Conceptual Project: Dewy - Personal skincare buddy

Making skincare accessible and empowering people to maintain a healthy skincare regime.

  • My Role
    UX Research, Branding, UX/UI Design
  • Team
    Sole UX/UI Designer
  • Project Timeline
    Sep 21
    80+ hours in 4 weeks
  • Tools
    Figma, Whimsical, Dovetail, Airtable, Maze
Project Overview

Background

The demand for skincare is thriving due to the growing desire for health-promoting and self-care products, increasing interest in the power of regimens and routines, social media influences. However, 46% of Americans still experienced skin problems in their youth, and 67% say skin issues affect their confidence. As the data can tell, the struggle for clear skin is real even there are myriads of skincare lineups.

The Problem

Entering the skincare journey for a beginner in this day and age is just like visiting Times Square. It's bright and shines, yet it's all about the advertisement, and it's overwhelmed.

Despite the benefits of the internet and technology, people have begun running on information overload due to the massive amount of content created on social media. People feel lost and frustrated in picking up or maintaining an effective skincare routine that can help to either improve their skin health or treat their skin problems.

The Solutions

I designed a skincare app that makes skincare more accessible and curated based on skin type and goal. Users will get tips and insights crafted by dermatologists and licensed estheticians, coupled with AI skin scanning evaluation. Furthermore, users can track the effectiveness of the routines with the built-in daily logging feature.

Solutions Breakdown

The solution in detail

Onboarding

Auto-rotating Onboarding & Personalized Wizards

  • Make the onboarding process more appealing by using playful illustrations and highlighting the key benefits.
  • Give users a sense of control about viewing more details or getting started with the personalized journey.
  • Simplify questionnaire and utilize skin scan AI to provide personalized skincare routine & outline insights before asking for account creation.

Personalized Skincare Routines

Provide curated routines based on user's skin type, goals, environment surrounding

  • Based on the wizards and scan results, users can seamlessly access recommended routines personalized for them crafted by dermatologists.
  • The skincare routines show detail, including how many people are following to instill trust.
  • Skincare beginners can expand the educational section to learn more from our professionals.
  • Users can save the routines easily to their routines with just 1 tap.

Skin Daily Log & Insight

Log skin concerns daily to get instant advices, tips and track skin health progress

  • Log daily skin concerns, including critical factors that impact skin health to track progress, and get the instant tips, insights to improve skin condition.
  • The tips are provided in 15s story format including video, infographic to make content digestible and enjoyable, especially for busy users

Routine Completed - Make It Easy

Multiple ways to mark routine as completed

Users can easily mark routine completed by using the Siri shortcut. Besides that, users can either swipe the routine card or tick on the check box to mark it done. By providing multiple ways that help users faster the process, encourage users to maintain their skincare regimen.

Product Compatibility & Ingredient Details

Check the product compatibility with Dewy's match and get digestible ingredient information

  • Check the product compatibility with Dewy's match and get digestible ingredient information
  • There will be a matching badge on each product image to give the users a glimpse of whether or not it suits their skin.
  • A pie chart shows ingredient safety that helps users know how many ingredients are risky for their skin type. The ingredient compatibility section is designed with illustrations and simplified content that makes information more digestible.
Design Process

Design Thinking Framework

This is how I came up with the solutions, let me walk you through

1

Empathize

Market Research

Competitive Analysis

User Interview

Affinity Map

2

Define

User Persona

User Journey

Problem Statement

Brainstorming

Feature Roadmap

3

Ideate

Sitemap

Task Flow

User flow

Wireflow

4

Prototype & Test

Branding

High-Fidelity Prototype

Usability Testing

Affinity Map

Final Prototype

01. Empathize

Understanding the market and users

Research

I begin the project by conducting research to get more context of the landscape & understand people, their needs, and what their motivations are. Before diving into research, I set out a research plan for where I'm headed including research goals, assumptions, questions, and methodologies. The research finding plays a crucial role in laying a foundation for ideating solutions in a later stage.

Research Goal

I want to learn about people's lifestyles, self-care focused on their experience with skincare routines, such as skincare habits and emotional drivers. This will help to find the gaps in their experience that prevent them from being able to develop & maintain their skincare regimen.

