app where users can figure out what products are effective in improving their skin without needing to know everything there is about skincare.
To kickstart this project, it was necessary to get a deep understanding of users and their skincare needs. The best way to do this was to get down to the core why of their process:
Why do people use skincare in the first place?
Interviews with skincare users, some being new to the skincare game and some being hardcore fanatics, revealed that:
The main motivation behind using skincare is to solve some sort of skin related problem.
Whether the obstacle was acne, dry skin, dark circles, or rosacea, one thing each interviewee had in common was that they use skincare as a way to tackle a skin related issue. The difference, however, is the skincare problem itself and how the user goes about dealing with their specific dilemma.
People have different needs depending upon the nature of their skin and what problems arise. Each person will have their own skincare journey and methods to tackle issues along the way. Using my interviews, I created 3 different provisional jobs to showcase some of the common cases that I encountered.
Fleshing out these stories gave me a deeper understanding of motivations, goals, and actions of people with different skin typology. Each person has their own backstory on how they encountered their skin problem and why they are attempting to fix it, but what about how they fix it?
We looked at the why, but what about the how? How do people use skincare to solve their skincare related problem? A survey was conducted with skincare users to explain how they might achieve their ultimate skincare goal. Results showed that most users currently track their routines, or would like to, in order to measure product effectiveness through different methods such as:
While these methods are efficient in their own way, they have a common major flaw pointed out by pollsters:
Current routine tracking falls short in helping skincare users view and manage their progress as a whole.
Many find it difficult to physically see if they are making any progress. "Does this dark spot look lighter today?" "Does it seem like I'm getting less acne than usual?" Questions such as these are hard to answer through writing in journals or creating spreadsheets of products. So, how can we ensure that Glowcare's product shows users how their skin is improving?
Considering most users track their routines to measure product effectiveness, the focus of the problem space shifted towards taking care of this essential user need. Glowcare's app must highlight showing users what products work for them so they can shape their routine to be acclimated to their core problem and skin type. Looking back at the provisional jobs created from user interviews, Ashley's story aligned quite well with this problem. A more in-depth persona defines the audience at the center of the projects focus.
In order to understand Ashley and the audience better using the discovered insights, I reframed the space into a more broad problem statement:
How might we help skincare users manage their progress towards a personal skincare goal.
The design should make it easier for users to determine which products in their routine are effective and how to update their routine based on this information. It is all about viewing the progress before making decisions to keep or replace products.
To get an idea of how the app works it was important to lay down the flow to the end-goal. Users ultimately want to view their diary entries to make comparisons on products and determine if said product was helpful towards their goal.
Hours of ideating and sketching the flow brought many creations to the table. The design was to utilize the pros of the current routine tracking methods mixed with showing users their overall progress as the main event.
A final design was chosen based off its ability to properly visualize progress and be developed into wireframes.
As a startup, Glowcare wanted to establish their brand identity as a company that aims to promote personal health through progress. Rounded corners, bright colors, and bubbly fonts create a personalized, welcoming feel that appeals to the industry standards.
Through usability testing, it was found that some users had a tough time finding their routines to edit. Seeing as the routine is a big feature of the application, it was decided to give the routine its own section down at the navigation bar for easy access.
The home page also received a new addition: diary entries. Rather than giving diary entries a section in the navigation, it was nested into the home page to act as an immediate reminder of what the main point of the app was, creating diary entries to compare and view progress.
During this project there was a lot of going back and forth between assumptions. For example, the initial interview was to back up the idea that new skincare users were more likely to use the app. I found that skincare fanatics were more into tracking. Not only that, but these skincare users were further divided by their skincare problems and I realized I had to shift focus towards people who were trying to find effective products and conduct more research. This was an interesting insight that proved UX design is not a singular, linear process. Sometimes you have to scrap your work or ideas and start again, but you learn from every path taken.