Post Up is a new startup where freelancers and remote workers share tips and advice. Recently, Post Up has seen lots of feedback and discussions about finding good public places to work. Throughout this modified GV Sprint, I considered the parameters of Post Up's users, their needs, and their stakeholders. Post Up wants to make it easier for remote workers to find great public places to work.
Lead and solo designer - Agile design, storyboarding, prototyping, testing
Design Sprint, 5 days + user testing
- Create a convenient and streamlined resource for remote workers to find locations suitable for business needs.
- Design a mobile app solution for Post Up users.
- Help users find places that already exist and focus on the unique needs of remote workers: work from quiet spaces, ability to take phone calls, and have quick meetings.
- Post Up wants to change a monthly fee to users in exchange for access to Post Up information.
User Insights and Pain Points
Reliable and accessible WiFi - video chats, online work, Wifi availability: free or with purchase
Volume and table availability - users need a quiet space to work and available space (available space does not necessarily correlate with peak times)
Available amenities like bathrooms and outlets - after working many hours, bathroom and outlet availability is a must.
Most existing apps are focused on food, not workspaces - most users rely on apps and searches that are food/cafe focused. Users need an app to show them interior layouts, work-related details, and menus.
Why Post Up?
Post Up offers remote worker-focused solutions. Users no longer have to spend precious time between meetings bouncing from app to app to find the perfect location to work from. Remote work is flexible and mobile, but finding the right spot can get frustrating when workers are in a new part of the city. Worse yet, once they've found the "perfect spot," they realize there's no reliable wifi, no restrooms, or that they have to spend money to stay. Post Up is helping remote workers to find their favorite spot to post up.
UNDERSTAND and MAP
First up, I needed to draft a possible end-to-end user experience. Then, based on background information and research, I made three possible maps to help decide which solution best addresses the problem of each user and conveys the desired solution.
Most users were concerned with the time it took them to find potential remote work locations and amenities once they arrived at the site—the mapping process needed to create a quick and concise solution for as many users as possible.
Before sketching solutions, I created a lightning demo. By exploring solutions of adjacent competitors to similar problems, I was able to ideate solutions for our specific user base. By evaluating successful elements from other apps, our new Post Up interfaces will reduce cognitive load and give users a fluid experience that ultimately saves them time.
Google Search - includes necessary business information but offers food and business volume-focused features. Post Up users need more information about space, amenities, and table layout.
Hip Camp - nice incorporation of map, filter, and listings.
FreeRoam - interface offers expansive mapping, filters, and color-coded pins. Depending on desired amenities, coded pins might be helpful for Post Up users.
airbnb - strong use of filtered options at the top of the map and list page. Allows for clear back and forth between list and map view.
Next, I sketched eight possible versions of Post Up's most critical screen. Since location, time, and amenities are at the top of our users' lists, it was essential to address their needs from the first screen onward.
Ultimately the critical screen selected was a hybrid of the first and fifth sketches. These screens allowed users to see all locations near them that were available for work, filter through them, and learn a little more about the location through a pop-up modal. Users could theoretically solve their main concerns from just this one screen.
With the critical screen in the center, this solution sketch offers insight into what comes one screen before and one screen after my design solution. The first screen provides a map view with button filters at the top and an accessible list view from a pull-up menu at the bottom. The second screen offers a quick modal view of the desired location. This modal allows the user to favorite the listing without viewing the locations from a list view. The third screen is once the modal is selected and a list view appears. The user does not lose the filter buttons, search ability, or quick access to the map view.
DECIDE and STORYBOARD
Since the majority of the information necessary to find the desired listing was addressed in the Solution Sketch above. The storyboard allowed me to get even deeper into the needs of Post Up users.
Many users struggled to know the conditions in the cafe at any given moment. To solve this issue, I created a feature allowing users currently at the location to update the app with the current noise level and amount of tables available. This feature builds on the thriving community of members Post Up has already created and allows them to help each other solve accessibility issues.
The design also allows users to create a favorites list by their desired sorting criteria. They set their favorites' labels, allowing them to create lists by city, neighborhood, or even vibe.
Each location listing offers a detailed listing of photos of the space uploaded by other Post Up users, amenities, hours (adjustable by the users), reviews, and a map/directions feature.
After creating a rough prototype of the storyboard sketches, my idea came alive. My prototype design primarily focused on the usability of the user flow, but the prototype left out two important features to keep in mind for future development.
- The filters on the top of the main pages used for filtering map pins were not functional.
- Since this expansion of Post Up is now a paid feature of the app, a limited number of listings/pins would should up for non-paying customers. However, paying customers would have access to all listings and the ability to search listings in other neighborhoods.
Developing a solid foundation of usability that could then be adjusted or modified for paid vs. unpaid features was essential.
Click through the prototype here, or watch the video below.
With my Marvel prototype in hand, it was time for usability testing. Most of my usability testers were remote who responded to a Facebook post from a group called Freelancing Females, remote workers from all over the world. The testing was conducted on Zoom allowing for remote control of the prototype for each user.
The users tested ranged from early 30s to mid-60s, were comfortable with technology, and were interested in using a product like Post Up for their days out of the office.
All the users interviewed liked the filter feature for amenities, and many even offered more options they would like to see. They also enjoyed the option to favorite locations.
Additionally, they all liked how streamlined the interface itself was. Since Post Up already features messaging and community elements, the addition of the mapping and location services, was able to offer a direct, no-nonsense solution for those looking for a place to work.
Users liked the community update feature for each location as well. Many were familiar with the concept from Wayz or similar apps and had no issues updating the community in testing.
All users tested said that overall they liked, understood, and would use the app as is (in their own words of course).
As I mentioned before, the prototype was limited in functionality and will need additional rounds of edits and testing after this completed first round.
Additional features requested were full cafe menus for users who want to eat, the ability to filter map pins by business volume, and more details and business information on each listing.
Ultimately, I was able to come up with a design solution that existing (and future) Post Up users would be happy with. The testing reflected a gap in the market for a tool like Post Up. Adding the mapping and workspace listing to the app would draw new users to the app and increase paid plans for existing customers.
Some growth opportunities for the next version of Post Up include non-cafe listings: libraries, parks (with wifi), or dedicated workspaces. With my proposed design solution, Post Up can expand and continue to develop its services with more filters, listings, and features.
Where will you Post Up next?