Hypothesis & Assumptions

  • People have difficulty figuring out which skincare routine works best for their skin because of the paradox of choice in skincare products, product jargon, ingredient information, the lack of skincare-related knowledge (ingredient impact, skin-related understanding, to name a few).
  • The pandemic has impacted their skincare routine.
  • Skin conditions are prevalent in GenZ (age range 13-24 years old) and impart a considerable psychological burden, with higher rates of anxiety and depression in those with chronic skin disease.

Methodologies

  • Secondary research: Market Research, Competitor Analysis, User Reviews
  • Primary research: User Interview
Secondary Research

Market Research

I started with analyzing the market to get a better understand about the skincare industry, how it has been change since the pandemic and what's the current trends, who is the target audience of the market.

$4.65 B

is the growth of the professional skincare market from 2021-2025

Source: Prnewswire

50M

American is affected by acne annually.  67% of American say skin issues affect their confidence

Source: Nypost

60%

Millenials & GenZ consumes skin care products the most when it comes to beauty item category.

Source: Forbes

70%

of American shoppers shifted to minimalism skincare routine, due to the pandemic.

Source: CNBC

Key Takeaways

  • The focus is shifted to minimalism skincare routine,  authentic, natural, essential cosmetic product due to the pandemic.
    → The pandemic has accelerated the demand for skincare products rather than cosmetic ones, this is an opportunity for Dewy to design a personalized skincare that can meet the current demand.
  • Compared to their elders, millennials place higher importance on health and beauty products that are all-natural. Gen Z consumes skin products the most, surpassing even the generations that precede it.
    → The skincare app could keep GenZ and Millenials's behavior and skincare activities as they are considered our target audience.
  • Experts in the beauty realm have utilized the Social Media Platforms (Tiktok, Youtube) distribute tutorials, information, and inspiration. Current trends including virtual skincare advisor, personalized product, social connection.
    → This would be an opportunity for Dewy to devise a product strategy by utilizing the compelling content format and current industry trends.

Competitor Research

After grasping an idea of the land scape, I moved to analyze competitors to gather insight into their strengths and weakness. These insights also help me identify any gaps in features that Dewy might address and uncover the highlighted features and trends the competitors are implementing.

I listed 3 direct competitors of Dewy which are skincare related app including skincare tracker, skincare community. I also looked into Vichy website as an indirect competitor to analyze how the cosmetic brand helps user to get the routine that suits their concerns and goals. Please find full competitor analysis here.

Key Takeaways

  • Direct competitors like Feelmyskin and Troveskin provide a tool for tracking skin, including skin log and check routines. However, users have to log their products instead of getting recommendations manually.
    While Picky is a skin community where users can get feedback about specific products from social influencers. Still, the app favors Korean skincare products and doesn't recommend certain routines for users to follow. Besides, these apps doesn't provide instant skincare insights or advices based on environment surrounding or concerns.

    → Dewy can take those limitations into consideration to help users achieve their skin goals, cure their skin problem in a seamless and reliable way.
  • An indirect competitor like Vichy offers Skin scan Ai to detect skin age. However, the recommended products and routines are brand-promoted. Users are unable to keep track of their progress as skin log daily and routine checklist are not available.
    → The opportunity for designing an app that helps analyze skin and gives recommendations based on concern without brand-promoted. This might give users peace of mind about their skincare regimen.
Primary Research

1-on-1 User Interviews

Next, I conducted primary research with 1-on-1 interview to gain insight into current user frustrations, goals, needs and motivations as well as have an understanding on broader scale when it comes to following & maintaining the effective skincare routine.

Interview Objective

  • Understand user's pain points, needs, goals, and motivations when it comes to following skincare routine. Learn how people get into skincare routine, what are the main factors that drive user to follow a specific skincare routine.
  • Determine the impact of people's social life when it comes to skincare, get to know who user might trust the most for asking the advice.
  • Gain better understanding of  what motivates and frustrates users about using skin tracking app or skincare app.
  • Understand the impact of Covid-19 towards user's behavior when it comes to skincare.

Participants

  • Gender: 5 female
  • Age: ranging from 24-38 years old
  • Duration: 20-30 mins through Zoom
  • Interested skincare routine and have followed/ followed a skincare routine

Research Findings

To synthesize and accelerate the analysis the research at ease, I transcribe a recording, discover patterns by tagging taxonomies through Dovetail. The detail research findings is documented here

Assumptions Validated

  • People have difficulty figuring out which skincare routine works best for their skin because of the paradox of choice
    → Validated. Most participants found the skincare journey are somehow complex and they have to do a lot of research their own.
  • The pandemic has impacted their skincare routine.
    → Validated. 3/5participants experienced the "Maskne" as they wear mask most of the time during Covid-19. As a result, they have to switch to adopt skincare treatment.
  • Skin conditions are prevalent among GenZ, and it has a critical impact on their mental health.
    → Validated. This has been validated through secondary research, during interview participants in other age group (Millennials) also mentioned about the motivation of doing skincare is boosting their confidence and self-esteem.

