Hi, I'm Brendan Ciccone. 👋

Product Designer at Immertec. Electronic Musician at Sovstov.

Immertec Scheduling App

The mobile app for scheduling remote physician training in virtual reality.

Overview:
I am the product designer at Immertec where I am responsible for all UI and UX related tasks. I was tasked with creating a mobile app for our users to schedule and securely connect to physician training in virtual reality.


Roles:
Research User FlowsUser StoriesInformation Architecture Prototyping IterationsVisual Design

Tools:
SketchSketch CloudPrincipleNotionUndisclosed Research Tools


The Challenge:
I needed to create a way for physicians to easily access a mobile app, find an upcoming training session, and book it. On top of this, I needed to have areas for authentication, profile settings, and more.


The Process:

Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test

User Research:
There have been 7 participants in testing.

Participants:
I used first-person and second-person research methods with interviews both in-person and online. In total, there were 7 people interviewed. A little over half of these were selected from demographics that matched those of physicians, while the rest were physicians. The current methods listed here will be a comparison between the old way and the new way of scheduling these training sessions.

Current Methods:
People have to manually contact someone from the company to go and add them as a userThe users face a lot of friction without an app to schedule a training

Pain Points:
They have a difficult time using technology for the most part and do not spend an enormous time onlineThey do not fully understand how to get into a training session


Research Analysis:
After collecting my qualitative findings, I looked for commonality between the responses. I grouped together needs, insights, surprises, and perceived emotional data. Below are some conclusions I gathered.

Over 70% of the respondents want the app to be easily downloadable from a normal app store like the App Store or Play Store Around 80% felt that they were unsure of how to properly schedule the sessions they want toAbout 30% felt that they were unsure on how to use the headset properly on the day of the event to connect


Design Library:
For the sake of design consistency, I used the Sketch design library I built that contains a hierarchal type system, organized colors in a logical manner, and icons. Below is some of what the library contains.


The Solution:
Once I had the insights of the users, I felt confident to begin ideating and creating some prototypes. The first iteration presented usability problems with a very low contrast, which users reported to be difficult to use. The second iteration was closer but utilized content that was simply too small.

I quickly realized that the lack of a library to provide consistency was becoming a very big issue. As seen above, I created this library to be used across all digital experiences and provide the best.

The third iteration is featured below and utilizes this design library and yielded the most positive results from users.

The mobile app should not have a font size anywhere below 16px to ensure legibility through all areas, from the calendar to the profile tabsThe app should follow the hierarchy set forth in the design libraryThe events should show in a more traditional calendar style to let people easily navigate between months and also quickly see on the calendar what works best for themThe mobile app should be native, if not only for the sake of making downloads easier for all usersNavigation should always be clearly labeled with both text and icons to maximize usabilityAll screens should have a feel of continuity and not feel like they are taking the user out of the app and into another appAll colors should be as consistent as possible to ensure better user experience and avoid any jarring situations where the user may feel they are in the wrong placeThe app should feature a small tutorial that goes over the basics of the app, such as how to schedule an event and how to attend it on the day of the event to ease friction


The Results:
Participants strongly agree that this mobile app design is more efficient in allowing them to schedule a training session than the previous methods. They also agree that this most recent design is easy to navigate.

All documentation for development was handed over via Sketch Cloud and Notion where a deeper dive is provided in the functionalities.

The mobile app is still a work in progress and will undergo a variety of functional changes.


Haverhill Business Portal

The central resource hub for entrepreneurs in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Overview:
Haverhill is a municipality located in Massachusetts. They had an outdated, non-responsive website, which made it quite hard for users to find the resources they needed for their businesses. I was contacted as a freelancer by some individuals in their city looking to replace the business portal they had.

You can view the site live here.


Roles:
Research User FlowsUser StoriesInformation ArchitecturePrototyping IterationsWeb DesignVisual Design

Tools:
SketchHTMLCSSJSUndisclosed CMSAsana


The Problem:
An outdated website can result in a myriad of issues, from decreased search engine rankings, usability, and accessibility. Many website projects I work on have an average amount of information to display, this time around it was much more.

The new website needed to display a large amount of information in a logical manner for entrepreneurs to easily access and understand.


The Process:
I implemented parts of the design thinking process in this project. First I talked with stakeholders to get a better understanding of the problems entrepreneurs had with the previous website. Some things were obvious, like being responsive so the site was easily usable on any device. Other things like how information should be structured were not.

