John Han

October-November 2017

UX/UI Design, User Research, Sketch, InVision

My Inspiration

Whenever my friends and I try to meet up over the weekend, or whenever we have time; planning anything becomes impossible.
Using Kakaotalk as our main group chat platform, we discuss plans about what activity, time, and location of our meet up. We talk about a place to want to go to, such as a restaurant, bar, or karaoke. Then we decide on what time we are all available. But in real-life, we all just end up swearing at each other with nothing happening.

As a designer, I have challenged myself to focus around this behavioural problem. From my 10 week case study project from BrainStation, I have analyzed and defined a design solution within this social problem space. 

Project Definition

The Problem

Due to friends working busy hours, they are having problems to accommodate occasions to gather, and find new activities to enjoy. 

Project Direction

What if friends are never busy? 

What if friends never had conversations about planning events?

What if friends were aware of every possible activity in their area?

What if friends always had the ability to maximize joy?

How might we empower groups of busy friends to comfortably manage, and discover new experiences together.


Are friends really busy?

Do friends even need to gather?

Do friends even want to hangout?

Do friends struggle in finding new activities?

Do friends want to find new activities?

Are groups of friends unhappy?

Do these friends want to stay together? 


I believe adults with busy schedules are struggling to decide on where and how to have a good time with friends.

Research Goals

Validate assumptions within social behaviours.

  • Is there currently a market in this problem space?
  • What are existing solutions?
  • Who is mostly affected in this problem space?
  • What does this demographic consider to be an ‘enjoyable activity’?
  • Does the demographic need help around this space? 

Market Research

Target Audience: millennials working adults from the ages 18-29

Existing services in the problem space: Yelp, TripAdvisor, Groupon, Doodle, BlogTO

Primary Research 

Survey results from 16 individuals, in the ages of 20-29

  • Friends don’t struggle in finding new activities, but there is a desire for them.
  • There is a clear struggle when friends are trying to gather. 
  • There is a human behavioural problem when close friends are trying to plan out meet ups, throughout their conversations. Individual schedules and various personal reasons conflicts with one another’s situations, and planning becomes difficult. 

Secondary Research

From this research phase, the main insight I have collected is that the demographic has a huge demand for experiences, over products. Unfortunately, the target audience is often hard at work, and has a huge money problem from education related debts. With a strange contrast between introverts and extroverts inside the demographic; without a doubt, both parties heavily desire new experiences, and more enriching experiences in life. 

Over experiencing new activities through discovery; I have concluded that there are opportunities for social planning and organization instead. 

User Experience Design


Based on my primary and secondary research insights; here is Daniel and Thomas. To better understand the users I am designing for, are two of my personas whom currently struggle within the problem space. 

Experience Map

After having an understanding about my users, now I have detailed how one would behave in the problem space. Previously from the persona, here is Daniel's journey when planning out an event with his friends.

User Stories

Core Epic: Friend Awareness

  • As a friend, I want to know when my friends are free, so that we can all hang out.
  • As a close friend, I want to know when my friends are free, so we can agree upon a time to meet up
  • As a caring friend, I want my friends to let me know ahead of time when they are busy, so that our plans don't get rejected. 
  • As a planner, I want plans to be agreed upon with my friends, so that my efforts aren't wasted. 
  • As an organized friend, I want o have calendar I can filter my friends free dates, so that I know what dates works for everyone. 

Task Flow

Based on Daniel's struggles and pain points, is the opportunity of my design solution. The solution will be aim to redefine the interactions within planning a social gathering with friends.

Information Architecture

Moving towards a wholistic view outside of a single 'event creation process', is the full layout of how the app will flow. 

Sketches and Ideation

At this stage, I have understood the causes of pain points for users. Based on the core epic of providing 'friend awareness' and mapping out the application flow, are some concept sketches of how the app would look and function. 

Wireframes v.2

Progressing further into graphics, is the 2nd version of the mobile wireframe iterations developed from multiple user testings. 

User Interface Design

The Design Solution

PlanUp is a social scheduling app for busy friends to stay organized, and push out gatherings more frequently. 

Visual Identity

Building upon the grey scaled wireframes, I have started to imagine what kind of mood and imagery I wanted to design visually. From these inspirations, I had developed an imagery of my hi-fidelty prototype, and colour palettes to further design upon. 

HI-Fidelity Prototype v.1

Iterations (from Hi-Fid v.1)

  • Scheduling process felt too similar to filling out a form
  • Users understood what part of the creating a social gathering stage they had been in; however, still felt the process felt close to a form
  • Colour choices had been too cold for a social application


  • Redesign the 'selection' process when creating a social gathering event
  • How could this design solution be different from other event planning apps; beyond a shared schedule?
  • For a social gathering planner for 'close friends', what information could be minimized in specific for these users?
  • How could the 'creating event process'  bypass a form-like atmosphere? 

Hi-Fidelity Prototype v.2

UI Library

Responsive Web Design

Responsive market website used to help users learn about PlanUp's services, features, and direct an intent towards downloading. 


PlanUp is a social scheduling app for busy friends to stay organized, and push out gatherings more frequently. 

As young hard working adults dive into their first real job experiences after a post-secondary education, I've noticed a disconnect from friends attempting to meet up social. Focusing directly towards close friends whom want to maintain their connections with one another, PlanUp aim to reduce the amount of effort and opportunity of disconnect within social gatherings. 

Personal Reflection

Throughout my first real UX Design project from BrainStation, I have developed a new perspective and value towards a design project, far beyond what I've learned in OCADU. As a digital designer of services, I've learned the value in doing user interviews, and conducting usability testings. Diving further upon user research online, interviews, and surveys; I've understood the value in making iterations and design decisions based on user feedback. 

Throughout this experiences, I truly believe I have overcome a personal paradox of selfish designing, and learned how to design services for other real people. 

Using Format