Image showing three screens of the Building Buddy app: one on the desktop, one on the tablet, and one on the phone.

Building Buddy

UX/UI Case Study
Website + Webapp design
Mobile App design

The brief

The task was to build a native mobile app that works with a corresponding, but slightly different, webapp for a social cause.

I wanted to do something that would benefit my elderly neighbors, so I designed an app to connect people who live in the same apartment building or complex - specifically, older people who need help with small tasks and younger people who want to help.

The research

After a competitive audit to see how other people have tried to solve this problem, I interviewed 6 elderly people, 3 helpers, and the custodian of my building to learn what kinds of tasks people need help with, what kinds of tasks people would/would not be willing to help with, and what would be helpful for the custodian.

The foundational research gave me the info I needed to create all the UX assets. From there I did three rounds of testing in two languages to tighten up the designs.

The design

There are two sides to the mobile app: one for the Requestors, the other for the Helpers. The request for help, made by the Requestor, is made by voice, and the Helper is provided with both the recorded audio clip, they are also shown the transcribed message to decide if they want to pick up the request or not.

The website and webapp were designed with the custodian in mind. It allows them to oversee the use of the mobile app, provides access to the details and messages of every user, alerts them to requests that remain open, and helps them keep track of the tools they have loaned out.

Final thoughts

I really enjoyed designing specifically for the elderly! The constraints force one to be creative. Icons aren't necessarily understood; gestures, like scrolling, aren't necessarily understood; buttons have to be large and typing has to be minimized. On-boarding and tutorials have to be extremely concise. Their tech also has to be taken into consideration as they are often on hand-me-down telephones with small screens. I learned SO MUCH, on many levels, doing this case study.

The hand of an elderly woman is holding a phone. On the screen of the phone is the welcome page of the Building Buddy app.An info graphic showing key use cases of the Building Buddy app.The Visual System of Building Buddy, showing the colors, fonts, components and icons used in the app.Screenshot of the desktop version of the app made specifically for building custodians.