Designed With: Yereem Chun
                               Caitlin Pintavorn
                       Erica Silver
Elpha (YC S‘19) is an interactive community for women in tech to ask and receive professional or personal advice. The platform also provides job posting access to companies who pay $12,000/ year to get exposure in the community. It currently has 17,000 active members and is solely web-based.

Current Website

Interface Design Type

We chose to create a mobile app for Elpha because it does not offer any other platform besides the website at the moment. Our goal is to preserve the current website’s main functions—find communities, read posts, connect with other users, and search jobs—while taking advantage of mobile application’s notification and messaging system to encourage the interactive aspect of Elpha.

Initial Sketches

  High Fidelity Prototpye
We implemented the bottom navigation bar to accommodate the many features that Elpha offers—users can access Home, Community, Post Box, Jobs, and Profile, regardless of where they are on the app. We also decided to place the Direct Message and Notification buttons as these are the functions we want to highlight in the mobile version of Elpha. The icons on the top and bottom navigation bar are specified through titles of each page but do not have text labels, as they follow the same familiar mental model (similar imagery, i.e. house = homepage, person outline = profile, etc.) as other apps of similar layout such as Instagram and LinkedIn. Based on the critique session feedback, we have decided to reduce the amount of text on the screen by using a pop-up screen with an overlayed background. We also used dividers to establish more clarity between contents. These changes created the hierarchy in information and increased the overall readability.

Interactive Prototype Here

Qualitative Analysis
The data shows a high completion rate and relatively low error count that decreases over time. This is in line with our alternative hypothesis, which was that users would be able to complete tasks faster after familiarizing themselves with the interface. The time on task averages were higher than expected; however, this was due to a lack of understanding about the interface’s functionality (i.e., search/type functions do not work).

All three users were able to work through the tasks quickly and found the interface to be relatively intuitive. One user was confused about the sign-in process as we did not include screens to simulate a full account creation (e.g., allow actual typing), which accounts for the one incomplete task. Another user was also initially very confused about how to find Emily Weiss’s post and clicked through every page trying to find it. However, it was on the page they were initially on, so it was likely more of a communication/instructional problem. Perhaps this could also mean that the font size was too small, as we thought users would immediately notice and read the title of the first post, which would help them complete the second task. The font size was an issue for another user as well, who constantly zoomed in and out to read the words. This may be less of a concern, however, as the user testing was done on a computer rather than an actual phone, which would be held at a much closer distance than a laptop. It was also interesting to see that once task 3 was complete, which was to explore the interface, users were able to complete tasks much faster than before. With the exception of one user who made a lapse error, the users were able to quickly locate and follow Emily Weiss’s profile. This shows that our interface is memorable after initial exploration/uses, easy to learn, and aligns with users’ expectations.

Interface Changes
Based off of the UserTesting results and feedback, we would potentially look to make the navigation process even faster. For instance, we could include more options to exit or reverse an action without having to go to the bottom navigation bar to do so. This would be especially helpful for early users who may be confused about what certain functions do or are just looking to explore the app. Across the board, the feedback was fairly positive, with everyone mentioning that the app was easy to navigate (average score of 4.67 / 5 on ease of navigation in post-interview), not very frustrating to use and that it echoed comforting similarities/the user-friendliness native on other popular apps like Twitter or Instagram.