Systemize is a cloud-based organization and storage app for the user who needs all of their favorite digital content — from work, to personal, to social, to financial — in one place. It’s for those whose work exists outside of the standard 9-5, for whom the difference between work and life is fluid.
UX Design, UX Writing, Visual Design, Branding & Identity
User Surveys, User Personas, Competitive Analysis, Branding & Identity, User Stories & Flows, Wireframes, High-Fi Mockups, User Testing, Prototype
Sketch, Figma, Adobe Photoshop, InVision, Google Forms
The initial problem began with an opportunity: the digital storage and organization space is still relatively young and not overly crowded, meaning there may be room for another competitor that can meet the needs of more users. The app had to combine features from a variety of other competitors in the space, specifically: save content from the web; upload files from a computer or mobile device; create content, such as notes or documents; and organize content. To fill where other apps were falling short, the new app could also offer the ability to share and collaborate, if this was truly an unmet need of users.
Systemize takes the qualities of other apps that users know and love, and combines them into one, single place. This allows users to create, organize, and store all of their favorite digital content into just one app. Add in the option of large storage capabilities and real-time work collaboration, and you have an app that meets the needs of the modern user. Finally, most features of the app are free, and users can opt into all capabilities and increased storage for $4.99/month, and all capabilities and the maximum storage for $9.99/month
The Design Process
From user research to final design and all the steps in between, the following walks through each step of the design process for Systemize.
Getting to know the user
I surveyed 21 users in May 2019. My goals were to ascertain what gaps there were in the current market based on the following questions: what apps users are currently using, what they liked about those apps, and what capabilities did they feel were missing?
Notably, nearly all of those surveyed use multiple apps for their organization and storage needs. Nearly half (48%) use these apps for both work and personal needs. Users want to be able to organize their content (57%), save content (57%), and share content (52%). A striking majority (86%) want the ability to collaborate in real time. As for payment options, 55% of users currently pay for storage, and 35% would pay up to $5/month for storage.
The Key Takeaway
Users do not currently have one singular place to store, organize, create, and collaborate on their favorite digital content. They are interested in storing and organizing content for both work and personal, and the ability to share and collaborate on projects and work in real-time. They need an app that can accommodate that. View the survey.
Understanding the Competition
Strengths: The app is highly visual, popular, and free. It has a simple onboarding process, easy social sharing capability, and can be accessed across various devices.
Weaknesses: The app is only for images, has narrow organization categories, and images can be saved only on the app.
Could lead in innovation in the organization and social media space.
Opportunities: Pinterest could allow for more content than just images, and as a popular app for social sharing, it could lead in innovation in the organizing / social media space.
Threats: Another social media organization app providing more for users; few changes to the app since its launch could lose users interested in more innovative experiences.
Strengths: Google Drive has high name recognition; free storage up to 15GB; the ability to create and store content; and the ability to easily share items.
Weaknesses: Content created and shared can only be accessed by others with a Google account; limited organization options; not a strong mobile interface.
Could create a better social sharing experience.
Opportunities: Could be a leader in innovation tool due to its name recognition; could create a better social sharing experience; and offer more organization solutions.
Threats: Other competitors, especially in the work-specific space; users may want something that offers more features; and privacy is a concern.
Strengths: The app can easily be used across various devices; content can be shared with others with a Dropbox account; content is easily searchable.
Weaknesses: Content can only be organized using folders; there is no option to work in real-time across teams; and free accounts are limited to only 2GB.
Could offer a stronger brand and a clearer target audience.
Opportunities: Dropbox could offer more organization tools; include more of a social sharing component; and could have a stronger brand and a clearer target audience.
Threats: Other competitors in the space doing the exact same thing; and importantly, the extremely limited free space makes competitors more attractive.
Summary of Opportunity
From the analysis of three major competitors in the digital storage and organization space, it became clear that there is room for a competitor to succeed in the space who combines some of the best features from all apps, but who can differentiate itself from the others in branding, messaging, and attributes.
Branding & Identity
Calls to Action
Conversational and tailored to the target customer, UX writing is just as important to get right as the design.
After user testing, tweaks were made to the color palette, and options were added for easier user-accessibility and options.
I tested users three times during the development of both the mobile and desktop app. First after the wireframes, second after the initial visual design, and finally for specific design choices.
Users wanted more direction on the symbols used on the desktop version of the app, and for this reason, captions were added to help guide users. This was left out of the mobile version, however, for spacing concerns, and the understanding that users are more likely to engage with the app on a larger device.
In the final stages of testing, based on user feedback, I looked for ways to better incorporate the pops of color into the monochromatic color scheme and increased the font size on mobile. I also wanted to ensure that the spacing was better aligned in mobile to not feel overcrowded. I included ways users can better organize their groups and folders, and an option to view the app in dark or light mode.
The user survey at the beginning was crucial to understanding what users were looking for with this kind of an app in order to make the project successful. I was surprised to learn that there were many opinions about storing and organizing digital content, which made me realize how critical these tools really are to our everyday lives.
One of my assumptions, which proved to be correct, was that users needed options for organizing and storing content beyond work files and projects. This led me to understand that the current branding of many of the leading apps in the space were limited in their scope and ability to meet the needs of users, which is why users tend to use multiple storage apps. This homogeneity led me to the decision to make something that looked and felt fresh and different, but that would have as its basic core features options that meet the needs of the majority of users.