Hi, I'm Brendan Ciccone. 👋

Product Designer at Immertec. Musician at Pyrrhic.

Immertec Scheduling App

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

I am the Product Designer at Immertec where I was tasked with creating a mobile app for our physician users. One of the big parts of getting people into real-time virtual reality training sessions is scheduling them. This scheduling app allows licensed physicians to register and find upcoming live training sessions on our platform.

Research User FlowsUser StoriesInformation Architecture Wire Framing Prototyping IterationsVisual Design

SketchSketch CloudPrincipleNotionUndisclosed Research Tools

The Challenge:
We needed to create a way for physicians to easily access an app on their mobile device, find an upcoming training session, and book it. On top of this, we needed to have areas for authentication, beyond standard passwords and emails. This means adding another area that allows users to then authenticate with their provided VR headsets to connect to a session.

The Process:

Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test

User Research:
There hasn't been an enormous amount of research on this, but there are many design heuristics that can be followed in order to create a very user-centered design.

I used first-person and second-person research methods to get in the mind of a user and to interview people 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. The rest were actual physicians. The current method here will be a comparison between the old way and the new way of scheduling these training sessions. Not all respondents were asked the same questions, as some are current users and others are not.

Current Method:
They have to manually contact someone from Immertec to go and add in them as a userThey cannot download the app off the App Store or Play StoreThe users are not fully informed about all authentication methods and the use of the headset

Pain Points:
It can be difficult for those who are not tech-savvy to understand how to add the app to their phone due to its web app natureIt is confusing to them on how to see all upcoming events in a logical mannerThe event pages are not easy to quickly digest data

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 the be downloadable from a normal app store like the App Store or Play Store Around 30% felt that they were having difficulty scheduling the sessions they want toAbout 40% felt the design was too small on some screens and hard to see, likely due to inconsistent font sizes

Design Library:
While I originally designed the first iteration of this app, I did so poorly because I didn't create a nice reusable design library that could house all of these things I would need in order to build a very consistent experience for users. So I went ahead and built a hierarchal type system, organized colors in a logical manner, and added all icons used into a Sketch library and Notion document. Below is what the library contains.

High Fidelity Prototype:
I did some really rough low fidelity prototypes and some alright high fidelity prototypes, but the lack of a design system and consistency caused a lot of problems, as evidenced by the user insights. So what I have done is update the same app, however, with a much more consistent user experience. Below are design decisions I've decided upon as well as an overview screenshot of two prototypes in Sketch, each for different user permissions.

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 events should show in a more traditional calendar style to let people easily navigate between months and also 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 iconsAll screens should have a feel of continuity and not feel like they are taking the user out of the app into another appAll colors should be as consistent as possible to ensure a 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, such as how to schedule an event and attend it on the day of the event

Additional Info:
The mobile app is still a work in progress and will undergo a variety of functional changes that will require a fair amount of reworking to the way data is structured and the visuals exist. The project is somewhere in between the ideation, prototyping, and testing phases.

Haverhill Business Portal

The central resources hub for all entrepreneurs in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Haverhill is a municipality located in Massachusetts. They had an outdated, non-responsive website, which made it quite hard for users to navigate the resources. I was contacted by some individuals in the local government looking to replace the business portal they currently had. You can view the site live here.

Research User FlowsUser StoriesInformation ArchitecturePrototyping IterationsWeb DesignVisual Design

SketchHTMLCSSUndisclosed CMSAsana

The Challenge:
An outdated website can result in a myriad of awful things, from decreased search engine rankings to enormous usability and accessibility issues. Many website redesigns I do are fairly simple seeing as the level of information is fairly low. This time around it was much more difficult. There was an enormous amount of information that needed to be displayed in both a logical and more contemporary way.

The Process:

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.

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 Method:
Go to multiple websites to find the information they need, regardless of the time it takesNot trying to find anything at all and receiving finesOnly finding parts of what they need

Pain Points:
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 central places to find all the info they would need, they have to visit multiple websitesThey can't easily figure out just what their business needs, from certificates to other municipal contacts

Research Analysis:
I gathered all of the qualitative findings from both Haverhill and myself and implemented my process, looking for commonality between responses and observations. I grouped together needs, insights, surprises, and perceived emotional data. I also looked at already known data about 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 responsiveSearch engines can rank your website as low as 30 spots lower than other optimized sitesAround 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 business

High Fidelity Prototype:
While some prototyping was done inside of Sketch, the CMS allowed for the design of the site to already exist as a live thing. Ultimately, the high fidelity prototype was the earlier versions of the website. This prototype was created after careful ideation about how to tackle the challenge. I first tackled the way the information was grouped and then aimed to organize it in a logically consistent manner that was accessible to everyone. 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 and a few screens from their implementation. You can view the site live here.

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 sub-menus on pages where 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 supportRather than display everything on a single page, what can be broken up should and be cross-linked across pages

Additional Info:
The website was very well received by both critics and government officials.

"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.

I was tired of going through several menus just to switch audio outputs from my connected devices every day. After performing research and realize this frustration was shared, I decided to start creating the application. This project is still in development, however, the design is settled upon.

Research User FlowsUser StoriesInformation Architecture Wire Framing Prototyping IterationsVisual DesignLogo DesignBranding

SketchSketch CloudUndisclosed Research Tools

The Challenge:
Music producers, video editors, and creatives in general often need to quickly switch between inputs and outputs. The current way this switch is performed on macOS is via Apple Icon > System Preferences > Sounds and then selecting Input and selecting Output on different panels. This method can become incredibly annoying if you need to switch between inputs and outputs on a regular basis. My challenge was to build a solution that made it easier than ever before to switch between these inputs and outputs.

The Process:

Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test

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

I used a couple of second-person research methods including online video interviews and online surveys. In total, there were 26 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 Method:
Going through the System Preferences to edit or editing them through a specific applicationNot switching between and trying to default as much as possible

Pain Points:
It can be confusing to switch between devicesThey 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 20% 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 Respondents who played video games, around 10% of respondents that overlapped many segments, found the switching to be very annoying

Brand Creation:
Once the problem and user experience issues were defined to a point where I knew the likely, I took to Sketch and created concepts for the product's identity. When I create a product, I find it more inspiring to work on 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

High Fidelity Prototype:
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 largely simplistic. With the brand set, I started to ideate and create a prototype. Below are the 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

Additional Info:
The application is still currently under development and will likely undergo more testing after launch. Unfortunately due to changes in macOS security with the release of macOS Catalina, the actual development process has slowed down in order to ensure that this application can be distributed to the App Store.

Immertec Scheduling App

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

Haverhill Business Portal

The central resources hub for all entrepreneurs in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Kontroller I/O

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

Digital Artwork

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

My mom bought me a bass guitar when I was about 13 and I joined my first band a few months later. I eventually picked up quite a few other instruments along the way. Many bands later, I now create electronic music and produce for other artists in genres from indie to hip hop. Check out some of my music below.

About Me

For almost two years, I've been the Product Designer at Immertec, responsible for creating user interfaces for virtual reality, mobile apps, and web applications.

My journey into product design first started with my interest in music. Around the time I was discovering my passion for music, I also found a love for design. 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 work has been featured in major publications, such as Billboard Magazine. One of my most notable 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 also run and instruct the official meetup group for Sketch in Tampa Bay.

Reach Out

Interested in working together or just have a question? Feel free to message me!

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