Research Synthesis

By highlighting and tagging for key moments from Dovetail, I was able to uncover insights from qualitative data easily. I generated Insight Board backed with video evidences from my interview.

From Insights to Needs

A streamline process when it comes to discovery & maintain skincare routine

Because users are too lazy to stick to a routine and busy with their daily activities, they believe skin care is part of self-care. Still, complex routines will put them off and even cause more anxiety when facing skin problems.

4/5 participants mentioned they are lazy, just want a convenient way to get things done.

Get the information from reliable and creditable source.

Because users tend to trust those who are experts and have knowledge and skillset in the industry when it comes to skincare.

4/5 participants mentioned they often discussed with their friends about the movie and asked for their friend's recommendation because they feel more connected and trust their friend's opinion.

Digestible information regarding to their skincare products

Users need to consume information regarding their skincare concerns effortlessly because they are busy with daily activities while the skincare related information is overwhelming & hard to understand.

5/5 of participants are frustrated with the overwhelming information, and the jargon of ingredients makes them feel discouraged to learn about the product or routine in general.

Personalized recommendations for product and routine

Users need to get recommendations about products that suit their skin type and concerns to have informed decision-making. Besides, users also need a personalize skincare routine based on their skin condition because at some certain points they faced with different skin problems

5/5 Participants often search in specific term to help their skin condition like” best skincare product for acne”

02. Define

Concreting the problems

User Persona & User Journey Map

Let's meet Lucy

After having a clear portrait of who target users are, I created the user persona to represent key audience segments. It helps me tackle the most critical problems and address the significant needs of the most important user groups.

To guide myself further in design and visualize the process by which Lucy interacts with a product to achieve her goals and identify areas of frictions during Lucy experience, I created a journey map. I highlighted the key features that may make Lucy feel happy in the process by using stars.

Problem Statements & How Might We Questions

Frame the problems

With the user journey, persona, and insights from the research stage, I turned my knowledge into Point Of View (POV) Statements to frame the problem from the user’s perspective. After defining the design challenge in POV, I generated a series of How Might We questions to fuel my process for a solution brainstorming session later on.

Detailed POV Statements and HMQ Questions

  • How might we help Lucy adopt the skincare routine that fits her in accessible and seamless way to reduce her mental load and stress?
  • How might we help Lucy faster and be more confident when decide on which routine to follow and which items to buy?
  • How might we help Lucy to grasp an idea of ingredient's benefit so she can spend time on what matters and feel the skincare journey more enjoyable?
  • How might we streamline the skincare evaluation process to encourage Lucy maintain the effective skincare routine?
  • How might we help Lucy to compare the product items to pick up the routine with compatible product in cost-efficient way?

How might we help Lucy adopt the skincare routine that fits her in accessible way to reduce her mental load and stress?

Brainstorming

Brewing the ideas

With the listed How Might We questions, I started a brainstorming session with Nhu Pham, a friend who graduated from HCI specification and project manager. I provided Nhu some context about the app, my process to arrive at the user insights and needs, and how I came up with my problem statements and HMW questions. Then, we spent 2-3 minutes brainstorming the solutions for each problem and replaying the process with a second round to come with as many solutions as possible

Product Goal

Keep things aligned

After clearly understanding users' goals, I revisited the business goal & wrote down some technical considerations. I then created a Venn diagram to visualize the project goals which user and business goals are aligned to ensure our product would be backed by all stakeholders.

Feature Roadmap

First thing first

After that, I created a product roadmap by listing out the potential features which tied with user goal. I also keep in mind the time constraints when ranking the level of effort & prioritizations. This roadmap helps to communicate with stakeholders in terms of the priority of product development.

03. Ideate

Generating solutions to the problems

Sitemap

Structure Content

After deciding what features to prioritize and include for the MVP, I created a site map to help define the overall content structure of the app along with the relationships between different screens and features. The goal is to make a logical and easy route for users to navigate while shying them away from being overwhelmed when users are in stressful state due to skin problems.

