BI & Out! - A User-Centered Redesign Project

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Before becoming a UX designer, I created a series of children books with the purpose of using my illustration skills and applying the knowledge of developmental psychology I acquired from my BA degree. As expected, I became critical of my work as my knowledge in user-centered design increased. That is when I decided to go back to the app I had created based on one of those books, to re-design its interface based on the needs of my users. The project will require further iteration, but given the constraints of my financial and time resources, this material serves the purpose of illustrating my approach to design.

About the App
I designed and developed Beautiful Inside and Out, the app, based on one of my children's books Beautiful!!! Inside and Out (BI & OUT) for toddlers and small children between the ages of 3 and 5.
Beautiful!!! Inside and Out, the book.
Sly, the main character of the book and app.
The goal of the app was entertaining children while also educating them. The app made emphasis on rhythmic sounds with the intention of helping small children develop their ability to identify them. The original app combined colorful pictures with words in a playful way, allowing children to interact with the ideas presented. 
Opening screen
Children could touch the screen, read or listen to the words, and discover the actions through the animations. In a way, children became co-creators of the actions they generated from the verses they read.
What did the App offered?

•Touch screen feature that plays great animations to capture children's attention and generate interaction.
•Easy "read to me" feature, optional on every page.
•Rhythmic sounds to help children learn and remember new words.
•Attractive illustrations and a unique character.
•A bilingual touch (English-Spanish) at the end of the book.
•A good message about authenticity and joy.
•Available in iPhone and iPad versions.
•Easy to use!

The Redesign of BI & OUT

In 2012 I designed and developed Beautiful Inside and Out for both iPhone and iPad. For the present project - the update and optimization of Beautiful Inside and Out - I also played all the roles within the complete design process, which I will describe below.
The purpose of this project

The purpose of this project is to deliver the best user experience - defined as the greatest satisfaction BI&Out’s users might get from interacting with the particular digital tool - within the time and budget available. In order to select the best combination of activities that will give me the outcome I need, I will work towards the answering of the following questions.

► Who is our user?
► Is the app’s content age appropriate to our target user?
► Does the app have all the essential features it needs to work properly?
► What issues require fixing?
► Is the application easy to use and learn?

The Strategy:
To accomplish my goal I went through the following steps using a variety of tools:
Empathize: In order to define who the BI & Out users were, I performed research (contextual research, expert reviews, personas). Based on the information, I built a persona to facilitate the design process.
Define Goals: Based on the information collected from the previous step, I defined the requirements for an optimum children’s app’s user experience. To do it, I used tools such as sketching, storyboarding and wire framing.

Create Solutions: Following the previous requirements I detected unsuitable properties and features and defined the corresponding design changes.

Redesign: I proceeded to make the required modifications on the final screens and re-coded all necessary changes.

Prototype: I used a prototype to test the app with selected users.

Validate: Since an important part of the user experience involves children handling the actual devices, it would be recommended to make another review and testing with the live app after it was launched. Then the project should be re-evaluated to learn how users responded to the new product features that I integrated into the design.

Redesign: I will re-design the app if the previous step indicates any need to iterate the product.

HOME screen.
HOME screen before modifications.
HOME screen after modification.
END screen.
END screen before modifications.
END screen after modifications.
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