Teenit

A better lifestyle for teenagers

Overview

Teenit is a mobile app/web that manages extracurricular activities for teenagers in Korea. It allows the users to browse, participate in, and organize new activities to explore and develop their interests.

My Role

  • UX Research
  • UX UI Design
  • Brand Identity Design

Team

  • Insul Choi, Product Manager
  • Jongwon Roh, Lead Engineer
  • Yongjun Lee, Engineer
  • Eunyoung Park, Marketer

Timeframe

  • Aug 2020 to Nov 2020
  • (Translated in Feb 2021)

✓ Why is this product needed in the market?

– To allow Korean teenagers to proactively develop their passion outside of the traditional curriculum

– To provide a safe space where teenagers could explore what they like and don't like

– To show the alternative pathways that teenagers can choose other than entering universities

✓ What did I exactly do?

As a sole designer, I led the entire design process from conception to completion, suggesting what design activities should be completed to advocate for users' voices.

✓ What was the business impact?

With the final designs I’ve delivered, my team launched the iOS app and mobile web of Teenit in the market. Teenit became the biggest revenue of LOE Korea.

Design Process

Design Process

Design Outcomes

Explore What You Want

When users select the topics they like, relevant experiences are shown at the top. This allows users to explore the experiences that they’re the most interested in.

Become a Host (Teen Tutor)

Users are given a chance to organize and host new experiences. As a Teen Tutor, they not only make a positive impact but also can develop their passions further.

Stay Safe and Connected

At the online experiences, users can share their thoughts with other users. It supports them to feel more connected even in the virtual environment.

Define problem

Teenagers in Korea are not given opportunities to explore their interests due to the competitive education system.

The meritocratic system of education in Korea restricts the life of teenagers to studying at schools day and night. Since all the extracurricular activities organized by schools focus on university entrance, teenagers’ leisure activities are limited to playing computer games.

Following is how I turned the key quotes from user interviews to the problems we aimed to solve.

Define Problem

Research

01 User Interviews

I conducted moderated, semi-structured in-depth interviews with 8 participants who are middle or high school students residing in Seoul. 4 of them have used other services of LOE Korea before.

  • Pain Point 1

    Pain point 1 – Limitations in school activities

    User 1

    “They’re are made to be instructional or educational. So boring!”

    When looking for new activities, users do not get intrigued by those run by schools or government organizations. They had a strong belief that those activities are merely instructional without allowing them to develop their interests.

    ✓ 5/8 users said they don’t want to join any events held by schools.

  • Pain Point 2

    Pain point 2 – More activities for adults

    User 2

    “Whenever I find anything interesting, it’s not for teenagers.”

    Occasionally users discovered some non-educational activities they would like to participate in. However, in most of the cases, those were only available for adults.

    ✓ 6/8 users wanted to join some events but later found that teenagers are not allowed to do so.

  • Pain Point 3

    Pain point 3 – Lack of resources

    User 3

    “I want to know what I could do without studying at universities. But I don’t see any information about it.”

    While users wanted to know more about some pathways they could take without completing university degrees, all the resources available for them only covered university entrance.

    ✓ 8/8 participants didn’t know where to find resources that are not related to university entrance.

  • ✓ Design opportunities

    Design opportunities
02 Competitive Analysis

I analyzed two categories of competitive platforms to find the gaps among existing products and understand their strategies. This allowed me to discover Teenit's strengths and weaknesses.

  • ✓ Government-owned websites

    All the extracurricular activities are organized by government-owned websites, focusing on getting bonus points for the university entry. They use complicate, legal and formal terms while targeting a wide range of users from teenagers and their parents to education officers.

  • ✓ Event platforms

    Platforms for meet-ups provide a variety of activities and organize both in-person and virtual events. Their target users are young adults (20-30s) and they gained popularity in the last 1-2 years with the increasing needs of social gathering and creating new hobbies. However, teenagers are now allowed to join any of their activities.

Key Ingishts from Research
Key Ingishts from Research

Using different methods of research, I idenfitied the current market situation and observed the needs of the target users. These key insights became great resources for the ideation process later on.

Ideate

01 Information Architecture
Information Architecture

I started the ideation phase by structuring the skeleton and depths of the product. Developers and PM gave input on what should be considered for the integrity and consistency of the product as a whole. After a few iterations, I finalized the information architecture to ensure that all the team members are on the same page.

02 User Flow
Fundamental Task

After multiple rounds of discussion with team members and stakeholders, I set the fundamental task of Teenit with regards to the business model and goal of Teenit. To clarify and visualize the user flow, I broke it down into three lower-level tasks: onboarding, browsing & booking, and writing a review.






