During my last semester of college in 2018, I had the opportunity to complete a 6-month design internship with the team at Document Cloud at Adobe. During this time, I was able to collaborate and learn from the most amazing team members and work on various tasks such as conducting app audits, brainstorming ideas to improve the existing Document Cloud offerings, prototyping, etc. However, most of my time there was dedicated to my final project titled "Moments of Delight in Documents".
Moments of Delight in Documents was my primary internship project (supervised by Sunandini Basu and guided by Nitish Maurya and Atal Pandey) with the DC team, where I was able to explore and prototype interactions that make creating and consuming documents a pleasurable experience. I had the opportunity to share my findings with the design team, PMs and stakeholders and get their valuable feedback. This was also a great opportunity for me to learn framer and front-end technologies like Vuejs, Paperjs etc.
Based on the discussions with my manager and mentors, we decided on the following approach for this project :
Understand what "delight" means in the context of "user experience" and how it can be induced in document creation/consumption through literature reviews and competitive analysis.
Identify areas where usability can be enhanced using journey maps, competitive analysis, and brainstorming with the design team.
Create a library of delightful interactions and clearly define the context in which they can be used.
Share all prototypes with the design team and improve them based on their feedback.
Aarron Walter of Mailchimp writes about the hierarchy of user needs in his book Designing for Emotion. It's similar to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but instead of describing our physiological, safety, love, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs, he describes our needs as users. He says that our digital products must first and foremost be functional - they must work to solve a problem. They also need to be reliable - they need to work every time. And they must be user-friendly - easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to remember. And finally, they need to be fun - that is, the user should feel positive emotions when using the product. So even tech giants like Adobe need to focus on delivering engaging products because if a user connects with a product on an emotional level, they will enjoy using it, remember it, and maybe even love it.
Study popular apps for reading, note-taking, collaborative content creation, and social networking and outline what makes them enjoyable to use.
Create journey maps for specific personas and identify areas where delight can be created.
Engage in conversations with the DC design team to learn more about their ongoing projects and brainstorm ideas for how we can create delight.
Stephanie Houde and Charles Hill in their post "What do Prototypes Prototype?" gave this definition of a prototype: any representation of a design idea, regardless of the medium. Only, in my case, the medium was digital devices, more specifically touch devices. In the same article, a model for prototypes is proposed.
refers to the question of the function that an artifact fulfills in a user's life, the way in which it is useful to them.
questions about the concrete sensory experience of using an artifact, what the user sees, feels, and hears while using it.
refers to questions about the techniques and components by which an artifact performs its function - the "inner workings" of how it actually works.
The prototypes I worked on were aimed at testing the role and look-and-feel. The implementation part required more time and feedback for every prototype and was a way to see how the project could be extended.
We decided on a process that was collaborative and feedback-driven:
Create wireframes and storyboards and solicit feedback from mentors.
Create high-fidelity prototypes.
Share them with additional members of the design team and improve them based on their feedback.
During the project, I was able to prototype 50+ ideas which address the following points :
Quick navigation to a section in a document.
For alerts, loading and transitions between states.
Micro-interactions and animations for a collaborative document.
Interactions that quickly inform the user of document changes.
Helping the user in finding more information related to a topic in the document.
The prototypes from this project are currently under NDA. If you are interested in seeing examples of my work from this project, please feel free to message me.