Once I had feedback, I started to create a list of the problems set forth by the entrepreneurs, created a basic site, performed some testing, and in the end managed to produce an efficient informational website.

Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test

User Research:
The research was partly conducted by individuals from Haverhill. However, it didn't answer all of my questions so I conducted some of my own to get more user-focused insight.

Participants:
I used the second-person research provided by those in Haverhill and combined that with the second-person and third-person research methods I conducted. This included in-person interviews, online video interviews, and online surveys. In total, there were 42 people interviewed or observed. For those I reached out to, I inquired about their pain points, needs, and their current way of finding the entrepreneurial resources they need.

Current Methods:
Go to multiple websites to find the information they need, regardless of the time it takesNot bother trying to find anything at all and feeling that they rather receive finesOnly finding parts of what they need and eventually giving up

Pain Points:
They feel it takes way too long for them to find the right resource for a businessThe way resources are organized or presented often doesn't make sense to themThere are no centralized places to find all the info they would need, so they have to visit multiple websitesThey can't easily figure out just what their business needs, from certificates to municipal contacts


Research Analysis:
I gathered all of the qualitative findings from both Haverhill and myself and looked for shared features between responses and observations. I grouped together the needs, insights, surprises, and perceived emotional data. I also looked at already established data, like the way people interact with non-responsive websites. Below are some of the conclusions I gathered.

People are 37% more likely to leave a page if it is not responsiveAround 80% of respondents who identified as entrepreneurs said that they have a difficult time finding the right resources for their businessAround 40% of respondents who identified as entrepreneurs said that they didn't know where to find mentors or help with their businessSearch engines can rank your website as low as 30 spots lower than other optimized sites


The Solution:
While some prototyping was done inside of Sketch, the CMS allowed for the design of the site to already exist as a live concept. Ultimately, the high fidelity prototype was an earlier version of the website. This prototype was created after careful ideation. I first tackled the way the information was grouped and then aimed to organize it in a logically consistent manner that wasn't hidden behind countless menus and made sense. I took a very conservative approach with the aesthetics using solid colors and very neutral serif and sans serif font choices. Below are some ideas I chose based upon some user testing and a few screens from the mobile implementation of the website.

The website should clearly display the higher-level needs like "Start a Business" or "Mentors" in the navigationInformation should go by higher-level need and then down to more fine selections, including subcategories on pages only when necessaryThe website should be as accessible to people as possible to increase the chance of people using it, so it needs to not only be responsive but also have multi-language support - even more so considering that it is a government-affiliated websiteConsidering the sheer volume of information, rather than display everything related to a point on a single page, extensive pieces of information should be broken up and linked together across pages to prevent overlap
You can view the site live here.


The Results:
The website has been very well received by entrepreneurs, critics, and government officials. Around 13 users of the website strongly agreed that the website will help them much more than the previous non-responsive version in finding business resources.

"The Haverhill Business Portal is a step in the right direction towards utilizing tech to show all that Haverhill has to offer." - Rep. Andy Vargas

"The Haverhill Business Portal strikes the ideal balance for smaller local and municipal governments to emulate." - G2B


Kontroller I/O

The better control center for audio inputs and outputs on macOS.

Overview:
I began to encounter a problem with how slow the process was to switch between macOS audio devices every day. After performing some research and realizing this frustration was shared, I decided to work on creating a solution.

Despite this being a shared problem, I eventually realized that macOS actually provides this function natively in the menu bar. However, people are often unable to find it or know it exists.


Roles:
CreatorResearch User FlowsUser StoriesInformation ArchitecturePrototyping IterationsVisual DesignLogo DesignBranding

Tools:
SketchSketch CloudUndisclosed Research Tools


The Problem:
Music producers and creatives of all sorts often need to quickly switch between audio inputs and outputs. Without any alternatives on the market, the only way this switch is performed on macOS is via Apple Icon > System Preferences > Sounds, then selecting Input and Output options on different panels. This method can become incredibly annoying if you need to switch between inputs and outputs on a recurring basis. The goal was to build a better way to switch between these inputs and outputs.


The Process:
For this project, I took my typical design thinking approach. I felt this problem first-hand and reached out to others to help me better define the problem. Afterward, I started to ideate a few different ways to tackle the pain points. Following this, I created a click-through prototype and had 5 of the participants perform a series of actions and provide testing feedback to iterate upon the prototype and finalize the design before handoff.

Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test

User Research:
Although this was a problem I encountered first-hand, I wanted to know if it affected others the same way and whether there was a real need for a solution. Additionally, if there was a need, I needed to find out what aspects were plaguing people the most.

Participants:
I used a couple of second-person research methods including online video interviews and online surveys. In total, there were 12 people interviewed. Their backgrounds varied substantially, however, all of them used macOS. I inquired about their pain points, needs, and their current process of switching between inputs and outputs.

Current Methods:
Going through the System Preferences to edit them or editing them through a specific application that may not save the settings they inputTrying switch as little as possible between devices

Pain Points:
It can be confusing to switch between devices if they have many connectedThey have to open up the Sounds screen in order to see what's currently in useThey get thrown out of flow states when working by having to remember where to go to change the audio settings


Research Analysis:
After gathering all of my qualitative findings, I looked for commonality between the responses. I grouped together needs, insights, surprises, and perceived emotional data. Below are some conclusions I gathered.

Audio professionals and video professionals, about 30% of respondents, were the two groups most negatively affected by the complexity of switching inputs and outputs and wanted it easily accessibleOf the audio professional and video professional groups, over 90% noted that they wanted to see both inputs and outputs at the same time, rather than on different panelsRespondents who identified as something other than audio professionals or video professionals, around 50%, did not find the switching to be a significant problem Over 15% of respondents were unfamiliar with how to switch between audio devices


Brand Creation:
Once the problem and user experience issues were defined to a point, I took to Sketch and created concepts for the product's identity. When I create a product, I find it more inspiring to create prototypes when there is an actual brand existent. I decided upon a modern blue to purple gradient with a white icon that can easily exist within many different contexts. My goals and the finalized branding are shown below.

Clean and modern identity to amplify the simplicity the application intends to providePlay upon the concept of inputs and outputs with real-world things like power outletsMake it feel comfortable for not only audio and video professionals, but also gamers


The Solution:
While I find low-fidelity prototypes useful, I think it was appropriate to skip to a more high-fidelity one here considering that the application is simplistic with limited functions. With the brand set, I started to ideate and create a few different prototypes. Below was the final ideas I chose and a few screens from their implementation.

The application should exist in the macOS toolbar for increased simplicity and visibilityBoth input and outputs should be shown simultaneouslyAll text and actions should be in high contrast colors to ensure maximum usabilityInputs and outputs should be clearly labeled with both text and icons


The Results:
All 5 participants who reviewed the prototypes strongly agreed that this would solve their need for a more efficient process to switch between audio inputs and outputs.

However, this application will not be created due to an already existent menu bar feature built into macOS that allows users to switch both input and output devices. Although very few people know about it based upon my research, it would not provide more value than simply creating a small guide to show people how to enable the volume feature in their menu bar.


Kontroller I/O

The better control center for audio inputs and outputs on macOS.

Haverhill Business Portal

The central resource hub for entrepreneurs in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Immertec Scheduling App

The mobile app for scheduling remote physician training in virtual reality.

Digital Artwork

Click to view full-screen. Here are some selected works I've made.


About Me

For almost two years, I've been the Product Designer at Immertec, responsible for all UI and UX related tasks. There I've created and improved upon user interfaces for virtual reality, augmented reality, mobile apps, and web apps.

My journey into product design first started around the time I was discovering my passion for music. As a teenager, I decided to devote time to learning design tools to aid me in music. I began experimenting with Photoshop and gradually made my way into other programs like Sketch. Eventually, I found an interest in product design, picking up many relevant skills and tools along the way.

Before joining the Immertec team, I spent over five years as a web designer, discovering problems and designing solutions that fulfill user needs and surpass business goals. I have worked with a variety of organizations, big and small, in the fields of user interface design, user experience design, user research, web design, and marketing. My design work has been featured in major publications, such as Billboard Magazine. One of my most notable web design projects was for the city of Haverhill, Massachusetts where I created a business portal that provides entrepreneurs with quick access to the resources they need.

Outside of Immertec, I perform and produce music, run a Tampa Bay design Slack group, and instruct the official design meetup group for Sketch in the Tampa Bay Area.


Reach Out

Interested in working together or have a question? Drop a line below.

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