From May 18 to May 29th, we continued testing with users and iterating on the product. For the story of what we've discovered, check out the slide deck from our presentation. The rest of this page seeks to elaborate on the material in the deck and fill in the detail for some topics the presentation could only touch on.
What glmpse needs...
Starting on May 18th, glmpse was an effective way to get a 4-second video from a friend. But the users deserve more out of glmpse request. We want a glmpse request to turn into an interaction that feels complete and full. We don't want users feeling cut-off or for them to have to use other mediums (text, phone, email) to complete an interaction that began on glmpse.
With this in mind, we feel the need to enhance some aspects of our current design.
Enhance the way glmpse requests are sent
- allow users to send prompts with their requests
- suggest certain prompts
- allow users to see many different genres of prompts to choose from or gain inspiration from
Close the loop: transform a simple request/response formula into a complete, fulfilling and satisfying interaction.
- Allow the requester to leave a comment as feedback for the provider of the glmpse
- Maybe this is not enough. Maybe we will allow a more open, less restrained dialogue to take place around a glmpse.
- How do we best do this?
Acclimate and Orientate new members. a better onboarding experience
- How do we best show a new user around the app to familiarize them with how to use it
- We want to show them both experiences: requesting a glmpse and responding to one
glmpsing with more than one person at a time?
- Users have suggested that a more complete experience would be had if you could glmpse 1-to-many
- We could implement a feature where you can request a glmpse from a user on behalf of your friends. that way, the response gets sent to a group of people and you can all interact.
After getting our first submission rejected from the App Store, we continued using TestFlight to deliver our app to test users. Test users downloaded the app remotely and mostly used it without supervision or intervention from the dev team. We also conducted sessions in which we watched test users complete tasks on the app, and we interviewed test users.
We've added test users continuously in the past two weeks, but most test users were added in three big spurts that corresponded to major new releases of the app. Overall, we tested with 30 distinct users.
After resetting the database of glmpse requests on May 18, we've processed 262 requests (141 from test users) and 260 video responses (117 from test users).
The most important changes we implemented, tested, and iterated on involve the inclusion of text prompts and enabling commenting on a provided video. For the full story on these features, check out our slide deck linked above. This section describes other important changes we made to the app.
Re-engineered on-boarding process
Since test users are downloading and launching the app remotely, we needed a better way to help them understand the app and its usage. Many test users had very little context for the app and, in the extreme case, had only exchanged a few emails with a dev team member. We decided to use the medium to help them get oriented and give them something actionable immediately upon their first log-in. Upon sign-up, two things happen automatically:
- We (TeamGlmpse) send the new user a stock glmpse that explains the app and how to do things
- We (TeamGlmpse) send the new user a request for a glmpse so they can get a feel for the experience of recording one.
The picture above shows the feed a new user sees -- an incoming explanatory glimpse and our request.
With new requests, videos, or comments coming in, a user's feed it continuously changing. It soon became clear we needed better ways for users to know what's up. Among the questions we need the UI to answer for the user are:
- What outstanding requests have I not responded to?
- What requests have I received a video for?
- Have I watched a video, or is it new?
- Has someone commented on a video I provided?
The UI we are currently using displays all of a user's glimpse interactions in a unified feed, sorted by date. The status of each request is indicated by the triangle to the left of the request.
- The directionality of the triangle signals who originated the request
- If a request has a video attached to it, the triangle is green
- If a request requires your attention (either because you need to respond to it or because there's a new video response you haven't seen), the triangle is red
- If the request is outstanding and unfulfilled, there's not anything you can do, so we show these requests next to a greyed-out triangle.
We also use push notifications to notify a user of new glimpse requests, glimpse responses, and comments.
All other parts of the app have also gotten their UI revamped at least twice so far. For example, we improved the video recording page by displaying the prompt above the camera feed and visually showing users how far into the recording process they are (by having the red recording circle fill in as recording progresses).
Variable-length video recording
During testing, we soon realized that different kinds of requests require different video durations to fulfill. Some requests require just a quick facial expression while others are more involved. Four seconds is not a size that fits all, and when a video is only a few seconds long, a second or two more or less makes a huge difference. To enable flexibility of requests and to empower the glimpse provider to have more control over the glimpse they produce, we extended the maximum video duration to 10 seconds and now allow glimpse providers to stop the recording early if their glimpse requires less time.
What glmpse will do...
Looking forward, there are a number of features we're planning to implement to address the problems we've found in user testing, and also just to explore further possibilities with Glmpse:
We need to find more ways to facilitate complete interactions. This means effectively closing the communication loop like we attempted with comments, and expanding the possible types of interactions. Allowing for multiple comments and a dedicated UI element for comments is the first step. We are continuing to collect feedback on this.
To mitigate some issues with current text prompts, we are increasing the number and variety of suggested prompts, and organizing them by genre. These suggested prompts are a bit like emoji, in that each "smiley" is a kind of canned prompt sorted by type or aesthetic. A list of suggested prompts could also be populated by user-created prompts that are particularly fun. This would lower the barrier to entry for the requester who can't think of what to write.
One-to-many glmpses. Users have consistently expressed the desire to have many people see the results of a single request. There are a few ways we can accomplish this:
Users can "cc" other people when making a request, so they also receive the response.
Users set video statuses that can be seen at will by others
Users can choose to many different requests with a single glmpse.
While our current iteration of the homepage and general UI is a substantial improvement over the last, there are a few possibilities for major changes:
Adding a page that sorts glmpses and requests by friends. We had originally debated whether to make this our homepage, but settled on a feed that lists all requests/glmpses together.
Changing how the homepage displays each item. One possibility is to use thumbnails on the homepage to denote video responses. In order to use thumbnails of an appropriate size, we would have to drastically change where usersnames, prompts, and other indicators are placed, as well.