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ClayLab Current UI.png

Current ClayLab App UI

ClayLab

Add A Feature Case Study

ClayLab is the leading iOS digital diary to assist ceramicists in tracking their projects and processes. As a hobby ceramicist and ClayLab user myself, I recognize opportunities for improvement and expansion within the app. This case study is a presentation of my proposed feature updates for the ClayLab mobile app. 

My Role

UX Designer, Researcher

Tools Used

Figma, Adobe Illustrator, Google Suite

Duration

June 2023 - July 2023

My Goals

1

Research and empathize with real ClayLab users to determine problems they face.

2

Ideate features to make ClayLab a more inclusive platform for ceramicists using forming methods other than wheelthrowing.

3

Design features that will embed smoothly within the existing ClayLab application.

Design Process

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Research & Empathize

Understanding the User

ClayLab is made for ceramicists, ranging from hobbyists to professionals. Ceramicists use a variety of forming methods that fall under the following three categories: wheelthrowing, handbuilding, and slip casting. It is important to note that these methods overlap, and many ceramicists use a combination of methods. 

Wheelthrowing Card.png
Handbuilding Card.png
Slipcasting Card.png

User Surveys & Insights

As part of my research, I surveyed 10 ceramicists at Bozeman Community Kiln, my local ceramics studio. l gathered the following insights:

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Frame 101.png
Frame 102.png

Gathering & Mapping Feedback

I used the following resources to gather user feedback:

• App Store User Reviews
• ClayLab Facebook Group
• Insights from the developers of ClayLab

I created an affinity map of customer reviews and comments to determine common pain point themes. I identified the following as priority user pain points:

  1. The app is not functional for handbuilding
     

  2. Important recordkeeping features are lacking

Competitive Analysis

I compared competitor app features for potential improvement opportunities, keeping user pain points at the center of my research.

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Pottery Log.png
Pottery Notes.png

Define

Project Scope & Constraints

Recognition Over Recall.png
Refresh Not Redesign.png
Inclusive Terminology.png
Usability Testing.png

Problem Statements

Two researched-backed problem statements were created to ensure user focused solutions.

Priority #1

Ceramicists need features that adapt to all forming methods (wheelthrowing, handbuilding, and slip casting) in order to accurately document their process.

Priority #2

ClayLab users need a faster, easier way to record and store detailed project information in one location, ensuring access for future reference.

Ideate

How Might We

Using the HMW framework to generate ideas, I brainstormed potential solutions.

ClayLab HMW (1).png

Sketching & Planning

Next, I began sketching potential solutions, mapping information architecture, and planning user flows . I challenged myself to develop a minimum of 5 versions for each feature, pushing myself to ideate multiple solutions.

Wireframes.png

Site Map

I mapped the existing product, as well as my proposed feature updates.

Site Map.png

Design

UI Design

I designed and reconfigured UI elements to follow ClayLab’s current style guide.

UI Design.png

Hi-Fi Mockups

After my sketch and flow ideas were refined, I designed high fidelity mockups of each flow screen. These mocks ups were linked together to create a set of cohesive prototypes.

Hi-Fi Mocks.png

Prototype

Prototyping Design Solutions

I prototyped three categories of proposed feature updates, providing solutions for my research-backed problem statements. 

• Modifying Stages

• Recordkeeping Features

• Duplicate Piece

Solution 1:
Modifying Stages

By adding and modifying stage names, ClayLab becomes more inclusive to ceramicists using forming methods other than wheelthrowing (solution for problem statement #1). 

Stages_Before.png
BEFORE
(Current Home Screen)

The existing stages are using terminology limited to wheelthrowing methods.

Stages_After.png
AFTER
(Proposed Home Screen)

By adding and modifying Idea, Formed, and Trimmed/Decorated stages ClayLab is more inclusive and useful to a wider range of ceramicists.

Stages Explained.png

New Stage: Idea

View the input an idea flow demonstration below or interact with the Figma prototype.

Forget Not

Preparation and brainstorming are foundational steps in the creative process. Long periods of time can often pass before an idea becomes a physical project.

Make It Your Own

The new Idea stage is a place for users to input their ideas, notes, sketches, inspiration, etc. for future reference.

Document Your Process

Allows users to record their entire creative process in one location, from beginning to end.

Solution 2:
Recordkeeping Features

Currently the Notes Section is a catchall for information not in the user flow.


By adding the following input fields users are able to record important project details more quickly, without the inconvenience of typing in the Notes Section.

 

  • Forming Method

  • Form Type

  • Decoration Technique

  • Firing Info

  • Selling Price

View the proposed recordkeeping features demo below or interact with the Figma prototype.

Recordkeeping Features:
A Closer Look

Browse the recordkeeping features

Solution 3:
Duplicate Piece

Duplicate Piece is a proposed new feature, helping users save time and more easily keep accurate records.

View the proposed duplicate piece feature demo below or interact with the Figma prototype.

Copy Past Projects

Duplicate Piece allows users to input a new project by copying the information from an existing piece.

Save Time

Enables users to save time and quickly input information for frequent pieces, instead of navigating through each setting individually.

Choose Photos

Choose to copy photos into the new duplicate piece or continue without photos.

Duplicate Piece.png

Test

Testing Limitations

Due to the nature of these feature additions, user testing will be most effective if conducted with current users.

On account of limited time and access to existing users, I did not have the opportunity to complete a usability test.

 

Alternatively, I’ve prepared the plan and script for usability testing. This test is intended to be conducted as a moderated usability test. 

Usability Test Plan & Script

Next Steps & Reflections

Next Steps & Considerations

Share with the Developers of ClayLab

  • I will share this case study with the developers of ClayLab. My solutions have the potential to serve as answers or inspiration for future updates.

 

Usability Testing & Iterations

  • Developer feedback and timeline depending, I may perform usability testing and continue to iterate on my design solutions.
     

Future Considerations

From my research findings, the following are potential user feedback trends to explore:

  • Glaze recordkeeping

  • Cross-device functionality

  • Further advancements of firing information (kiln, temperature, cones, duration, etc.)

  • Sharing ability between ClayLab users

Reflections

Mindful of Development

  • Throughout this case study, I was mindful of development teams and the backend work that goes into creating a product. I purposefully created solutions that would integrate well within the existing ClayLab structure, saving time and money.

 

Refresh, Not Redesign

  • Many UX design portfolio pieces are original prompts started from scratch. When choosing this project, I wanted to design solutions for a real world product. I challenged myself to work within established styles and structure, while finding solutions to real problems.

Final Thoughts

  • It is a rewarding feeling to contribute towards a product that I regularly use. I truly think ClayLab is the best ceramic diary app on the market and it can only continue to improve.

  • I am proud to propose solutions that promote inclusion in the ceramic community.

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