Admittedly iPhone App
UX Design, UI Design, Illustrations
The Admittedly app is a digital guide that inspires and mentors students through the college application process. As the lead UX and UI designer at Admittedly, I work with the team to find ways to make the daunting application process more enjoyable, informative and motivational – all while stimulating user retention and promoting paid conversions.
Retention and Conversions
To tackle our user growth and retention concerns, we created two types of content; free and purchasable. Free weekly content was our opportunity to convert users into paid customers, so I wanted it to be prominent on the screen. I gave the free bundle a recognizable “Free this week” badge as well as made it the first bundle above the fold.
Using Design to Motivate
Nothing says “applying to college is fun” quite like a 1000+ page paperback book, right? College prep needed a makeover and a way to extrinsically motivate users. I felt the best way to do that was to use friendly, playful visuals. Some UI and graphical patterns I designed to emphasis those ideals included rounded corners, saturated colors, and flat design.
On-Demand College Guidance
Conversations with college counselors are extremely valuable, so I wanted the flow of the app to represent one – starting with broad topics and ending with personalized advice. I designed the curriculum of the app so it could be scannable by theme (each theme had it’s own unique illustration), then narrow down their selection by title.
Curated Content from Experts
Our content is the most important part of our app, so it needed to shine. I decided to let the content influence the design. Lessons had bold background colors and large playful fonts; school lists displayed a visual representation of the school; student articles had readable fonts with a thoughtful line height; and personality quizzes used large images and interaction to make them more engaging.
The iOS app was the first product I was involved in from concept to user-ready at Admittedly. The process started with a lot of brainstorming, coming up with problems and finding ways to fix them. Throughout the app’s development, we introduced new features and styles through small releases to determine what engaged our users.
The Value of Personality Quizzes
The first version of our app was to test if college applicants found personality quizzes a helpful tool for learning about themselves and what type of schools were a good fit for them. I created the app with a very simple flow and design, letting users do one of two actions; take another quiz or stop using the app. If users took all quizzes, we’d assume they found the app helpful and the idea was worth pursuing.
Analytics and user conversations told us the quizzes were fun for users and offered something new that our competitors didn’t. The next step was redesigning the experience and the interface to bring back Admittedly’s recognizable look and feel. Bright colors, relatable copy, and fun interactions were added. We also introduced a new feature that let a user browse schools based on themes.
School Discovery Flow and Design
At this point, our biggest problem was how we displayed our school lists and school information. The experience was slow due to too many graphics on one page, and there was no visual feedback indicating a user saved or passed a school. To correct our app’s misfortune, I added animations to the pass and save buttons, made the school information vertical scroll instead of horizontal, and introduced a drill down flow.
The Solution for mobile
One of the biggest challenges moving from website to app was our school info page. School pages are loaded with information and tend to get fairly lengthy – a mobile user’s worse nightmare. To make the content app-friendly, I introduced a card UI that allows the user to tap into any data point and learn more information about that section. By doing this, I was able to significantly shorten the length of the school pages.