A UX Research project for a mobile app that tracks skin health through AI imaging and habit tracking.
Skinary is a mobile app that helps people visualize a 360 view of their skin through AI imaging and habit tracking. I was tasked with finding unique insights on competing apps and features focused on behavioral change. While researching, a popular brand launched a similar product with an identical offer. As a result my focus shifted to helping uncover market placement for Skinary.
Skinary needs a solid foundation for their product launch given the emerging competition. Since the primary competition is from established brands Skinary wanted to drill down on their audience and the product offer.
My focus here was on analyzing the relationship between users and their skin. I was equipped with findings from previous user interviews conducted a month prior to me starting this research project. Skinary crowdsourced feedback from over 200 people ranging from ages 18-40+. There were 3 key questions surrounding skin health, features and their impression of an app for skin. From there I conducted a thematic analysis to help me identify the nuances in user interpretation. While analyzing the research I discovered demographic insights which greatly influenced the development of user personas.
More than half of Gen Z's focused their requests on habit tracking features. While Millennials were more concerned with skincare retail.
Marketing to Gen Z is likely to be different because they are more pragmatic on the internet VS millennials who are more idealistic — Heike Young "Millenials vs Gen Z: How are they different?" Salesforce, 2020
The persona guide presents two different user types, Hyper and Lazy. It helps visualize deeper insight into the behavior, attitude and motivations behind users and their skin. Through this I discovered how a user type might interact with the app given their attributes.
I then used the Association Game to derive themes from each feature mentioned and categorize them at a high-level being mindful of the question "How might I associate this feedback with the design?" This helped specify a high-level Product Roadmap.
The Competitive Analysis set the tone for the rest of the project. I discovered that Neutrogena came out with a similar product. They offered the same feature that was Skinary's key differentiator, a 360 view of skin. I then conducted a Feature Analysis on their app and several other skin-related apps. I assessed how their features lived within the user flow and how the apps offer was positioned.
I found that while many of the apps behaved the same their interface appeared either clinical, gamey, or under designed. I needed a business overview of the apps so I did a market analysis to assess their market positioning.
I critiqued the difference across each app and compared it to Skinary. Finding that more than half of the competing companies had development backgrounds. This highlighted the clear difference in those designing from deep tech versus deep skin.
Connecting the User, Competition, Market and Product
I needed to find various ways to help Skinary differentiate. I did this through a Hybrid Analysis which helps connect elements to evolve the product. What I now know is:
Creating a launch pad for product maturity
These insights helped us think about how to mature the product.
Suggestion 1. The origin story and visual identity of Skinary is hard to duplicate. Creating a well branded onboard environment will uniquely show how Skinary educates users on their skin health. It would also serve as a habit forming system informing users of the apps core functions.
Suggestion 2. Users need a "go-to feature" for their breakouts because they are active throughout the day. Adding a feature like camera stabilizer to the Skin Scanning Selfie could improve the features experience.
Suggestion 3. Prompting users to allow push notifications after they've been given an app tour will aid in keeping Skinary top of mind for users. Non-intrusive alerts can be resolved by showing users how to take advantage of location-based alerts in their iPhone settings to control relevance and frequency.
The origin story and brand identity are hard to duplicate. By creating an organically branded product, Skinary's market position stands out. Creating a habit forming system through onboard can allow them to gain user preference. Product maturity, strategic design and keeping pulse on specific audiences will help Skinary stand out from even the biggest of competition.
Download the iOS App here
I conducted a usability test with this prototype to help evaluate the design, flow and overall usability. I was then able to iterate on the prototype after synthesizing the test findings in an affinity map.
Top feedback included
The end to-end-design process created a space for me to stress test my system. It forced me to keep it simple from a design and user perspective. Although combining various UX disciplines means connecting more dots. It's also an invite to keep simplicity at the forefront of design.