UX Case Study: Daily Kelly App
The Daily Kelly App
Your daily of inspiration and motivation by Kelly Cardenas, author of The 6 Indicators for Business & Life. This app is more than just inspirational videos and blogs posted by Kelly, it is a community for users to support and motivate each other. Aside from viewing and sharing entries posted by Kelly, this app also allows its users to keep track of their accomplishments, acknowledge and cheer each other for their achievements, as well as communicate to one another.
- User research
- Interaction designer
- Visual designer
- Contextual observation, analytical statistics, personas
- Workflows, task flow diagrams, lo-fi wireframes (pencil sketches)
- Overall layout, iconography, color palette, micro-interactions (Figma)
- Clickable prototype (Figma)
January 24th, 2018 - present
Kelly Cardenas is an entrepreneur and a source of inspiration. Apart from publishing his book, he also began posting short, inspirational videos daily on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook with hashtags like #mindframemonday, #wisdomwedensday, and #thoughtprocessthursday. He wants to spread wisdom, strength, and inspiration to the world, especially to those who need encouragement and motivation. He wants to challenge people to be their best. But, right now, he’s just an entry on his followers’ feed. What if there’s a way to reach his audience directly?
I was challenged by Kelly to design an app for him. The idea was inspired by pastor Miles McPherson of The Rock Church San Diego, who has his own app called Miles A Minute. This app features minute-long inspirational videos by Miles which are posted daily. Kelly would have been happy to have an app that’s just like it, but I decided to do more. I challenged myself to design an app that not only allows Kelly to reach his audience, but one that can build a community among his audience. One person can only inspire so many, but when there’s an entire community supporting each other, greater things are achieved.
Research and Ideation
The plan is to model Kelly’s app similar to that of Miles A Minute. To begin brainstorming on the app’s design, I downloaded the Miles A Minute app so I can take notes on its features and what people like about it. Unfortunately, I had trouble using the app. When I launch the app, it opens to a blank home screen. There are navigation headers, but the content is blank. I looked at the app’s reviews on the Google Play Store (I’m an Android user) and apparently, as of late, users have been having the same problem.
Since using the app wasn’t going to help, I decided to read on the app’s description and read further on its reviews to see what it does, what has users loving it, and how I can incorporate these ideas into Kelly’s app. Below are my findings:
Miles A Minute App Features:
· View videos
· Share videos on social networks, email, and text
· Save favorite videos for easy access later
· Daily notifications on new videos posted
· Daily inspirational message and prayer sent to users
Miles A Minute App Pros and Cons:
· Daily notifications
· Inspirational messages
· Ability to share with others
· Ability to save favorite videos
· Content will not load
I wanted to see how else I can push the design of Kelly’s app, so I did some research on the psychology behind big social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to find out what makes them so successful and engaging to users.
Dopamine and Oxytocin
There’s a biological reason for the compulsive usage of social media, and those are the hormones Dopamine and Oxytocin. Dopamine causes us to seek, desire, and search. It is stimulated by unpredictability, by small bits of information, and by reward cues, all of which make up the foundation of social media. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle chemical”, on the other hand is a hormone which is released when we kiss, hug, and apparently tweet. Neuroeconomist, Paul Zac, did a study and discovered that in ten minutes of social media time, oxytocin levels can rise as much as 13%. High levels of oxytocin decreases stress levels, and increases feelings of love, trust, empathy, and generosity. Social networking comes with a lot of great feelings, which is why it’s hard for people to stop wanting more of it.
Why we Post, Share, Like, and Comment
Why we post:
- It is in our nature to enjoy talking about ourselves. A study has shown that humans devote 30-40% of speech talking about themselves, and that increases to a drastic 80% when on social media. A study by Cornell University has also discovered hat viewing your own Facebook profile has shown to increase one’s self-esteem.
Why we share:
- We share for the purpose of self-presentation and strengthening relationships. 68% of people share to give others a better sense of who they are and what they care about, while 78% share because it helps them stay connected with others. Moreover, 62% of people feel better about themselves when people react positively to what they post on social media.
