Onion: A social voting platform for gathering opinions on anything, with anyone. 

People often look for affirmation on their choices, or want to know how they measure against the opinion of the general majority. In addition, wouldn’t brands, organisations and institutions want to know the thoughts and perceptions of their audiences? As a personal project, I decided to explore a quick and concise way for people to pose questions or vote on anything they are seeking the answers or opinions to. 

To create an IOS application where people can seek and gather collective opinions from anyone easily. The platform should also options to customize the format, recipients and duration of each poll.

Project Duration:
4 weeks of 20hours/ week
Phase 1: Discover
To begin, I listed out the potential archetypes that would find the app useful, dividing them into individuals and non-individuals. I also roughly listed the way these users would use the platform (casual/serious; poll creator/poll voter) for validation during my user research.
Existing voting platforms

I then analyzed existing leading voting platforms to understand the essential features that had to be in place, as well as identify gaps that needed to be met.​​​​​​​
User Research

I decided to focus on designing for individuals (vs non individuals) due to practical constraints and conducted a survey online which garnered 46 responses. The survey saught to understand how and when people need help with decision-making and voicing/gathering opinions on topics of interest, as well as their associated pain points. Most respondents fell between the ages of 25 – 34 with a 2:3 split of male to female. Below are the main takeaways:

1.  Decision making: Majority identified with The Agoniser archetype - needing help in making decisions at times, especially with purchase decisions, dining options and styling/grooming related issues. Key frustrations in seeking help were getting mixed/indirect/vague responses that left them unable to make a conclusive decision.
2.  Voicing/ Gathering Opinions: Most identified with The Inquisitive archetype - enjoying observing opinions or having a say in topics that they’re interested in. Frustrations they had with current platforms were the mixed and unorganised reviews, imbalanced views, difficulty in searching – hence polls should display an overview of the result, with a breakdown in voter demographics. In addition, there should be a search bar to make it easy to find specific topics
3.  Respondents rated direct Yes/No answers, comparisons and open-ended answers as poll formats they find helpful.
4.  They also highly valued being able to support their choice of vote with comments; seeking opinions privately with selected users; as well as knowing what friends are asking or topics friends are following. Hence, it should be easy and for users to seek opinions from selected users/groups, as well as being able to follow whoever they want on the platform
Phase 2: Define
From the initial archetype brainstorm and the user research results, I developed the two personas below, with The Agoniser as the primary persona I was designing for the MVP.
UX Strategy Blueprint and Product Roadmap

I compiled a UX strategy blueprint so I could have an overview of the problem I was trying to solve, as well as the focus areas and guiding principles of the application. A product roadmap helped me to prioritize the features that were needed for the MVP.

Application Map​​​​​​​
Phase 3: Design
In addition to the Onion app, I also explored how the voting platform could be integrated into an instant messaging app (I chose Whatsapp being the most popular app used by people I knew) to make it even easier for users to get the opinion of those who matter to them, whether they download the Onion app or not. From my research I could also see that most people get opinions from other through instant messaging apps.

Whatsapp integration wireflows

For the look and feel of Onion, I adopted an uncluttered design style with the right amount of white space, inspired by Instagram. This was to give emphasis to the content heavy feed of image and text polls, for more readability and scannability. To create a fun and personable feel, I added pops of colour to CTAs.
I created a high fidelity prototype of the app in Marvel and carried out a series of tasks with 4 respondents.

Participants were able to complete the tasks with fluidity and particularly liked the idea of the WhatsApp integration. Most of the frustrations faced were due to unfamiliarity with the double tap voting action as well as features of the app. E.g. users were unsure of the use of the search function. As such, there could be a tutorial/tool tips for new users even after onboarding. The statistics on the profile tab could also be more highlighted and visually impactful to engage users to read on.

Moving forward

If this were an actual product, the next steps would be to conduct analysis and more user testing research on how people are using this app, and make the relavant changes to the interface based on user needs and behaviors.

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