Designing Fractal Bikes Using Object-Oriented UX

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Introduction

I recently wrote a case study sharing my experience designing Fractal Bikes using object-oriented user experience (OOUX). Fractal Bikes is a conceptual prototype of a mobile application that allows bike owners to share their bikes with other bicyclists; it was my project during the OOUX Certification Course taught by Sophia V. Prater.

This article explains what are the deliverables created during the Fractal Bikes course project and why they are important pieces to have before the design phase.

Fractal Bike Deliverables

Using the ORCA methodology developed by Sophia, I created the following OOUX deliverables:

  • Object Map
  • Object Guide
  • Call-to-Action Matrix
  • Object Sitemap
  • Sketches
  • Low-fidelity Prototype

Object Map

The object map delineates the objects in the Fractal Bikes system domain. Specifically, it defines what are the objects’ relationships to each other and what attributes and content chunks each object contains. The main objects of Fractal Bikes include “users”, “bikes”, “reviews”, and “training courses”.

Fractal Bikes Object Map in Trello
Fractal Bikes Object Map in Trello

The Fractal Bikes object map is created in Trello. Each Trello list represents an object, and each card within the list represents a nested object, attribute, or content chunk. Additional requirements about each card can be found in its detail view.

Nested Object Trello Card Detail View
Nested Object Card Detail View

The cards within each list are ordered with the most important attributes at the top, making it a first pass at low-fidelity wireframing.

Object Guide

The object guide helps justify why each object should exist in the system domain. The object guide defines what is each object’s purpose and how the object comes into fruition. It explains how the object is visualized to the user and how the user expects the object to behave.

Fractal Bikes Object Guide in Google Docs
Fractal Bikes Object Guide

An object guide helps ensure that the business and product team’s goals and objectives for a project are aligned.

Call-to-Action Matrix

The call-to-action (CTA) matrix is an inventory of all the explicit actions that a user can perform on an object. It describes which user roles can use the action, why they may use it, and in what context they may perform the action.

Fractal Bikes Call-to-Action Matrix in Google Sheets
Fractal Bikes Call-to-Action Matrix

Designing and developing the interaction design (IxD) behind the CTAs take up the majority of a product team’s time. For this reason, each CTA should be carefully considered. If there is not a strong use case behind why a CTA is needed or when it should be used, then it is best left out. The CTA matrix helps to rationalize strong CTAs and each line can later be converted into epics for an agile environment.

Object Sitemap

The object sitemap identifies important navigational paths between system objects. It is different than a traditional sitemap because it uses objects instead of pages to plan the application’s structure. The top level navigation is the main object, which is likely represented as a module in a list (e.g., list of bikes that are near me). When a user clicks on the module representation of the object, it will take the user to a detail view which may contain modules of other objects (e.g., a detail view of a bike contains some information about the owner).

Fractal Bikes Object Sitemap in Whimsical
Fractal Bikes Object Sitemap

Sketches and Low-Fidelity Prototype

The object map, object guide, call-to-action matrix, and object sitemap contain the specifications needed to create sketches. Below are sketches for the “bike” object in the Fractal Bikes system. From left to right are the module, list, and detail view sketches.

Bike Object Sketches
“Bike” Object Sketches

Each sketch can be cropped and used for a low-fidelity prototype. The following video shows a timelapse of the process used to prototype the “user” and “bike” object sketches in Axure RP.

Fractal Bikes Paper Prototyping (Timelapse)

Conclusion

OOUX deliverables help ensure that the user’s pain points are fully understood before initiating the design phase. The process of creating the object map, object guide, call-to-action matrix, and object sitemap uncovers complexity in the system domain and dissects it into digestible pieces. OOUX deliverables provide guidance and clarity of project requirements to help decrease the time spent creating sketches and prototypes.

Read more about my process of creating the Fractal Bikes OOUX deliverables in my full case study or head to rewiredux.com/get/training to sign up for a workshop to learn how to implement the ORCA methodology into your project requirements.

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