Jesse Alexander Design

Case Studies

Ramen Head

Making it easy for ramen lovers everywhere to get a better instant experience

thinkful ux|ui flex — product design, user research, user testing

Ramen lovers generally get frowned upon in the culinary society. Generally the ones who like instant noodles. Why do they prefer them though? They provide a quick and easy meal for those on limited time. I conducted research on how many ramen lovers rely on long winded recipe websites.

Through this research I discovered a lot of ramen lovers enjoy sprucing up their ramen with easy household ingredients such as egg, cilantro, and chili paste. Certainly there must be more recipes and easy ingredients to use. How do I aggregate them in one place?

I came up via this research the app, Ramen Head. This app will simple down the time soaking process by having it on one easy to use interface. It will also pull from other recipe websites and find the most popular ramen recipes. Saving the user time, and having a way to easily sort through numerous websites.

My Role

User Researcher 
User Interviewer 
User Flow 
Persona Creation 
Wireframes 
UI Prototyping
Branding/ Visual Designer 
Usability Testing 
Interaction 
Design

Timeline

8 Weeks

Tools Used

Figma
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
IOS Kits

The Problem

Ramen is a cheap meal for those in need of time, but now does one make it better?

People love ramen, especially those on short time. However, plain instant ramen can be kind of boring? Not everyone knows how to do so with a few basic ingredients around the house. Additionally, not  everyone has to time to look it up.

Solution

Creating an app that will not only be easy to use for all skill levels, but will also save a lot of time in the kitchen who those need to wind down for the day. Or just making a tasty snack.

Double Diamond Process

I employed the Double Diamond process in the design of the In Ramen Head app. Initially, research was conducted to comprehend eaters needs and pinpoint pain points. With the collected insights, I framed the problem and delineated essential features like an easy , to gather these recipes without scrolling endlessly on google.

My MVP final solution came down to in a hurry and tired eaters need a quick way to get a quality meal in without spending too much time.

Research Plan

As a solo practitioner, I initiated the research process for our project by defining clear objectives, identifying potential challenges, and crafting a plan for their mitigation. This included the development of a comprehensive User Research Plan, which served as my roadmap for conducting my discovery phase.

Discovery

SWOT Analysis

The next step involved conducting a SWOT Analysis, where I assessed our main competitors to understand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This information was crucial for identifying areas of improvement, seizing opportunities, and navigating potential challenges. The SWOT Analysis provided deeper insights into the market and guided our decision-making process for the project. 

Immi

Strengths

  • Well known brand
  • Lot’s of recipes

Weakness

  • Having to navigate the whole site to get a recipe
  • Known brand, pushes their product too hard

Opportunities

  • Steer away from leaning towards own brand
  • Easy recipe list
  • Only has their recipe list
  • Make an app

Threats

  • Known brand
  • Good recipes
  • Great branding

Maruchan

Strengths

  • Well known brand
  • Lot’s of recipes

Weakness

  • Having to navigate the whole site to get a recipe
  • Known brand, pushes their product too hard
  • Not a lot of recipes

Opportunities

  • Steer away from leaning towards own brand
  • Easy recipe list
  • Only has their recipe list
  • Make an app
  • Known brand
  • Good recipes
  • Everyone’s first cup’o’noodles

User Surveys

Through a user survey and questionnaire, I’ve discovered a prevalent trend – people frequently indulge in ramen. What’s more, they relish the idea of enhancing their instant noodles with flavorful toppings to elevate their dining experience.

Personas

Via the research conducted above I created two user personas whom I feel are the ideal target audience for Ramen Head. Busy person with not so much time in the kitchen, who still has a taste for flavor that isn’t in a packet.

Userflow

Wireframes

BRAINstorming the Ramen Head app on paper proved immensely helpful to plan out how that app would flow on paper. It provided a visual representation of the app’s layout and flow, allowing me to ensure its usability and accessibility for all users. By creating quick sketches, I could gather early feedback and make any necessary changes before moving forward with the visual design. This helped streamline the design process and save valuable time and resources. Take a look at my wireframe in action.

Moodboard and Color Theory

The moodboard and color scheme were inspired by every day ramen additive favorites. Additionally, I always feel like earth tones are comforting and I hope the user does too. I think they will.

Hi-Fi Prototype

The working prototype of what will be the best app for instant noodle lovers world round! Through all of the quantative research, and trail I am proud of this prototype. It is a happy day to be a RAMEN HEAD.

If you would like to see more user research case studies I have done, check out the rest of my Case Studies on this page, or check out the artwork on my home page! Contact information can be found there or on my resume linked here.

BUSSIN Travel Application

A viable approach to streamline the complexities of bus commuting.

thinkful ux|ui flex — product design, user research

Everyday bus commutes often bring frustration and inconvenience, stemming from missed buses, prolonged waits due to delays, or mistakenly boarding the wrong bus. In response to these issues, I undertook extensive research employing methods like surveys and interviews to better grasp the requirements and anticipations of bus passengers.

