Very often our clients come to us with amazing ideas that get us excited to a point where we forget to ask ourselves how much of it is actually possible, if at all. This is my journey through such an exciting project & a revelation at the end of it.
During our first interview with the client, although we were excited that we were getting the opportunity to work on an exciting new idea, we were a little skeptical about its feasibility at first. During the interview, however, it was mentioned that ‘Lisnen’, in its development process, already had an edge over its competitors as it was utilizing deep learning algorithms that would increase the accuracy of its sound recognition ability and get better with time on its own. Knowing that the product actually worked, our excitement was through the roof!
Alerts the users of specific sounds detected in the environment
If the user doesn’t responds, application automatically contacts the primary emergency contact
In case of emergency, user can instantly seek help from 911 or their primary emergency contact
The application is always running in the background to detect sounds
Our client had shared with us a list of contacts to interview, people from the DHH community, who were already familiar with the idea of the Lisnen app. Most of the people we interviewed were above the age of forty-five.
We also wanted to talk to people who were not familiar with the Lisnen application, as we wanted to remove any kind of possible bias linked with the application. We ran a survey on the online DHH community, most of whom were a younger audience, of course!
It was also essential to know about available solutions in the market, study their pros and cons, and see how we could do better than them:
Looking at the numbers & the limitations of available solutions, it was quite evident that Lisnen had a great chance of success if they could come up with a trustworthy & cheaper solution for the users. The biggest confidence booster is the percentage of people who have never used such a device / application but they are willing to adapt to a product that has the aforementioned features.
As per the client’s requirement, the application was based on a subscription model without any trial period. We were skeptical that this approach would result in a huge bounce-rate for the users from the very early stage. So, in the later stages of the project, after confirming our fears with the testing we gave users two options, subscribe right away or they could look around the application's features to gain some trust in it.
After completing the first version of our wireframes we quickly turned it into an interactive prototype in InVision and started testing with our users, same ones that we had interviewed earlier. We went through an iterative process of testing & revisions until we were satisfied with the designs. Following is a brief of some of the more notable revisions:
We realized that iOS did not allow customization for push notifications beyond a very minimal point, which meant that we could not have a full-screen notification for our alerts. This major blow forced us to do in-depth research about realistic solutions for both platforms, we came up with two major differences- notifications & widgets:
Despite the fact that removing features like 911 & iOS limitations on notifications marred the potential of the application to a great degree, we still believe that Lisnen has the ability to capture the market with the remaining features. We also believe that the rapid advancement in mobile phone technology and other smart devices would bring more power to solutions like Lisnen.
The excitement to work on this interesting new product was so intimidating for us that we took every piece of pre-existing information for granted- which in this case was our limited knowledge of platform differences and realistic technology solutions, & never checked for validity, which almost cost us a failed product prototype. For me personally, the biggest takeaway from this project was that no matter how convincing our pre-existing knowledge is, as product creators, we have this responsibility to check every piece of information with utmost diligence to make sure that whatever we are creating is actually authentic & realistic.