Task Flow

Linear flow for the task

Next, to learn how the Lucy would be interacting with the app . I started by identifying the key tasks based on her goals, and the key pages that Lucy might encounter with to complete the task.

User Flow

Adding decision points

With the flow for specific tasks from above, I then mapped out user flows by taking a step into Lucy's thoughts and including the different decisions she would make while interacting with the app. Doing this helped to ensure a more seamless and flexible user experience.

Sketch

Laid out the ideas on digital papers

Taking what I’ve learned throughout my process to this point, I sketched out the screens I'll be designing based on persona, user goals, and requirements. I also referred to competitors' apps to see the design patterns as well. Doing this will help layout content quickly and try out multiple ideas without the barriers of technical tools. I also add some notes after the mentor's session and feedback from group critics to decide which solutions we should move forward with before moving to the wireframe.

My exploration centered around helping Lucy get personalized recommendations and insights from people she trusted to improve her skin condition.

Wire Flow

Wire up the ideas & connect the flows

Now that I had an idea of which direction I would pursue from sketching and feedback sessions, I created wireflows to represent the layout of the pages in tandem with communicating ideas when it comes to interaction design and user workflows. These designs focus on providing a personalized skincare routine crafted by dermatologists and seamless skincare habit tracking.

04. Prototype & Test

Building representation of ideas and refining

Logo & Branding

Introducing Dewy

Before moving on to the UI design, I began with planning the concept for discovering and determining brand's attribute, brand identity. I first came up with the app name and the word "Dewy" which represents youthful and fresh just naturally spring to my mind. As simple as that, Dewy was born, to help people's skin feel revitalized, fresh and dewy everyday.

Since finding the routine to help cure skin conditions is tiring and stressful. It was essential to bring a positive, delightful feeling to appeal to and encourage users. I then created a mood board in which I put ideas, concepts together to set the direction of the new branding while keeping in mind this, I discover and determine the brand attributes and keywords #friendly(personalized) #refreshing #pleasant

I also refer to persona to make a decision on what kind of brand Lucy would want to engage with. I picked the color palette, digitized the strongest concepts after sketching a tons of them on paper. I then ultimately narrowed them down to the final logo, which could be best reflect Dewy's brand identity. The branding letter D with the sparkle to signifies shiny, glossy skin. I also consider the simplicity and legibility at both large and small scales when determining the final one.

UI Kit

Next, I created UI kit to act as a reference document and ensure consistency. If Dewy ever wanted to build additional features for the app, all of the main UI elements would all be in one place.

High-Fidelity Desgin

Togetherness

With the visual style defined for the UI design and wireframes ready, it's time to put things together.

High Fidelity Prototype

Mobile high-fidelity prototype, Ready to test

It is time for testing my design choices and assumptions that have been made about the navigability, the screens, and the actions associated with different tasks. I then added interactions & animations to the high-fidelity wireframes to generate a prototype.

View Initial Prototype
Usability Testing

A rehearsal

With the prototype ready, I then drafted a usability test plan by outlining the test objectives, methods, KPIs and defining the core tasks for users to complete. The plan also included a script for the moderated and unmoderated sessions.

Test Objectives

  • To know user's first impression and observe how users navigate through the Dewy app.
  • To figure out what specific difficulties users encounter when they try to complete the core tasks when using the app.
  • To identify any barriers or confusions that prevent users from completing their goals efficiently (get the recommendations routine for skincare treatment, perform skincare routine and log skin health to track the progress, improve their skin concerns.)
  • Generating findings from testing results to shed lights on iterations for the next round.

Methodologies

Unmoderated & moderated remote testing through Maze, Zoom

Participants

  • 13 participants - unmoderated testing, 5 participants - moderated testing
  • Age between the target group of 18-35
  • Have interested in skincare

Task

  • Task 1: Let's Explore the app, complete the questionnaire and sign up with email to get recommend skincare routine.
  • Task 2: Explore morning routine recommended by Dr. Dray and save this recommendations to your own routine.
  • Task 3: Mark routine as completed & add new product to the routine.
  • Task 4: Create skin log, check the insight and check the activities record.

