Designing for Phone Movement— UX Case Study

Sana Yusuf
3 min readAug 21, 2023

Organisation:


Client: Phone Pass

Phone Pass is an app that can help people uniquely identify their device based on the values provided by the accelerometer. It’s a prototype created for the clients who were trying to test out an interesting algorithm that would identify your phone based on it’s movement.

Project Overview

During my tenure at Ignite Solutions, I was tasked with an intriguing project that came with tight budget constraints and a 50-hour timeline. The challenge was to create a beta product that allowed users to interact with their phone’s accelerometer to gather unique data. The twist? Users had to move their phones in various directions to capture accelerometer readings.

Approach

My approach to this project involved collaboration with the client, research, prototype development, and user testing.

Collaboration and Research:
I organized workshops with the client to delve deep into the specifics of their algorithm and grasp their vision for the product. Through meetings and review of provided documentation, I defined the technical requirements and user expectations.

Idea Generation and Prototyping:
With the clock ticking, I brainstormed numerous creative concepts with my small team. From pouring water into a glass to controlling a spaceship, we explored multiple ideas to get the user engaged enough to go through the exercise. Eventually, we settled on a concept that involved a simple alignment interaction, drawing inspiration from the Apple leveling app.

User-Centric Experience Design
Our primary goal was to ensure an intuitive and engaging user experience while effectively collecting accelerometer data.

UX and UI Design

The user interface was intentionally kept clean and straightforward. I designed an interactive task that required users to align a blue line and a black border with a red line representing the horizon, using clear visual cues. The dynamic nature of the interaction, where phone movements directly influenced the alignment, added an element of engagement. The process was divided into six steps, encompassing distinct directions for a range of accelerometer data collection.

User Testing

To validate my design choices and gather insights for refinement, I conducted user tests through participants that were familiar and unfamiliar with the app’s purpose. Through careful observation, I gained valuable insights including identifying tendencies in how users held and manipulated their phones, differences between left-handed and right-handed people, and the degree to which users relied on instructions versus visual cues.

The user testing process also allowed me to identify potential pain points and usability challenges. By observing users in action, I was able to pinpoint areas where confusion arose or interactions were not as intuitive as anticipated.

Solutions and Outcome

The resulting solution, an alignment game, successfully engaged users while collecting vital accelerometer data for the client’s algorithm. The design’s interactive challenge encouraged users to stay engaged through all the six stages. Insights gathered from user testing enabled me to refine the user experience, such as adding feedback cues upon stage completion and ensuring gestures were intuitive and effective.

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Sana Yusuf

Digital Product Designer | Helping dreamers craft their MVP and create an online presence | www.sanayusuf.com