Simon is a personal freelance AI assistant that helps with
organization and time management with projects.

Simon is an organizational platform that allows freelance workers to manage their projects and their relationship with several clients at once. The app is a personal assistant for freelancers in the creative industry. The goal of this app is to get freelancers more organized and help manage their projects. It functions quite similarly to having a personal assistant with the freedom of voice commands.

Click here to view Prototype

Tools - Sketch,Sketch, Illustrator, & Invison, Premiere

Duration - December 2019

My Role - Research, Art Direction, Designer, UX/UI, Illustrator

Team - Monique Lourenco Lopes (Me), Samatha Hansel, Channel Miller

Like our slogan says..
"Getting tasks done one by one, with the help of Simon!"

Understanding the Target Audience

⛔️ The problem

One of the problems we notice is freelance designers are trying to manage their time with school or work with there other freelance projects. Most freelancers will often rely on five different apps just to stay organized and attempt to time manage their projects. Sometimes it may feel impossible satisfy every client when on your own. The main challenge we will face is incorporating many functions within one app with a tight deadline. The challenge is how are we going to create an easier and more efficient experience for users using freelance & organizational app?

The Solution

Simon is your very own personal A.I freelance assistant that we decided to integrate into the app itself. This would help to solve the issue of juggling everything by yourself. He will be right by your side whenever you need a hand. This app will be the organizational tool you need to help keep track and assisting to problem areas such as scheduling meetings, organizing emails, sending invoices, etc... From where ever you are, you can summon Simon and ask him anything.

By formulating a benchmark analysis we decided to team up with Toggle, a time management app to save time and to use an app that many people are familiar with. 

 Process Work👇

Research & Emphasizing

As a student and freelancer, I understood the frustrations more designers face when it came to time management and tackling all the small components that cause stress. Although, I wanted to further understand the opinions of other freelance designers of all sectors. Therefore, our team created a PACT Analysis to help better visualize the scenario.

We also created a proposal tackling the 5W's and limitations, also a benchmark analysis

But, why a male AI?

Right from the get go, we wanted to create and make the AI a male assistant. Most of the AI's we interact with have a female voice command like Siri, or Alexa. This was brought to my attention at a design conference and inspired our group to test and research more into this concept of the difference between male and female AI's. A challenge we realized we would face is having to properly test our AI and receive feedback. We then used the DECIDE framework to create our user test plan which helped guide us.

User Personas

Mathew is a recent graduate design student and he is looking to freelance but is having trouble organizing his time with his busy schedule at his other job helping out the family raspberry farm business. He is looking to have an app that will help him organize his time  and help find different job postings near by. Also, Mathew is quite nervous looking for freelance jobs because he has never worked in freelancing before so having some sort of guid or navigation through the app to make things simpler or a country boy would help him out a lot.

Laura is a freelance graphic designer and student. She took a year off to travel but she still doesn’t want to leave her clients behind. Laura isn’t confident enough that she can manage enjoying some travel time while also staying on top of every project. She also doesn’t have the money to afford a personal assistant to keep her projects and invoices in order. Laura discovered an app that helps you organize your freelance work and makes multitasking a lot easier. She is able to access the app anywhere she goes and feels that she can rely on a tool to alert her when she needs to send out an email or if a project deadline is coming up.

Cynthia is a freelance photographer who works on personal projects as well as for several newspapers. She travels around North America for work often, and sometimes oversees. She is sick of searching through many many emails to find project briefs and client feedback when she is rushing between shoots and meetings. She does a lot of editing and communicating with clients from airports, where there is already a high level of stress. Convenience and organization are very important to Cynthia’s ability to do her job well and professionally.

Low Fidelity Sketches

This is the start planing stage of the using the MoSCoW rules to determine what must be included in the app as well as what should, could and want in the app to help prioritize our design process. 

We then started with some rough sketches of how the interface would look like such as the projects page, calendar page and what the A.I voice command would look like.

Interaction Map

Mid Fidelity Renders

We started by designing the functionality of the website with more detailed and visual mid-fidelity mockups. We made sure to do a thorough job in this process to assure an easy transition into the high fidelity mockups.
Adding a Project
Adding, Editing, & Completing Tasks
Staying in Contact with Clients
Planning with the Calendar

Creating the AI

We wanted Simon to embody what the typical designer would look like and someone reliable, with a face that users would not be hesitant to use for assistance. Our first attempt at the AI, we originally named him Jack. Although through conducting our user test we changed the name to Simon.

But how will we user test AI? 

We wanted Simon to embody what the typical designer would look like and someone reliable, with a face that users would not be hesitant to use for assistance. Our first attempt at the AI, we originally named him Jack. Although through conducting our user test we changed the name to Simon.

Too look at more of our research, check out our DECIDE Framework to help is create out scripts and check out our finding in out User Test Report.
First Attempt
Final AI

The Final Outcome

Easy and Fun Onboarding
We wanted our users to quickly understand all that the app can offer before signing up with four simple slides. We kept the copy minimal and incorporated illustrations to engage the user quickly.

A Worry-Free Projects Page
One of the common takeaways from our user research was that our buttons were very small and the overall appearance was dull. We elevated the projects' page by making the projects into colourful squares mimicking the look of sticky notes and increasing the size of all the elements. The projects page will tell users how far along they are, the deadline, and the title of the project.

Adding Tasks
We included all the basic essentials when it came to adding tasks within projects. We found this helped users overcome procrastination by breaking down each project into smaller steps. In return, users experience less stress when they take this stride.

All Your Emails in One Place
It can be confusing when you have emails coming in from different accounts, so we put them all in one place for you. Users can add clients and instantly, past threads and conversations between the user and their clients will appear in the email section.

Never Miss an Event
The calendar will let users know all their upcoming deadlines and events in the current and following week so they won't forget. Users have the option to put in their commute time so that the event can prepare them early to make any event on time.

Your Very Own Personal Assistant
Based on user feedback we modified Simon by making the background more transparent so that users can still connect to the app. Also Simon's messages along with the user's messages appear when responding so that the user knows if Simon is listening correctly. Within the settings of the app, users have the option to change the pitch of Simon's voice to be able to personalize their own assistant.

Branding a Fun Workflow & UI Kit

We believe that creating a flexible and joyful design language to strengthen the overall experience creates a meaningful relationship between our users and the app. We decided on vibrant colours that would appeal to our majority female audience along with a standard font that designers easily relate to and recognize. The brand concept was inspired by elements of project managing such as sticky notes.

To view the full style guide, click here.

Major Take Away

Working with a group of designers has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, learning, and solving problems through creative solutions.

There is something so beneficial and rewarding about working with a group because we are all collaborating on a project but we really get to know each other and how we work as well. We all kept each other balanced and pushed each other to produce the best work that we could do. Bouncing ideas and communicating thought the whole process was so needed and what helped us create the solution to our problem. It was am amazing experience collaborating with such beautiful and talented minds to create something great. ​

Throughout this project I have learned to question things more and really learn how to implement design thinking strategies into my work. I learned to create a Benchmark Analysis, PACT analysis, feedback analysis, MOSCOW rule and the DECIDE framework which really helped with the evolution of the app design.

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."

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