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Simplexity of User Experiences

It's a fun challenge to design User Experiences for a group that is not tech savvy. When Ruckus approached Lumium with an idea to design router-setup for SMB owners, mom-n-pop owners were our typical target users. Using tech jargon or offering a big chunk of settings all at once was not an apt option. So we had to find a smarter way to simplify the process!

After carefully categorizing various network settings and finding a logical workflow, a step-by-step settings approach was designed instead of offering a choice to the user to pick any settings to start with. This helped in getting over the initial block for the user on where to start. Each setting was broken down into 3-4 steps, and all advanced settings were nested under a button. This way only important information was presented at a glance without the need to worry about any advanced settings. All technical terms like SSID/WLAN/Network Diagnostics were replaced with simple terms like "add a location" or "check network health"

To define our average user, initially we described the user persona in text, but later designed an analytical/graphic version of the persona for at-a-glance reference throughout the project. 

We defined a simple information architecture, the most-used features were simple (network health, router setup) and the additional fluff like social media or reward points were categorized separately - because not all SMB owners might use it on a daily basis. 

Once we knew who our user was, we quickly listed two of our main use cases - One where the SMB owner sets up their router for the first time and the second case where he returns to the router settings to check updates/alerts/notifications

We also listed the current features set, and made a few suggestions about additional features. Since this app was geared towards older SMB owners who may not particularly be social media savvy, we suggested the addition of easy social media management features, adding multiple owners (generally older SMB owners would have someone younger in the family help them with the router management, so multiple user access was helpful).

Once our basic use case scenarios and list of features was ready, we dived into wireframing the app! 

After the wireframes were in place, we defined a high contrast color palette and art direction - since this app was aimed at older users, most of whom required optical readers. I tried to use perfect compliments orange and blue, in contrast with dark brown and yellow.

We also made the customer settings more orange and employee settings more blue, to differentiate between the same sets of settings defined for two different groups!

I loved the simplexity of this project, breaking down complex information into a series of smaller doable tasks. Ofcourse, these apps are not designed for neo-Luddites, but mom-n-pop type shop owners who DO have some knowledge of using technology but wouldn't want to dive in too many technical details. In the prototyping phase, we were happy that it was a 'guided' process with very little room for confusion setting up WiFi for a small business.