Branding , UI/UX Design
Pult is a responsive website that hosts resources to help budding entrepreneurs succeed in business. They exist to reduce the failure rate of startups in Nigeria through the education and mentorship of young entrepreneurs.
Duration: June – July 2022
Role: Brand Identity and Product Designer
Responsibilities: Conducting interviews and usability studies, secondary research, branding, paper and digital wireframing, low and
high-fidelity prototyping, testing, and iterating on designs.
I started out by doing a bit of research. I wanted to know how bad the failure rate was for businesses in Nigeria. I also wanted to know why these businesses were failing.
Research reported by Mentor Nigeria showed that 80% of Nigerian startups fail in the first 5 years partly due to “lack of mentorship and deficient market intelligence”. Another published by Statista in 2020, about 33% of Nigerian startups fail in the first year, i.e., 1 in 3.
To build a successful user-centered product, I did some user research. I conducted interviews with 4 entrepreneurs from within my social circle.
Goals of the interview:
1. To identify pain points when starting and running a business
2. To determine if the relationship between lack of knowledge and failure in business is directly proportional
3. To determine if a learning website for entrepreneurs will be a welcome solution
Criteria for participation:
1. Currently running a business
2. Age 18-35
1. For how long have you been doing business?
2. Did you explore any learning material on entrepreneurship before starting? Do you wish you did? Why?
3. Have you ever failed in business? Why do you think you did?
4. Please share some of the challenges/mistakes you have faced/made in business
5. What platforms have you explored in the past to navigate those challenges? Did you read a book or source online for answers? If yes, were they beneficial? What features do you wish they had?
6. If you had a learning app for entrepreneur, what features do you think it should have?
EMPATHY MAP AND PAIN POINTS
USER JOURNEY MAP
I came up with a Site Map which helped me visualize the website’s content. I began to have an idea of what it would take – the number of pages to be designed and the flow.
The name “Pult” was derived from the word Catapult, a device used to shoot stones. The end-goal of Pult is to give entrepreneurs the knowledge resources to enable them soar. The logo mark was inspired by the shape of the hand-held catapult. Instead of going with Green which is a colour associated with inexperience, I decided to use Blue – a color associated with trust and business.
SKETCHING / PAPER WIREFRAMES
I began sketching the website pages taking into account my research findings and the vision of the project. I made several sketches and iterated on them over a couple of days throwing out ideas that were redundant and keeping the ones that met the goal.
I moved on to design the digital wireframes and lo-fi prototypes using the best sketches I came up with. Link to Low Fidelity Prototype
I conducted a moderated usability study with 5 participants to gain insights into what the users might experience and hence guide me towards refining key areas to improve for a better user experience.
Based on the themes observed, the following insights were gathered:
1. Add a “Fields/Industry” Sub-menu on the “Resources” page for easy sorting of videos and articles
2. Make the logo linked to the homepage
HIGH FIDELITY DESIGNS
After several iterations, I started to design the hi-fi mockups using the brand direction created.
LANDING PAGE - DESKTOP AND MOBILE
The landing page design starts with a descriptive hero section and testimonials. The rest of the page allows visitors to explore some parts of the website so they can get a feel of the platform. However, they won’t be able to watch any videos or read up on any material. They will be directed to the register/sign-up page.
SIGN UP (JOIN COMMUNITY) - DESKTOP AND MOBILE
The registration is in three stages. It’s a smooth process from “Select your Membership” to the Payment page, with a “Reviews” section on the left to further enforce brand value and strengthen the user’s decision. On smaller screens like mobile, the focus is on the key components of the pages.
RESOURCES PAGE - DESKTOP AND MOBILE
Making the product accessible to a diverse set of users requires critical thinking. As I designed, I considered text hierarchy, WCAG-accepted colour contrast, labeled buttons, responsiveness, and features to aid disability (voice search and transcripted videos).
I had quite a number of “Aha!” moments and received a lot of good feedback working on Pult. Building websites that offer value is one thing. Making them user-friendly is another, and this involves making them responsive. The experience had to be the same across all devices.
NEXT STEPS AND PROFITABILITY
I intend to conduct another usability study on the high-fidelity prototype to get feedback on the more finalized design. Feedback from study participants will be reviewed and translated into the design. How would marketing be run? People need to see that this is beneficial before they’re convinced to jump in. After speaking with several experienced entrepreneurs, the major feedback my team and I received was to use existing communities such as religious organizations, and university alumni. If a large enough community was to buy into this, it would take off the burden of marketing and the focus can be on creating quality content.