About My Galaxy
My Galaxy envisions to become a app for everything. It’s a multi-purpose platform that provides an all-in-one experience with Videos, Music and Games along with other necessary services like Cabs, Movies, Travel, Food, Healthcare, Bill payments, personalized coupons and expert care for all Samsung related queries.My Galaxy aims to do away with the need of installing multiple apps, thus reducing the memory constraints and effort to find & download multiple apps.
Key Tasks: UX Principles, UI design, Design Documentation & Copywriting
Key contribution: As part of the Next Experiences with Technology (NXT) team at Samsung R&D Bangalore, I had designed My Galaxy app for all the categories of Samsung phones - flagship, mid-segment and entry level. Product was designed for both the platforms Android and Tizen, focusing on the Indian market.
The main challenge was to design a platform that is easy to scale and accommodate new features and multiple services from third parties without compromising the user’s experience.
My Galaxy has built its success on integrating its way into its users’ daily lives and combining all the popular brands and services into one platform. This is all tied together by a dependable, seamless user experience. To do this the following Design principle were followed:
1. Modularity: Component based Interface design that makes it easy to add and subtract features. It is a combination of all the functions and features, which makes the MG an app of apps.
2. Easy discoverability: Show the breadth of services and features to the user in one place to increase discoverability. These mini sections live within My Galaxy’s home page can be accessed by anyone, at any time.
Disclaimer: The wireframes and screens are for representation purpose and reflect the scope of the application in 2016-2017
Evolution of the App
Apart from design my other major tasks included synchronizing with third parties and integrating their experience within the main design and writing the copy for the whole app.
Official My Galaxy Advertisement aired on TV
Process involved sticking to short design phases in conjunction with marketing plans and tech team’s agile development sprints. So, the overall process was fast paced.
For security purposes and NDA restrictions primary user research was done internally. So, we relied on telephonic interviews and marketing research to generate user insights. Rapid whiteboard discussions, paper prototyping and UI guideline (NDA restricted). were done iteratively for every design sprint.
UI Guides captured detailed UI flows, language guidelines/ UI Copy, technical requirements and links to GUI &VUI guides for referencing. History and versioning for these guides were meticulously maintained for referencing and record keeping. These were shared with technical implementation teams.
Example of a detailed wireframes | NDA restricted – Blurred on purpose
Cross platform development: Android and Tizen
What I learnt
This was a high stake B-to-C project. To ensure timely delivery and realistic design, I closely collaborated with Marketing teams, developers, technical leads and visual designers. Making a design production-ready requires fleshing out detailed UX flows and taking care of corner use-cases such as first-time use.
I gained proficiency in designing in accordance to business requirements while optimizing the user’s experience and understanding technical limitations. I have learnt that you cannot design in insolation. Partnering with Tech and Business is fundamental to being a designer in the corporate world. This made me understand the importance of Peer reviews.
I also developed a sense of phase-wise planning of feature sets for commercialization and rolling different versions of products. Additional feature rollouts are in progress for both these products.
What could be done better
Being a commercial fast passed project, it was extremely time constrained, this made it difficult for me to adhere to a solid design process. If given more time I would conduct field testing and design research to get actual user insights on the field, so that discussions with the tech and business team can be centered around user's point of view and backed by real data. For the actual product I would have loved to work more on two keys aspects :
Be more Consistent:
As this application was speaking to multiple third-party apps at the same time it lacked the consistency and continuity within different navigation flows. Ideally, guidelines should have been created for external third-party services so that their interactions and visual design would be more constant with the main design language- by using the same controls and methods of interaction throughout the main program.
Make the whole UX open-loop:
In the app world, open-loop networking facilitates a system for numerous, pre-existing apps to work together. For example, an open loop system would let you chat with a friend via internal messenger while also allowing you to pay them back for dinner via the same app. It would also let you order a cab to meet up with them — all within the same app itself. Doing this will help achieve seamless navigation between services and features.