Reminder X: To-do List and Reminder App


This assignment involved envisioning ourselves working with a software startup that had created a to-do list and reminder app for iPhone and Android. We were tasked to help this fictional startup figure out what users to focus on, what problems they needed solved, and how to solve them.

The project included creating a proposal, conducting, analyzing, and synthesizing user research, and iterating from low to medium-fidelity wireframes and workflows.

Project Objectives

  • Conduct user research to discover who the target users were, what they needed from the product, and create design tenets to reflect the reseach findings.
  • Create low-fidelity sketched workflows and wireframes for the app.
  • Iterate the design based on critique and feedback from team mates.
  • Create a digital mock up and annotate the design.

User Research

After creating a research protocol, I recruited and interviewed a total of four participants to understand how they create reminders and to-do list items and what their needs and pain points are. Each participant was interviewed via a recorded phone session, and they answered a series of questions.

These questions were constructed to collect data about basic demographics, how users currently create to-do and reminder items, when, where, how, and for whom they create them, and for what types of items they create them.

After recording the interview sessions, I then reviewed them and took notes. An analysis was then performed by first grouping similar quotes together to identify the most prominent needs, wants, and pain points of the participants. The primary method for analysis and synthesis of the findings was the use of an affinity diagram.

Recommendations have been made based on the analysis and synthesis of this data, followed by the creation of a user persona and design tenets.

Findings and Recommendations

The primary target users. The analysis of the data reveals that the target user of the ReminderX application should be working professionals in their 30-40s, many of whom have young children to care for in addition to working full-time.

Increase options for the organization and categorization of reminders. Three of the four users need to not only create reminders for themselves, but also for other co-workers and family members. Allowing using to create and assign categories based on who the reminder is for (i.e., reminding a parent about an upcoming appointment or an employee about a meeting) and what type of reminder (i.e., work or personal).

Add an enterprise option to the development roadmap. I recommend developing a desktop application soon that compliments the mobile version. Research showed a need for syncing from a central point in a business in which all users can access from their mobile applications. The current problem for some participants in doing this was that their organization lacked the budget for the software that was currently available. An affordable alternative to the software that currently exists could prove profitable because this type of enterprise-level app is not an option in the current competition that is providing personal use reminder and to-do applications.

Increase completion and automation of tasks without leaving the application. When a user assigns a task or reminder for another person, this option should allow for some automation options. One of the participants often sends an email to co-workers to remind them of upcoming work assignments after they enter the task item into an application on their mobile device. Cutting out the additional steps of sending separate emails, texts, or making calls after entering the item in the ReminderX application will increase efficiency for users and reduce the time it takes them to create to-do list items and event reminders.

Give users more freedom to customize the application. The majority of current to-do and event reminder apps on the market to not allow users to personalize the application based on stylistic choices such as fonts and colors. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to allow the user to create personalized profiles because new functions will allow them to sync with the profile of other users.

Provide additional security and privacy protection. Users should have the option to password-protect specific reminders that might contain sensitive information. This will allows users to manage more information within the same application and which will create a more streamlined and efficient experience.

Design Tenets

  • Get to know the user. The ReminderX application should have the ability to learn a user’s most frequent input items and provide shorts-cuts or simple replication of repeated actions.
  • Prioritize user privacy and security. Ensure that privacy and security are always a priority of the ReminderX application by providing additional measures such as password protection for specific to-dos and reminders as needed or for the entire application.
  • Prioritize the accessibility of the application. Users should be able to utilize the ReminderX application regardless if they suffer from a disability or impairment.
  • Offer a premium pro and enterprise versions of ReminderX. It is essential to provide premium features for power users and businesses to maintain a sustainable product that can be sufficiently supported and developed.
  • Create tooltips and hints that users can easily access at a later point. Create a seamless experience for first-time users and those that are switching from an existing competitor application. The faster users understand our product, the more likely they are to continue using it.
  • Don’t overdesign the application. Keep the ReminderX design simple and let users customize the look of their application in the way that they would like.

Initial Workflows and Wireframes

Getting Started
Create a Reminder
Create a Contact
Share an Existing Reminder

Revised Workflows and Wireframes

Getting Started – Revised
Create a Reminder – Revised
Creating a Contact – Revised
Shared a Reminder – Revised

Lessons Learned

  • Interviewing users was not nearly as intimidating of a task as I thought it would be.
  • Sythesizing information gathered during interviews was much more time consuming and challenging than conducting the interviews themselves.
  • These were some of the first interviews I ever conducted with users, and when I first realized I might have a preference for UX research among existing UX disciplines.