BYU Mobile App User Interface

Project Goal: Redesign the BYU mobile app UI so BYU students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors can more easily find the features that will be most applicable to them.

The BYU mobile app used to look like this:

Original BYU mobile app user interface

It has always been a useful app with loads of features for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors, and app users could search through these features and create their own lists of favorite features. However, the features were simply listed alphabetically. New app users, including myself and the project manager, had a difficult time finding features that we would want to use. The features were organized slightly better on the Categories page according to popularity and user type; however, this organization was not available on the default page.

In the first meeting with the project manager, we discussed these problems and some of the research that had already been done. We then discussed the project goal, and we brainstormed ideas that could make that goal become a reality. After this meeting, I created a number of paper prototypes of designs I felt would help accomplish this goal.

BYU mobile app user interface redesign paper prototypes
Paper prototypes

I ran these paper prototypes by the current project manager to get her feedback since she had been a part of the project for much longer than I had, and together we picked the two prototypes we felt best represented the changes that needed to be made.

The two favored BYU mobile app redesign paper prototypes
The two favored paper prototypes

I proceeded to build medium-fidelity prototypes in Adobe XD based on these paper prototypes. These digital prototypes were then tested with BYU students.

In the test, I showed approximately 25 students, one at a time, the two different prototypes, and I asked them which one they preferred. Slightly more students preferred prototype A; however, the results were almost 50/50. I repeated the test on another day with with about 25 additional students, and the results were essentially the same: slightly more students preferred prototype A, but not by a large majority.

BYU mobile app testing results
BYU mobile app testing results. Click the image above to see a larger version.

I wrote up a report of the testing and had another meeting to discuss the results with the project manager. We decided to have the slightly favored prototype A built. The design was built and released, and currently there have been no issues with it.

BYU mobile app user interface Before and After

Since the new UI was released, I have conducted a survey on whether students noticed the change in UI and if they preferred the new UI over the old one. The majority of the students did not notice the change; they had already spent years using the app and had created their own custom lists of their favorite features, so they did not need to search for new features any more. I took this feedback as a good sign since the update did not hinder current app users in their ability to use the app. However, most students, when showed the updated UI, did express that they thought it was an improvement.