For when you're bored.
People wanted a low commitment product that had guided, curated content to help them learn a new activity. Current products did not address this balance. This was determined through a series of information interviews and preference testing among current competitors.
Informational interviews revealed two themes for why somebody chose a product to learn a new hobby: commitment level and curation.
Hobbyist found a niche in having a low commitment level and a highly guided experience for easy learning and ongoing retention.
Austin Fitz. He's not real, I promise. People like Austin are always challenging themselves and need a quick way to discover and try new activities. Austin needs only to be introduced to an activity, given a few pointers, and will dive deep, making it a lifelong pursuit. Hobbyist aimed to be that low friction solution that Austin was looking for when he was bored on a Sunday afternoon.
Initial sketching and wireframing usability tests showed that people were confused about how to navigate the activity flow once a hobby was selected. Specifically, the store selector feature caused friction and hesitation that made users question what they were commiting to. Store selector was meant to be a feature of convenience, a way for users to quickly find supplies they needed for a particular hobby.
“If I’m trying to browse I do not want to commit to any options up front. Too many taps.”
“Would I be reviewing Michael’s if I selected that as my option, or the hobby?"
“Exploring by outdoor/indoor activity and number of people participating is interesting… but wouldn’t be the first filters I would use. How about difficulty?
I redesigned the activity flow to be less intrusive and introduced a progress bar to encourage engagement. The problematic store selector feature was redesigned to be less intrusive and rebranded as "Pro Tips". The focus shifted to helping users progress through the activity flow seamlessly, without interruption.
Personalized content was key. People needed to quickly discover a hobby that interested them using as few or as many signals, like weather, previous activities, saved hobbys, to tailor this page.
User feedback, preference testing, and card sorting exercises conducted throughout these iterations produced major changes: larger, more focused modules, moving Search to the homescreen, changing and restructuring metadata and where it should be placed.
Methods for monetizing the app were at the forefront of design decision making, second only to user experience. An affiliate marketing and subscription based models would give content creators an opportunity to monetize their contributions and in return provide revenue for Hobbyist.
Hobbyist activity creators would share in a dividend of this subscription fee based off of how much content and the quality of that content produced. Pricing was based off of subscription services best practices.
The Hobbyist team could link to product pages and store coupons within activities to make commission. Brand sponsorship for activities could be worked into a one time fee or CPM model. Individual Hobbyist activity creators could use personal affiliate links as well.
As part of my General Assembly UX Design certification I was challenged to define a problem, research and design a solution all based on UX best practices. The initial idea, user research, competitive analysis, user flow and storyboarding, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, and usability testing was all conducted by me.