Category: iOS Application Duration: 4 weeks Tools: Figma
Square Inc. is a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company that has a clever ecosystem of features in place to help millions of sellers run their businesses from secure credit card processing to point of sale solutions.
By applying Square’s brand values to the stressful process of event planning, my partner and I (Muskan Reniwal) arrived at ‘Square Events’ - a mobile application that makes the process of event planning extremely simple.
Watch this promotional video to see how the app works:
To research a company in-depth to then be able to present a business pitch that would result in 20% growth for the company
We decided on the company 'Square', as we saw great potential for them to diversify and recognized the unique model that they followed.
Use the arrows to flick through the pitch book
The first phase of the research involved learning about how and why Square started, understanding Square’s core values and discussing who Square's main customer is.
Our initial research suggested that Square works for any business. However, after carrying out primary research, we discovered that there was a specific group of people who seemed to benefit from Square the most.
Conducting primary research enabled us to confirm that ‘Small Businesses’ found the most value in Square. We carried out interviews with employees as well as business owners, where we discussed their experiences with Square.
We also observed customers interacting with the POS systems, to gain a better insight into how people feel when using it.
After visiting retailers all around the city, we devised an average user profile for the Square POS and discovered that it mainly catered to small businesses (artisans and coffee shops mainly), which were owned/run by women. These locations had a cozy, homely atmosphere and the owners were community-driven, as well as passionate about their job.
Further research included brainstorming different areas in our lives where we carry out transactions.
We focused on the ‘Luxuries’ category, as we found this to be the area that called for the most attention and potential.
Extensive vendor database
On the go
Square Events takes care of arranging your gathering, so you can relax and prepare yourself for the big day.
An assistant that takes care of your household inconveniences, so you can focus on important things, such as family time.
A central way to make the management of boutique hotels and larger AirBNB’s more efficient.
Deeper research into the event planning process, including all of the different areas that need to be tackled, proved that the events industry can be a very complex system.
The event industry is connected via multiple small vendors, that specialize in a particular product or service, creating a complex system. This makes event planning frustrating since there are multiple aspects to keep track of, each having their own tiny details. It was clear by this point that the event planning process needed to be put in some sort of systematic order.
We put the steps of planning an event (any event) in an order which we thought was systematic and practical.
Next, we used our guide for event planning, to pressure test our hypotheses by applying it to Wedding Planning, which is arguably the biggest type of event people plan in their lives. We thought that if people could use this skeleton for a wedding then it could be applied to any smaller event.
We organized the steps according to a timeline, with the help of couples who were going through the wedding planning process.
After receiving feedback, it became very clear that these pages looked too busy. We realized that this was not staying true to Square's values and also their design. Strictly following the style guide, as well as using the original Square website as a starting point, really helped us to redesign the screens to achieve a more professional yet fun interface for users.
LEARNINGS AND FEEDBACK
Our business pitch to our professors, as well as guest critics who are investors with plenty of experience in the start-up world. They appreciated our idea and approved it to be viable due to the depth of research carried out, but said we could push the design of the app further. We were asked to add interactions that really differentiated our interface from other event-planning apps.
If given more time for this project, I believe I would have been able to do so, by carrying out multiple rounds of user-testing with the prototype. The majority of my time was spent doing in-depth market and company research in order to really understand the company's values and learn about its true customer base.
I would like to conduct more user interviews with our potential customers for the app (event planners; both professional and the average person), to learn whether it would actually be useful.
As a whole, I enjoyed the research process and applying my design thinking skills to a larger system, that involved creating a professional pitch. This helped improve my level of clarity in my thought process and gave me confidence as a designer.
© 2022 by Anneka Javat