Creating these user flow charts allowed me to not only pull my ideas together but also clearly convey the ideas to team members. It helped us as a team to discuss the user flow in both higher-level and lower-level. Further, these were used as guidance for the wireframe and usability testing later on.

Prototype & Test

01 Sketch
Sketch

Based on the decisions made during the ideation process, I created some rough sketches with regards to interactions between different screens. By doing so, I discovered what adjustments that could be made on the current user flow and changed some details of the user flow going back to the ideation phase. Again, the design process is never linear!

02 Wireframe
Wireframe

Then I digitized the sketches into wireframes and demonstrated the skeletal structure of UI. Since UI and UX go hand in hand, deciding the layouts of UI helped me to find the overlooked problems of UX. I shared the wireframes with developers and PM so that we could discuss the feasibility issues early on and identify what are missing from the current design.

03 Usability Testing

In order to get feedback from users and validate my proposed design solutions, I conducted 2 rounds of usability testings with 5 users per round. The testings allowed me to observe how the users interact with the prototype, measure if the prototype fits into users' mental models, and make adjustments based on their feedback later on.

  • ✓ Process

    1. 1. Introduce the product and its background
    2. 2. Describe the context and scenario of each task
    3. 3. Ask the users to complete each task — 5 different tasks in total
    4. 4. Observe and record what the users do and say
    5. 5. Ask follow-up questions and answer the questions that users have
  • ✓ Adjustments

04 Business Impact & Performance

Since I left the team soon after we launched Teenit in the market, I didn't have a chance to measure the performance. However, here's what I would have done to measure the business success:

1. Evaluate product-market fit by measuring user retention

In the short term, I would have measured user retention with the help of product analytics tools such as Amplitude or Mixpanel. Retaining users is the key to the business success since it indicates if the product fits into the market and meets the user's expectation. According to the statistic, most users churn the mobile app soon after their first use of the app.

Retention curve

Image by Amplitude

80% of mobile app users stop using the app 3 days after downloading it. How could we increase the retention rate?

Since Teenit was new to the market and still on the process of experimenting and learning the users' needs, it might have shown lower user retention than the market average. To solve this problem, I would have conducted further user testings from onboarding to completing critical events so that I could observe when users leave or stay on the product.



2. Evaluate profitability by measuring LTV (Lifetime Value)

In the long term, I would have measured LTV that shows how much profits the users bring to the business before they stop using the product. This indicates how profitable and stable the business, helping the company adjusting the price of the service and potentially the business model.

LTV and Retention

Image by SaaS Capital

The reason I consider LTV as a long-term metric is because it requires other metrics such as monthly or annual churn rate, average customer lifespan, and ARPA (Average Revenue Per Account.) Since the retentaion rate and LTV are correlated, measuring and gradually enhancing user retention is another key to increasing LTV.

Final design

Final design iOS Application Mobile Web

Note: Teenit is originally designed in Korean and translated into English for the portfolio.

Reflections

01 What Would I Do Differently?

1. Conduct more structured UX research

Due to the limited timeframe and budget, I was able to conduct only three types of research — in-depth interview, A/B testing, and usability testing. I also gained more knowledge in UX research afterwards and further research methods I would like to incorporate into this project are survey, card sorting for information architecture, and usability benchmarking.

2. Enhance accessibility

There were many occasions that I were not able to put accessibility at the highest priority since the timeframe and budget were limited. Also, I designed first and tried to improve accessibility later on which took additional time. I learned that I should check accessibility as I'm designing, not adding it at the end. Next time, I would like to conduct usability testing with a group of people with impairments.

3. Have timely and frequent communication with developers and product manager

I sometimes created high-fidely prototype then discussed it with developers — some were too time-consuming for developers to code and I had to start again from the scratch. I learned that I should involve the engineering perspective early on before making critical decisions.

02 Key Takeaways

1. Be detail-oriented while seeing the big picture

While I was struggling with minor details, my product manager told me to always question "Does this bring a huge difference to the user's experience?" I learned that the product's usability and feasibility should come before aesthetics and that design's sophistication alone does not add value to the user's experience.

2. Build efficient work flow using the agile approach

Using Kanban, my team tracked the progress every 7-10 days. By doing so, we kept all the team members aligned on project gaols without holding unnecessary meetings.

3. Help the entire team understand the value of design

Since I was the sole designer, a significant part of my job was to persuade the team why each design activity is needed. I often asked their concerns and challenges — which allowed me to understand their priorities and justify how each phase of the design process will impact the product from their perspective.