I added this project not just to showcase the work I did but also to serve as a reminder for the incorrect steps and processes I took (and vowed to never repeat them again).
I am adding this to my portfolio in order to share the lessons I learned and those are:
Take a step back and don’t jump right away.
I was super excited when I got this project, I felt that this was a great opportunity to start my freelance career again. Because of that over-excitement, I failed to clarify the goals, I failed to ask the right questions and did not do enough competitor research. While there were a project overview and use-case, I failed to grasp and understand the whole purpose of the app and its context. I was content on getting the insight from the client and not from actual users or target audience or from competitors. I remember when I showed the prototype to a friend, he asked me what the app is about. I just told him the definition of the app, I never fully understood its proper use-case and context of use.
The key to learning is feedback, lots of it.
Throughout the design process, there were only two people providing feedback - the client and me. Both of us were relying on our own insight and experience. We, correction, I, failed to see the biases in play - confirmation bias and availability bias.
Pop that bubble!
I wrapped myself fully in my design bubble. While creating the various screens, I failed to get insight and feedback from actual developers. When I have completed all the screens and I was meeting with a developer, he asked me a question which I could not answer clearly. It caught me completely off-guard because in my view I’ve gotten down all the details, which apparently was not the case. I just told him, I’ll get back to him on that. I never did.
I made this retrospective because I was not happy about the outcome of the project. While the client loved the designs, looking back, I failed to recognize a lot of my mistakes and my own biases. Making the client happy is not enough to justify a good work. I could have done better and I will do better with my future projects.
So what is the app all about? The Recommenders App is about recording and tracking people that can help your business, product or services grow. It’s all about the psychology of reciprocity which I have failed to understand early on. It's all about building and nurturing relationships with new and current customers.