The Result

  • Overal Maze Usability Socre: 80 - The score reflects how easy it is for a user to perform a given task (mission) with the prototype by calculating key performance indicators: mission success & duration, test exits, and misclicks.
  • 80% of users or more complete the defined path as expected. (Task 1: 92.4%, Task 2: 64.3%, Task 3: 82.9%, Task 4: 88.6%)
  • Time on each task: less than 1 minute
  • Average bounce rate (drop-offs) for each task: more than 5% (Task 1: 5.5%, Task 2: 2.2%, Task 3: 20%, Task 4: 0%)
Affinity Map

Finding patterns to make improvements

After the research, I transferred the information from interview session and maze report into the post-it note. Then, I created an affinity map to synthesize the finding. By doing this, I was able to document the research findings and uncover the issues in my designs and help to determine on the prioritization for revise.

Key Takeaways

  • Most of the participants agree that the onboarding and questionnaire are effortless and straightforward. They love how the scan Ai is utilized to evaluate their skin. Besides, all participants embrace how the app doesn't require sign-up at the beginning so they can explore the app before making decision.
  • 3/5 participants in the interview said the routine page is overwhelming for them to follow through. As they mentioned, they expect to see products displaying rather than tips and other pieces of information when it comes to skincare routines. They know it's helpful, but they will not read all the time, so they want to have a way to hide or display that information easily.
    → Area for improvement: Revise the layout the routine page, to make it familiar with user's domain and make the information less overwhelming for users to explore.
  • Mark routine as completed screen had the highest bounce rate (20%). Most of the participants got lost since they didn't remember the instruction from the modal earlier, which guides users to swipe the card to the right to mark the routine as completed. Some users expected to see the button or check box to mark routine as completed, while others said they are familiar with Google and Facebook's swiping gesture, so they thought swiping to the left would give them all options to choose.
    → Area for improvement: Refer to the pattern from current apps to see whether or not to make the swiping gesture more intuitive. Also, consider designing other ways to let users mark routine as done easier than swiping.
  • 3/5 participants during the interview said they expected to see the recommendations, instant insights after they log their skin concern & scan their skin instead of prompting them to the log record.
    → Area for improvement: Revise the ending point from daily skin log flow to meet user's mental model, direct users to the recommendation, insightful tips to help them improve their skin concern.
Revise Design

Change for the better

Now that I uncovered the pain points from the affinity map as well as evaluated the level of effort and value before moving on with the revision. I started by fixing the screens that prevent users from completing the main flows and revising the screens that didn't meet user's expectation

Final Mobile Prototype

It's a show time!

With all the revisions have been made and the established UI design elements , I created the final prototype thatprovides all the information necessary for users to seamlessly connect with their friend and get recommendations from their loved ones.

Conclusion

The Impact

Since this is a conceptual project, I couldn't measure the impact of this app may bring but during my usability testing, I just got the overall rating score and feedbacks from participants. Users shared some some positive feedbacks about how the app could help them to improve their skin.

Overall rating score: 4.25/5

Reflection

What I learned

  • This project was my first time designing an end-to-end mobile app which provided me with an excellent opportunity to learn mobile design and practice my design skills. I'm glad that I have an opportunity to deep dive into iOS Human Interface guidelines to better understand how I should design apps that bring more pleasant & desirable experiences for mobile users.
  • Gain an understanding of the skincare market space during the extensive research phase, learn about the evolving roles of technology and digital products in beauty support.
  • Learn how the crucial role of UX writing & microcopy plays to guide users clearly and precisely. This ensures that users can achieve their goals with minimal friction while interacting with the app, especially during onboarding flows.
  • Prioritization strategies. After having tons of ideas from the brainstorming session, I had to step back and be realistic about what was feasible within the time constraints and decide which ones to prioritize for implementation. The persona & user journey helped cut out distractions, guided me to pin down the minimum viable product (MVP) amidst various constraints.

What would I have done differently?

  • I would have coupled with another designer or business partner to brainstorm ideas and develop concepts for the designs. It's challenging to come up with a new app concept on your own, and it would have been beneficial to have someone ask tough questions and poke holes in the business plan so I could strengthen it.
  • I would want to do more 1-on-1 interviews with SME to deeply understand the subject and industry to facilitate technology to deliver solutions that empower users to improve skin health.
Next Step

Moving foward

  • Conduct another round of usability studies to validate whether the pain points users experienced have been effectively addressed.
  • Go back to the feature roadmap and explore other aspects of the social feature that could potentially be implemented in the future to provide useful insights to users. Some ideas that were brewing in my head: skincare community to allow users interact with each others and get opinion from people who have tried the routine before, rewarding program, to name a few.

Be Dewy, Be Glowing

& thanks for reading!

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