As the sole Designer of Juggle I created the entire user experience and visual design. It was an opportunity to experiment. As a small team we maintained a consistent product cycle: design, prototype, test, iterate, build, release, test, iterate. We learned a tremendous amount about how users sign up for new apps, interpret copy, and, most importantly, how to optimize our core functionality.
At Juggle we want you to have fun with your friends. Right now there are several ways to organize informal events including primitive tools like group text messaging, and complicated tools like Facebook Events, Evite, or Paperless Post. Juggle sits in between this spectrum as a tool that is both fun and easy to use.
The app began with several surprisingly consistent conversations I had with people who enjoy organizing events with their friends:
Question: How do you organize going out with your friends?
Question: Do you like using text messages for this?
Answer: No. It’s frustrating.
Organizers avoid using applications like Facebook Events until the group feels large, or the RSVPs need to be official for a restaurant table or tickets.
I also learned through conversations that one of the reasons people love Snapchat is its extremely quick sharing flow. Juggle's goal was to make a similar flow for creating events.
Below are the app’s four fundamentals flows. A Juggler is a registered Juggle user, and a Clown is someone who has not signed up yet. Shhh don't tell our users.
These flows are a combination of technical functionality and content. For example, it is important to differentiate between registered and unregistered users because their flows are quite different. Registered users receive an Apple Push Notification (APN), and tapping on an APN launches the app directly to the event. Unregistered users receive a text message, and tapping on the link in the text message launches a mobile browser window.
Designing a solution for unregistered users was particularly tricky. How can a host create a successful event if all of her guests need the app? That’s why we built a mobile web version that includes core functionality for guests: submitting an RSVP and writing comments. If a guest wants to download the app and make her own plans, she can tap on the Smart Banner and go to the App Store.
The first time Juggle opens there is a four-screen tutorial explaining the app’s purpose. Users can tap “Get Started” at any time to skip the tutorial and sign up. The goal is to explain the concept behind Juggle through fun photos and a few snippets of text. Below is the fourth iteration of these screens. We began with just signup and login buttons, but potential users inevitably asked, "What is this?" Each iteration included different photos and captions. Our goal was to make Juggle's purpose clear to new users.
The initial version of Juggle required the user to enter her phone number to then send a verification code. We made the mistake of not testing the signup flow when talking to test users because we began each test on Juggle's home screen. The feedback was consistent: “Why should I trust you with my phone number?” Several early users refused to even sign up! We carefully changed the signup flow to send a pre-composed text message containing a verification code which accomplishes the same goal, but avoids the perception that Juggle wants to steal phone numbers. This solution completely removed all users' hesitations.
The initial version also had a complicated login and signup screen with 3 options: Register with Facebook, Register with Phone Number, and Log In. This screen only appeared after a user swiped through the welcome tutorial screens, or tapped “Skip.” We received the following questions from early users:
Our goal was to both encourage Facebook signups for simplicity since they do not require setting and remembering a password, and to alleviate the confusion expressed by users. We redesigned this flow to combine the welcome screens (above), and the signup and login functionality. The new “Get Started” button leads to a screen that includes a Facebook button, and the option to sign up manually. If the user ever logs out or needs to download the app again, the button changes to “Log In."
Left: Prototype · Right: Production
A user’s home screen includes all of the events the user has been invited to, and the ability to create a new event. Each event includes a summary with the event’s name, date, time, and number of comments.
After testing with a wide variety of potential users including middle school, high school, and college students, I received consistent feedback:
Thoroughly a prototype
In the latest version of Juggle we addressed the feedback we received during our user testing, and received positive feedback after additional testing.
Shipped! Also I seriously had a Blazing Saddles party and cooked chili for everyone.
This is the third iteration of the plan creation flow. The initial flow forced users to take a photo, upload a photo, or select a built-in stock photo. This confused users: "Why do I need to take a photo? I want to make a plan." We then combined the photo and details screen, and believed we were done. Unfortunately, users claimed that the screen was confusing. (Design never ends, folks.) We then broke apart the photo and details screens again, but, this time, made details the first screen. Users clearly understood that when on the home screen they tap the plus button to create a new plan. Simple.
Left: Empty state · Right: Filled in
It's important to note that the details screen does not have many options. There's no end time, repeat option, "guests can invite other guests" option, etc. As discussed above, we wanted Juggle to be simple compared to other apps.
During a very early stage of Juggle, we spoke to several people who claimed to lead their social groups by organizing informal get-togethers. We asked them questions about their habits including how often and in what situation they use applications like Facebook Events, Evite, Paperless Post, etc. One thing we learned was people consistently said they dislike the new date and time picker design that was introduced in iOS 7.
The overall goal was to design and build one that is both easier and more enjoyable to use. The interface is much larger and more forgiving to accidental taps. Users felt the iOS 7 picker was too intricate and delicate.
This interface allowed us to add additional functionality that was requested from early users including the ability to be somewhat vague about the event’s time. This includes options like Morning, Noon, Afternoon, and Evening.
Registered guests receive an APN after the host sends the event. After tapping on the APN, the event opens up to fill the screen. A host has additional functionality like changing the time or location, and adding more guests. Users are one tap away from switching to the Maps app to get directions to the event location. Got a question for the Host? Want to tell your guests what to bring? Just leave a comment or share a photo.
When the user first sees a new event screen the two RSVP options partially block the photo or video to encourage the user to RSVP quickly. Tapping on the red frown face or the green smile face hides the entire RSVP bar. One design decision that was debated exhaustedly was providing a Maybe RSVP option. This is a traditional feature amongst other event planning apps. However, we chose to stick to the app’s mission: quick and easy. A Maybe RSVP option results in several design and development ramifications, but it mostly allows guests to be indecisive which places additional stress on the host.
We made t-shirts, stickers, MOO cards, and a table banner so we can adequately represent Juggle when promoting the app.
Again, we built Juggle to help you get together with your friends. We want you to have fun. Now go. Oh and please leave a review on the App Store or upvote on Product Hunt.