Allstate iOS Feature Design

Allstate would like a new iOS features to help users access features deep within the mobile app. The Today view widget was a very new feature as this project began, so there was little public information.

My goal was to research and ideate around how to leverage iOS Today view widget best practices to create a successful design.

Constraints

The Today view widget was a very new topic as this project began, so there was little public information.

The client was operating under the assumption that a Today view widget would provide users value, but without user research it's impossible to know.

Our Team

UX Research & UX Design (myself)

I led concepting, ideation, competitive analysis, wireframing, iteration, and creation of developer documentation.

Visual Designer

Brandon converted wireframes into high fidelity mockups based on style guides.

UX Lead

Brian helped guide the project with high level advice, contextual application knowledge, and presentation coaching.

Audience

My audience for the project was customers who have installed the client’s iOS mobile app and use it to pay bills or access any of the value-added features available within the app.

Project Details

When the project began, iOS Today view
widgets were a new addition to iOS.

I began the project by reading blog posts, articles, forums, and developer documentation related to Today view widgets and the Notification Center.

I also reviewed existing Today view widgets and, while I was reading and experimenting with apps, I made note of various features. This allowed me to easily identify themes when communicating the value of and best approaches to a potential Today view widget.

allstate-feature-01-swim
In the first presentation I provided an overview of the iOS 8 Notification Center to ensure shared understanding of features and options.

I explained the different intents of Today view widgets and Notifications: Today view widgets are intended to empower users, whereas Notifications are intended to inform users.

Next, I discussed my analysis of direct competitors to identify existing best practices and examples of poor implementations. As Today view widgets were very new, no competitors existed in the insurance market, but other Today view widgets did exist. This provided us a competitive advantage if our speed-to-market was under six months and implementation met user needs.

Finally, I included a rundown of the intent of the main types of Today view Widgets: surfacing timely or contextual information from an app, or surfacing core app functions for quick access. I provided examples of each of these types of Today view widgets to serve as an anchor for the wireframe concepts I showed later.

allstate-feature-02-show
Before presenting the wireframe concepts to my business stakeholders, I listed ways that a Today view widget might not significantly improve overall customer experience.

This ensured they were thinking about additional behavioral and technical constraints might increase friction with the Today view widget.

Next, I described how the functionality could work based on our understanding of the technology capabilities, existing app features, and Today view widget best practices.

allstate-feature-03-danger

Wireframe presentation complete, we waited for feedback from our client.

After receiving feedback, my team lead and I discussed these options with the stakeholders, reviewed technology constraints, and noted opportunities and risks presented in these wireframes.

We revised the wireframes and provided another round of revisions, this time putting the wireframes into InVision to demonstrate the interactions that the Today view widget would enable.

After further revisions based on new technology information and stakeholder feedback, I worked with a visual designer to create detailed comps which were presented to the stakeholders and used for usability testing.

allstate-feature-04-present
We performed usability testing with remote users to remove friction in the interactions we designed.

While the interface was easy to understand and participants succeeded in completing scenarios, no participant had experience with using Today view widgets. This was understandable due to the newness of the widgets, but was also important information which we communicated to our stakeholders.

allstate-feature-05-test

After a successful final presentation to our business stakeholders, the development budget was reallocated and the project placed on hold.

I like to think this is because of the findings in usability testing, and that we saved them a substantial amount of money and app bloat.

Outcomes

3 widget types identified
3 wireframe concepts

3 final core features
1 final recommendation

Retrospective

The stakeholders felt that this project was a success despite the feature being put on hold. They do plan to roll out Today view widgets in the future.

If I were to work on a project like this again, I would work to determine up front if the Today view widget is a valid user need for the app. I would also explore other ways of encouraging engagement with the app that might have more traction with a larger user base.

Selected Work

Allstate UsabilityGuerilla Usability Testing

Allstate FeatureiOS Feature Design

Google Fiber ResearchUser Research and Usability Testing

ZS Associates DesignEnterprise JTBD Research and Design

Livongo StrategyUser Onboarding Strategy

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