Juicy Peach is a mobile app where youth can ask anything about sex and relationships anonymously. The company targets 13-to-24-year-olds in conservative Asian countries where sex education is limited, and there's a huge cultural taboo around the topic, even among friends. They can freely connect with experts and peers for knowledge and support.
The app was launched in mid-2017 and gained 3,000+ users within one month. However, user retention rate was very low—most users asked one question, got their answers and never came back. The app was also initially designed without user research or testing. According to the app analytics, users didn't understand some features or didn't use them the way the creators intended.
Our goal was to redesign the app to optimize overall user experience and increase user engagement through gamification.
- UX Research & Design
- Branding & Visual Design
- Mobile App Redesign
Identifying the Problems
Because the app was already launched for one year, we had real user data to analyze and accurately identify the root cause of the problems. We supplement this data with qualitative interviews with current users and an audit of Juicy Peach's competitors.
From the diagnosis, we derived that the initial design wasn't user-centric, including:
- Too many features that users didn't understand or want to use.
- The user experience was bland and limiting—there was no incentive for users to come back and continually engage with the app, and users were sometimes forced to go through complicated steps before getting what they want.
- The brand wasn't relatable—users found the brand design and voice generic and a bit too formal (even though it's a community for youth).
The Original design
Here are some examples of how limiting the user experience of the old design was:
- Users were forced to sign up with personal details (e.g., age, gender) before understanding what they can do with the app (below, left).
- Users were forced to select a topic when asking a question—a seemingly familiar concept. However, user data showed that 80% of the questions were posted in the wrong topic category, and users may be selecting categories randomly just so that they can post (below, right).
- Users were confused with features like "Boost" where they can use in-app currency to make their question seen by more people. Although, this effect is not as apparent because the boosting depends on many factors like engagement on that question and how long ago it was posted.
We proposed three solutions to address the core issues:
- Prioritize user needs to streamline features and user flows.
- Encourage engagement with community and gamification.
- Inject personality into the brand to create a more memorable and delightful experience.
We started by creating a brand personality that was more relatable to the target group (youth in Asia) and reflect it throughout the brand, from the look & feel to the voice & tone. We ran an interactive brand strategy session with Juicy Peach to define the brand attributes and focused on being fun, sassy and candid.
Based on user and competitive research, we noticed how cute cartoony mascots are very popular among Asian teens and were inspired to create our own. We hired a talented illustrator to design characters of playfully suggestive fruits with a fresh, vibrant color palette. They can be used as mascots and user avatars that users can unlock through engagement.
Talk like users
We wanted a voice & tone that connected better with youth and use the type of language that they'd use when talking to friends. This helped young users feel like they're among a community of peers who understand them and relate to their problems.
Provide Value first
In contrast with the original design, we decided to allow users to see the dashboard (showing other users' questions) and to ask a question without creating an account. Users can fully experience and understand the value Juicy Peach provided for them without any barrier to entry.
We wanted users to have a personable experience right from onboarding. Instead of filling a form, we created a conversation using the peach mascot like it's getting to know the user as a friend.
Bring delight to all user types
Juicy Peach had 3 types of user accounts: regular user account, expert account, and brand account. The old design paid more attention to regular users while neglecting the experience of experts and brands. We injected a delightful user journey to all user types from onboarding and account management.
Prioritize User Needs
We added hashtags. Users can tag their questions with any keyword they want instead of being forced to select limited and confusing topic categories. Hashtags were also intuitive for teenagers to understand because they're already familiar with them from other popular social media.
Features like "Ask experts" now display a clear and concise description, thus reducing confusion. Other unclear (and rarely used) features like "Boost" were removed.
We observed that users tried to reply to specific comments even when the feature wasn't available, and they invented their own ways to do it, like typing the commenter's username or "replying to comment #2." We decided to implement nested comments, complying with what users want, and making the comment section much more organized.
We tested the new design with both existing users and random participants within the target group. We The redesign successfully achieve our initial goals:
- Users found the new branding personable and fun
- Gamification was an excellent incentive to keep coming back
- Users were able to navigate the flows to easily