Enabling simple management of powerful Android security features

Project: Google Play Protect
Client: Google
Year: 2017

CHALLENGE: Design a management interface to simplify the management of harmful apps across enterprise Android devices.

RESULT: An intuitive dashboard that facilitates at-a-glance security visualisation and management.

Google Play Protect is software integrated into every Android device, making it the most widely deployed mobile threat protection service in the world. It secures 2 billion Android users, and scans and verifies more than 50 billion apps daily.

I planned and led the design of the Google Play Protect Admin Dashboard from the initial planning and facilitation of a ‘Google Ventures Design Sprint’ [1] workshop with stakeholders through to the final research sessions with participants across a number of different countries. Selecting an approach to address the requirements of the project I chose ‘Lean UX’, a philosophy which mandates “a technique, born out of Toyota’s manufacturing model, that works in alignment with Agile development methods. It aims to reduce waste and provide value. Essentially, lean UX combines the solution-based approach of design thinking with the iteration methods which compound Agile.” [2]

Following the initial GV Design Sprint workshop an initial high level design was created and a Lean UX approach was then adopted. Through each iteration of the design the fidelity increased as it was shared with both stakeholders (via Google’s internal ‘Gallery’ tool which allowed stakeholders to leave comments on the designs) and users to acquire feedback and validation. This Lean UX process allowed fast iteration with external and internal validation at regular points.

Since the cycles within Lean UX are rapid it lends itself to an efficient process which lessens waste and provides a focus on producing a Minimum Viable Product or ‘MVP’, thusly: Create the minimum required product, research it with users and stakeholders, learn from this, then iterate until the product is at a point where it can be released in its initial form.

Employing this iterative method reduced both technical and design debt, increased the transfer of knowledge across teams, improved overall performance, and allowed the shipping of a user-centered product providing shared value across the client.

First mockup following the design sprint. Created in one hour to garner feedback from stakeholders and provide direction.

By extending the application of core Lean UX principles, bottlenecks such as bureaucracy and an over-reliance on deliverables and documentation was replaced with an efficient, iterative process.

The culmination of over 7 iterated versions.
  1. https://www.gv.com/sprint/
  2. https://uxplanet.org/lean-ux-how-to-get-started-bb3771697e2

Offering an innovative and convenient loyalty card app experience

Project: Yoyo Wallet Native App
Client:  Yoyo Wallet
Year: 2013

CHALLENGE: Design and research an innovative and convenient loyalty card UI which could be used by time-limited consumers and increase brand loyalty whilst reducing the administrative overhead on retailers.

RESULT: Yoyo received significant investment following the new design (over £12 million pounds in round B funding). The app tested very well and users found it intuitive and more fun to use than traditional loyalty cards. Caffe Nero went on to adopt the Yoyo platform for their own digital loyalty card scheme.

Yoyo payments was an early-to-market payments app which successfully executed on the idea of a digital loyalty card. I led the design of both the native app for the consumer experience and the website and app for the admin experience.

Consumer experience

The consumer experience incorporated best practice design approaches (for the time, in 2013) and had to account for radical changes in Apple’s iOS as they shifted to a more minimal, or ‘flat’, design eschewing the previous skeuomorphic approach they had taken. For example, the payment screen was originally designed to be opened with a swipe gesture from the bottom of the screen, however, Apple decided to use this gesture as a system-wide method of pulling up often used system settings so the design had to be adapted, despite testing well in research with that method. UX research was undertaken often with students at Imperial College who were involved in financing and supporting the development of the app. This allowed for quick and dirty hallway-intercept testing and allowed the acquisition of feedback quickly throughout iterations.

Figure 1 – Wireframe: Home screen logged out
Figure 2 – Wireframe: Home screen logged in
Figure 3 – Wireframe: Pay screen
Figure 4 – UI design: Homescreen logged in
Figure 5 – UI design: Company screen

Admin experience

Subsequent to designing the consumer experience I moved onto undertaking research and then designing an experience for admins who would be comprised of restaurant owners, cafe owners, and other shops participating in the Yoyo rewards experience. The admin panel would allow them to view data and visualisations showing metrics such as sales, rewards redeemed, number of customers using the app, and the date, time and location of purchases and redemptions.

Figure 6 – UI design: Dashboard home

UX research

Usablity testing was undertaken from the start of the project and continued through each design iteration. Being in a partnership with Imperial College allowed for an easily accessible audience of students as research subjects on an ad-hoc basis. Concurrent think-aloud protocol was utilised using a hallway-intercept (guerilla) recruitment model. This research proved essential in testing hypotheses around the design method and elaborating on other aspects of the design approach and features.


Figure 7 – Paymentweek article
Figure 8 – TechCrunch article

Making configuring a laptop simpler with innovative controls and filtering

Project: Sony Vaio Laptop Selector
Client: Sony/iris Digital
Year: 2008

CHALLENGE: Simplify the information architecture of Sony’s laptop selector to move away from long lists of technical items and offer a more intuitive and enjoyable user experience.

RESULT: A simplified laptop selector which still offers the same amount of laptop selections but centred on the lifestyle and requirements of the end user not lists of technical items.

FEATURED ON: http://www.wireframeshowcase.com/wireframes/detail/sony_vaio_laptop_selector

Sony wanted to move away from the design approach most laptop configurators used at the time, which involved long lists of options predicated upon a degree of technical knowledge. These laptop configurators, such as Dell’s for example, had dozens and dozens of expanding options without any real explanation of the tangible benefit to the end user. Sony had identified that their Vaio laptop customers were more concerned with where and how they would user their laptop as well as the size of their screen.

Figure 1 – Entry points

It was identified that the site should have two channels which overlap – online and in-store, these channels were mapped out in the entry points diagram shown in figure 1. Sony envisioned that a user could configure a laptop online and then recall the details on a kiosk in-store or conversely they could start an order in-store and complete it there; or they could recall the details at home and complete the purchase online. This was an innovative approach at the time when many major retailers did not have online reservation services and in-store kiosks.

Figure 2 – Wireframe of one of the online configurator screens

Analsysing Sony’s audience demographics through the use of personas as well as their channel approach strategy allowed an analysis of potential deisgn approaches and key content requirements. Initial designs were iterated through hallway-intercept usability testing and modified to address any areas where research identified usability issues. One of the final wireframes is shown in figure 2.