This research culminated in the creation of Bussin, a solution crafted to streamline the process of catching buses and elevate the overall commuting experience. The Washington metropolitan area’s transportation agency is preparing to introduce a mobile app aimed at enhancing the bus riding experience.

The app will offer up-to-the-minute bus arrival updates for the Washington and State bus stop, a bustling intersection serving multiple bus routes. This represents an enhancement over the existing system of displaying bus schedules on websites and at bus stops, promising passengers a more precise and user-friendly experience.

My Role

User Researcher 
User Interviewer 
User Flow 
Persona Creation 
Wireframes 
UI Prototyping
Branding/ Visual Designer 
Usability Testing 
Interaction 
Design

Timeline

8 Weeks

Tools Used

Figma
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
IOS Kits

The Problem

Enhancing the Commuter Experience on Minneapolis Buses

Minneapolis’ public transportation agency grapples with the task of delivering a dependable and user-friendly transit experience to its passengers. The current system, featuring bus schedules posted on both the website and at bus stops, falls short in terms of accuracy and clarity, resulting in passenger frustration and missed connections.

Solution

Creating a transit app for Minneapolis that would provide real-time information about bus arrival times at the Washington and State stop. The app would also cater to the unique needs of its residents and visitors by allowing them to plan their routes, track their bus in real-time, and purchase their tickets directly from their smartphones.

Double Diamond Process

I employed the Double Diamond process in the design of the In Route bus app. Initially, research was conducted to comprehend riders’ needs and pinpoint pain points. With the collected insights, I framed the problem and delineated essential features like trip planning, ticket purchasing, and real-time bus tracking. Subsequently, a series of iterations led to the generation of ideas and the development of prototypes, which were refined through user testing to ensure a user-friendly and inclusive app. This is my MVP of the Bussin Bus App.

The integration of payment and GPS systems into the app was executed with an unwavering focus on the user experience. Throughout the entire journey, I maintained a user-centered approach, continually refining the design based on valuable feedback from riders. By adhering to the Double Diamond process, I successfully created a bus app that delivers a positive and enjoyable experience for all users.

Research Plan

As a solo practitioner, I initiated the research process for our project by defining clear objectives, identifying potential challenges, and crafting a plan for their mitigation. This included the development of a comprehensive User Research Plan, which served as my roadmap for conducting the research.

Discovery

SWOT Analysis

The next step involved conducting a SWOT Analysis, where I assessed our main competitors to understand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This information was crucial for identifying areas of improvement, seizing opportunities, and navigating potential challenges. The SWOT Analysis provided deeper insights into the market and guided our decision-making process for the project.

Moovit

Strengths

  • Live location tracking
  • Subway, Uber, and Lyft options

Weakness

  • Live location tracking is confusing in which direction the user is facing
  • Too many advertisements

Opportunities

  • Less ads for a more user friendly experience
  • Live updates on paid fares

Threats

  • Live tracking
  • Transit options other than the city bus
  • Favorite stations
  • Pay for tickets ahead of time

Citymapper

Strengths

  • Costs of bus tickets displayed
  • Accessibility information for each terminal for Handicapped users

Weakness

  • Pay walls for the more interesting features
  • Cannot purchase tickets in app

Opportunities

  • A more feature rich experience without paying for the premium package
  • Enable in-app ticket purchases

Threats

  • More advanced features than other apps regardless of pay wall
  • Advanced notifications based on location of desired transit
  • Accessibility options

As a student working on this project solo, I decided to do a survey to dig into what bus commuters really need and what bugs them. I sent out the survey through social media, at bus stops, and just chatting with people I know. The feedback I got was a big help in figuring out what’s not working, what people like, and what could make things better. I asked about stuff like how they use buses, if they find the bus a slow option of transportation, and if they find the bus convenient. Later own I followed up with a feedback box for improvements they would like to see. Additionally, I asked their age range for demographic research. My user survey for this project can be found here.

Personas

By building personas I further drew out what the users will need. In this case, a reliable and timely way to take the bus in their local area. Meet Paul Paulsen and Nina Ninason.

Userflow

Wireframes

Wireframing played a crucial role in developing the bus app. It provided a visual representation of the app’s layout and flow, allowing me to ensure its usability and accessibility for all users. By creating low-fidelity wireframes, I could gather early feedback and make any necessary changes before moving forward with the visual design. This helped streamline the design process and save valuable time and resources.

Moodboard and Color Theory

The cool tones are to sooth the passengers who may be stressed regarding thier commute. As long as you have an app with a reliable timing locally, why worry what is ahead? Red alerts though, in case of emergency.

Medium Fidelity Prototype

My working medium-fi prototype for Bussin. Feel free to take a look! The link to the prototype is below.

If you would like to see more user research case studies I have done, check out the rest of my Case Studies on this page, or check out the artwork on my home page! If you would like to find out more about my creative process, check out my contact links below.