Role: Lead Product Designer
Location: San Francisco
Picoz is a startup based out of São Paulo, Brazil. The founder had a true desire to help remove the stress that event organizers feel in finding spaces that fit their needs.
As designers, we had two main goals:
- Map and understand Picoz’ user personas, needs, and pain points. This is to provide a more effective service tailored to the customer.
- Review Picoz’ current task flow for the platform booking process. Redesign the online payment flow and eliminate pain points to result in a streamlined user experience with the product.
How do you organize an event?
In order to provide a more customized and effective service through Picoz, we had to map and understand the typical Picoz customer (an event organizer in Brazil) and their pain points with event organizing.
To do that, it was essential to start off our research by user interviewing various event organizers, spanning from industries such as filmmaking, dance recitals, to birthday parties and weddings. We knew that we wanted to hit as broad a range of users as possible, to consolidate every possible pain point and account for the most glaring of them.
We also wanted to account for event organizing on a broad base (through the United States), but specifically in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well – the main city that the startup would cater towards. For that reason, finding the right people was a task that took some diligent research and follow-through.
The design process was our architectural plan throughout this project. In the beginning, we ideated possibilities of the re-design, researching companies that had similar ideas to Picoz. Afterwards, when we felt as if we had gathered consistent information, we began to plan. How are we to implement the knowledge that we have gained about organizing events? How do we reconcile the needs of the event organizers with the needs of the hosts, and use that to promote a lucrative solution to Picoz?
This was where our task flow iterations began. We consolidated the evidence from our research, highlighted specific pain points, and began by creating possible booking flows through a task flow process. Each pain point was answered through a different strategy during our prototyping phase – having trouble searching for a venue? Use the filter we created. Irritated about inefficient contact with multiple vendors? We now have an accessible vendor list that the venue host can update as they go. The prototyping phase was meticulously crafted, as we were working essentially from scratch, as well as through a language and cultural barrier from San Francisco, CA to São Paulo, Brazil.
This being our mid-fi phase, we sought necessary iterative feedback from randomly found event organizers, who then gave us useful results on our prototype. Using this information, we implemented edits – from where the filter bar should be located to when the Picoz sign-up option should be offered. These updates morphed into our high-fidelity prototype, which we proceeded to test again.
Satisfied with our results in smoothing pain points for the event organizer and answering our clients needs for his service, we sent the product for launch.
Our research was mainly in two parts:
Finding The Solution
The pain points were as follows:
- Space – is the right one? Does it match my needs?
- Culture – does the culture fit the event that I’m trying to host?
- Trust – will I be able to use this space and be given my money’s worth?
- Time – what are the time constraints? Are they flexible if I need them to be?
- Price – does the price fall in the range of my budget?
- Information – am I told everything I need to know to utilize this space?
- Organization – is everything I need easily accessible and cohesive?
How we accounted for those pain points:
- Space: We made sure that the pictures that are offered to the event space user are available, clear quality, and that the details provided for the event space are delineated
- Culture: Interaction with the event host is essential and would be guaranteed throughout the booking flow
- Trust: Information would be readily available, legal terms, reviews provided, background checks on owners and on people renting the venue, and historical rentals would be available
- Time: They want to spend less time and stress trying to figure out what the venue is, we want to be able to know a little more clearly instead of jumping through hoops: the whole entire Picoz was made to solve the *time* pain point
- Price: how to compare vendors? Picoz would have the price in the beginning of the selection process, on the page itself, and also use a filter/nav bar in the beginning to be able to organise based off of price and other filters
- Information – provided throughout the process ,starting from high-res pictures to the companies information, background, amenities, what they offer, and more
- Organization – PICOZ would streamline the process from start to end, helping you book a place with a satisfying price, rating, hour, rules, extra vendors offered if needed, as well as amenities. Our research on this painpoint would help streamline the process from start to finish and make it more organized.
Personas are fictional characters specifically designed to reflect the typical user the product designer is building for.
In this case, we created two personas of differing backgrounds to reflect the diverse pain points that an event organizer would have.
Meet Carlos and Bianca, an aspiring director and a public relations specialist (respectively), that were able to keep the team on track in terms of the users we were designing for.
Personas are important, if nothing else, because they give a very human face to the problem.
Afterwards, we tested our user prototypes in accordance to our user personas, reflecting on whether or not the website would solve their needs.
The software we chose to build on was Sketch.
Sketch allowed us to quickly map out our versions of the web design layout through our mid-fi, re-test the design with different potential users, and then iterate on the validation testing by adding onto our redesign. Sketch was a useful software in that we were all familiar with it, as well as the fact that its user-friendly interface was conducive to quick production.
This project was particularly challenging in that the startup was specific to a foreign location: São Paulo, Brazil.
Because the startup was in São Paulo, the language of the service was in Portuguese. This language barrier presented an exciting challenge for me: am I able to exercise my empathy outwardly to an area of the world wholly unfamiliar to me, and build on top of that to provide them with a service?
Picoz taught me how to navigate the barriers of language, and how communication is possible despite the differences constantly presented to us.
I also learned the significance of constant iteration: no matter how hard you try, your own biases will influence the product that you create. That’s why it’s incredibly important to seek out research/iteration from the beginning of building the product until launching it, and asking for feedback on the products that you design.