Why we like:
- We ‘like’ posts to maintain relationships. When we ‘favorite’ and ‘like’ each other’s posts, we add value to the relationship and reinforce that closeness with one another. It also initiates the reciprocating effect, which is the feeling of being obliged to give back to people who have given to us.
Instagram: the top platform for engagement
In a survey of 2,500 micro-influencers, 60% of thought that Instagram was the best overall platform for engagement; the runner-up, Facebook, only had 18% of support. So why is Instagram so good at engaging with audiences?
Instagram is successful at keeping its users engaged because of its mobile functionality, its visual nature, and its overall function.
Instagram’s mobile functionality is great because it is so easy to use on the go. It offers an in-the-moment experience which naturally attracts more people. It is also very simple to use, with only a handful of posting options.
The visual nature of Instagram is very well designed, hence keeping its users engaged. People prefer to gather and interpret information through sight. Nearly the entire newsfeed on Instagram is occupied by a horizontal span of images, and since they’re reduced to the same square format, it gives a certain level of formality to the user’s experience.
The function of Instagram may be very basic and minimal, but it works. It offers options of publicly available posts like Twitter and Facebook, but at the same time has greater control over spam and reasonably tight personal networks. It is approachable to a wide number of people, which maximizes the potential user base and naturally encourages people to interact more.
As an app geared towards inspiring and motivating people to improve their current lives and achieve their goals, the potential users of the Daily Kelly would be adults from all walks of life, seeking advice in order to be better people and achieve success.
After gathering information on the Miles A Minute app, and from my research on the psychology behind social media platforms and why they’re engaging to users, I did some brainstorming with Kelly Cardenas and came up with the following features for Kelly’s app.
Daily Kelly App Features
· Create user account
· Set-up user profile
· Create personal avatar
· Save favorite videos
· Save challenges accomplished
· Post photos and videos when posting an accomplished challenge
· Customize notifications and user privacy
· Share videos and challenges on social networks, email, and text messaging
· Like and comment on other users’ posts
· Follow other users
· Send direct messages to other users
· Badges for achieving X amount of challenges (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum levels)
· Access to more swag for your avatar with each level reached
· Customize privacy settings
· Report and/or block a user that is behaving inappropriately
Jason Mendoza is a 31 year old construction worker in Salt Lake City, UT. He comes from a low-income family. His father was a construction worker and his mother cleaned houses for a living. Instead of going to college after graduating high school, Jason joined his father and took a job as a construction worker. It wasn’t much, but it kept a roof over his head and food on the table. Years later, he is now married and expecting their first child. This made him realize that he needs to be more than just a construction worker because he wants to provide his family with a much better life. He decided to go to school and get a degree in structural engineering. With this, he can move up and provide a better life for his family. He’s excited for this new chapter in his life, but it’s also taking a toll on him. Juggling engineering classes along with a full-time job building roads and bridges is exhausting, and his tuition fee isn’t cheap either. The stress is starting to overwhelm him, but he cannot give up. He just needs a little nudge and a daily reminder that what he is doing today will give him and his family a much better future.
Jason downloaded the Daily Kelly app to give him a small dose of motivation everyday. Juggling work with school, and with his wife being pregnant, life has been pretty rough on him. He knows he cannot give up, no matter how tired he is, but some days are just more difficult than others. But everyday, the Daily Kelly app will notify him of a new video and a new message/challenge from Kelly, and these posts always give him hope and strength to keep working hard. Kelly’s videos and messages have been so inspiring that he shares it with his family and friends on his social networks. He also saves those videos which hit him really hard, so when he feels like he’s about to hit rock bottom, he just opens up the app and finds that video to give him a little pep talk. It also helps that there’s an entire community of people motivating each other in the app. Getting through challenges alone can be discouraging, but when you have an entire team of people cheering you on, these challenges get a little easier to conquer.
Avatars, and a fully-functioning prototype are currently being designed. Once completed, it will undergo some user testing. A final design will be produced and that shall be passed on to a developer for production.