Noise is everywhere: it's in your newsfeed and inbox, on your headphones and on your phone screen. We're watching screens for the most part of our day, filling our brains with digital noise. Here at Lyyti, we want to do our part in trying to bring those noise levels down a bit - by creating a new user interface for Lyyti.
Over the past 11 years, Lyyti has developed layer by layer, always according to the needs of our users. Countless updates and new features have shaped Lyyti into the tool it is today: very versatile, but also quite complicated. The time has come to tidy up Lyyti's UI once and for all, to turn complexity into simplicity. We want to preserve the familiar Lyyti feel, but minimize unnecessary noise and confusion.
Before...We started planning the new UI pretty exactly a year ago. We've learned a lot along the way, especially about how our users use the product and what they need most from it. Here's a look into how we've gone about this planning process!
1. Our goal: To solve problems
When designing our new UI, the ultimate goal is to make things easier for the users. We want to make the system more intuitive, both for new users and for those who are already used to it. We also need to keep in mind that the structure of the new UI needs to be scalable. We want to be able to add new features in the future, in a way that's logical and user-friendly.
2. Collecting and cross-referencing information
We want to resolve the issues that most need resolving. Thanks to being so versatile and complex, Lyyti can be applied to various different projects and purposes. We needed to gain deeper understanding about how Lyyti is used and why.
Before we even started planning the design, we started collecting usage data and statistics from several different sources. We tried to pinpoint ovbious areas that needed improvement, as well as getting a picture of what's working well.
We also sent out a poll to our users, asking them to consider their own experiences with Lyyti. We asked our users about their feelings regarding the existing UI, and what they thought needed to be changed or improved. Key points that stood out on the improvement wishlist were: how to move back and forth between events, reduction of the amount of links in the sidebar menu and clarification of the difference between navigation between all events and navigation within an event.
It was clear from the very start that we needed to rethink the entire architecture of the Lyyti UI. The purpose of sound information architecture is to organise information in such a way that it's as easy as possible to find. In what order should items be in the navigation? Is one menu enough or do we need two? How should we group items together? What are the best terms to be used in the menu link texts? In order to answer these questions we conducted our first ever card sorting test: we gave our fellow Lyyti employees a bunch of cards with different words and Lyyti terminology on them and asked everybody to individually sort the cards under titles in the context and order they felt made the most sense. A great way to clarify and visualize how a Lyyti user thinks!
3. Iterate, then iterate some more
Iteration is everything. Once we had enough data on the aspects we should be focusing on in the new UI, we began drawing up wireframes of what the new UI might look like. This, too, involved the entire company, as we created two different versions and let the gang choose their favourite. We got a lot of input and feedback from the test users, that we then fed into countless iterations of the chosen version.
The next step was to write the code for an actual functioning UI that a larger test user group could start exploring as soon as possible. The feedback collection and iteration continues to this day, because after all, our users know best what works best for them.
There is a unique user experience behind every username. Sometimes you can just feel that something about a UI isn't quite right, event though you can't put a finger on it. We're hell bent on fine tuning a UI that's intuitive and easy to use for as many of you as possible. You'll be able to tell if something is really smooth or if something is a bit off, so we're looking forward to receiving feedback from you in either case. That's why we sincerely hope you want to jump on the change to try out the new UI as soon as it becomes available to you. Thank you for your help!
Written by Emmi Aaltonen, UI & UX Designer at Lyyti