Bitmoji

UX Research

Below you will find User Experience research I conducted pertaining to the app known as Bitmoji. As a part of my studies, I was fortunate to take a class where I spent an entire semester researching, ideating, and prototyping what I see as the future of Bitmoji.

The Cliffsnotes Version

Because I love you, I will give you the highlights of the process:

• Research was conducted on the app origin and user pool.
• A user persona created was then created based on research. This too gave the project a main goal.
• Low-fidelity ideation done based on UX findings.
• User Interface created. UI was informed largely by user reasearch. 
• User testing, user testing, user testing...
• Hey look—a working prototype! Neat-o!

What problems am I solving with Bitmoji?

Bitmoji is an app that provides illustrations for the purpose of reacting; primarily to text messages and Snapchats. The app allows the user to create an avatar personalized in his/her likeness. Thus, Bitmoji provides a greater level of personalization to correspondents.

As it currently stands, Bitmoji is more of an app that is not meant to be used as a self-contained application. Due to its very nature, Bitmoji is meant to be used in conjunction with different social media sites, like its owner, Snapchat.

Target User Group

Because Bitmoji is now a part of Snapchat, I felt it was more useful to look into user statistics relating to Snapchat as there is now a deep integration of Bitmoji inside the Snapchat app.

According to user statistics, the majority of Snapchat users are female (70%). These users are under 34 years old (71%), and live in the United States (81%).

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 2.30.34 PM
Goals

Currently, there is no incentive to use the standalone Bitmoji app. Most, if not all functionality exists with the Bitmoji Keyboard and inside the Snapchat app. What are ways to get people to use this app? Are there missing features? 

Rather than relying on the endless selection of predetermined reactions, Bitmoji should be a place to create, edit, and share your own reactions.

User Experience Research

There are select pain points when using Bitmoji. Small things like repeated notifications immediatly on launch to get the user to install the Bitmoji Keyboard. There is not a lot of freedom to personalize your avatar. There are few choices in hair color, facial feeatures, etc. I think there should be a way to generate an avatar from a selfie or allow facial recognition to build an avatar for the user.

The Bitmoji app lacks functionality. Feature like search don't even exist. The organization of reactions can be confusing and unclear. Upon selecting a reaction, the share sheet takes over effectively ending user engagement within the app.

Sketches, Low Fidelity Exploration

Before jumping straight to the computer, it is important to think a little more about how this new app may work. I think that the app should feature the ability to generate an avatar based on the user's appearance. To further the experience, avatars should make the reactions, not the other way around. After generating the perfect avatar and creating individual reactions, sharing and inter-app integration should be simple and quick.

IMG_0311
IMG_0346
UI Patterns

Both typography and color choices are inspired by the current Bitmoji design language.

Patterns
The (New) User Journey

On app launch, the user is asked to allow access to the phone's camera. This is an important permission as the camera is used to generate the user's avatar as well as record and create reactions to share.

04 Selfie
05 Review

After an avatar is created, it's time to create reactions. This is done via the camera. It is important to note, the user will henceforth be represented not by their physical self but by their avatar via the app.

06 Home, empty
07 Record 1

Reactions are populated and immediatly available for importing to Snapchat or Bitmoji Keyboard or sharing otherwise by saving to the camera roll.

30 Home 4
32 Share 4, Snap
Reflection

This new app combines the best of Bitmoji and Snapchat while creating a new kind of experience. It is important to note that this new app takes into consideration the demographics of those that are using Snapchat as well as Bitmoji. Another important consideration if bring use back to the app. By creating an application that is still cross-platform but has intention, the new Bitmoji accomplishes inter-application use.

Challenges

Did someone over at Bitmoji know that I wanted to create a feature that involved generating avatars from selfies? They didn't have that feature when I started! Aside from this, I think that Bitmoji can dive even deeper into features that envolve the emerging technologies like that of facial recognition in the iPhone X. This is an area that is quite new and, I believe, largely untapped. In the future I would like to explore an "Animoji" type application inside of the Bitmoji universe.

Beyond fun little reactions, how else can facial recognition be used? I would like to explore further the potential of the topic.


(Avatars courtesy of getavataaars.com)

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