Addressya is a mobile app and a system that makes it possible to register a precise, complete and easy to use address and share it with individuals, businesses and authorities. Addressya is currently used in African countries where the current infrastructure doesn't include street names, post codes etc.
When Karoline, the co-founder of Addressya, approached me she knew of an existing problem: there are many places around the world with no formal addressing system. She had worked in countries like Uganda in the past and had first hand experience on how hard it is to find a place with no address. She had a rough idea on how to solve the problem and needed a UX designer to help her turn this problem and her idea into a lovable product. Karoline had collected feedback from people all around the world by sending out a survey. Using this feedback and her own personal experience I started creating the first rough sketches of a potential product.
After many iterations based on collected feedback, the MVP ended up looking nothing like these initial sketches. But it was a starting point for user testing and it helped create a shared vision within the existing team and new team member that joined soon after.
The first target market was decided to be East Africa. Despite the feedback already collected we all knew there were still many question unanswered. How big is the market? How do people manage at the moment without addresses? Would they think our solution is needed? How tech savvy are our potential users? What existing technology is there that we can use (smartphones, 3G network)? And these were just few of our questions. The next goal was to conduct a field study as soon as possible. In collaboration with the developer we created a very fast and rough prototype of the iterated sketches I had created, to test it in East Africa.
My main responsibility at the time was to plan the field tests and train the rest of the team on how to conduct them independently. I created a scenario on how to demonstrate the prototype, interview questions as well as a feedback collection system. I then trained the team by organising mock tests where they participated as the user researchers. The goal was for every team member to feel confident to conduct user tests and collect feedback for maximum efficiency.
At the same time I was responsible for designing and producing marketing and communications material like brochures, stickers and business cards that would help us explain what we do and broaden our local network during the field trip.
During the field trip we spent 2 weeks in Uganda and Rwanda. Our daily schedule was full of meetings with potential partners and local authorities and a lot of guerrilla testing. We tested the prototype with business owners in their stores, with boda boda drivers (motorcycle taxis) on their mopeds, with the head of the Postal services in Uganda at his office, with a radio celebrity by lake Victoria and a lot more. The feedback we collected was extensive and extremely promising. The need was verified and now it was time to build the actual product.
Coming back from Africa we had loads of feedback that needed to be sorted and processed. I guided the team through different workshops where we transformed the feedback into personas, user stories and then potential features of the app and the back-end system.
Being the only UX designer in the team made me realise how important it was to involve the whole team in the design process. After designing a 2h long workshop that was inspired by the Design Sprint and other ideation methods we started designing the app. I was facilitating one such workshop every other week focusing on small parts of the functionality. The whole team was participating and after 2 hours we had another part of the app sketched out. The workshops were highly appreciated by the team that had a very active role in creating the app and at the same time gave me a lot of material to use while I was creating a clickable prototype of the MVP.
After each design workshop I used the material produced to design the first clickable prototype. I was working in an Agile way in alignment with the development team. Every two weeks I would add another part of the functionality, test it, iterate it and I then handed it over to the developers. I also created a simple shared design system to make sure the developers had all the assets they needed and that the brand identity was maintained through the different parts of the app.
To begin with due to limited time and resources, I created a simple shared design system to make sure the developers had all the assets they needed and that the brand identity was maintained through the different parts of the app. At the same time I started designing a full scale Design System for future use. After conducting background and technical research, I had interviews with the development team to understand how to structure it in an effective way. I then created some first sketches that I handed over to the person responsible after I left Addressya.
Addressya had now launched in Uganda and Rwanda and has raised significant capital. At the beginning of 2020 the app had a growing end user base of 75 000 users.