Product Entreprenuerisation 1/2021 — SOPet Weekly Report
— Bhakamol Intanil, 6258056556 / Chief Design Officer, Co-Founder of SOPet
Week 1 (16–22 Aug, 2021)
On Wednesday this week, I had a meeting with Chawin, Jaguar, and Best (Kophong) to discuss the development of the SOPet application before the meeting with programmers from the Faculty of Engineering from the Innodating Program on Saturday. For the development of the SOPet application, me, Best, and the programmers will be working together. Best will be responsible for the research and design of User Experience, I will be responsible for the User Interface design of the application according to data collected from the UX research, as well as partly helping Best on conducting the research, and the programmers will be responsible for the coding of the application. The programmers will be working in two groups, one will be responsible for the main application for customers and the other will be responsible for the application for vets.
On Saturday, I and Best conducted interviews with several vets who are currently working with us, from both the older and the newer batches, to collected data on their experiences of using the website or any problems they encounter from our current website, to design and improve a better user journey for both the website and the application.
Week 2 (23–29 Aug, 2021)
For week 2, the UX/UI team which consist of Best Kophong and me, had again a meeting with the programmers from the Faculty of Engineering to discuss on our work plan. However, the plan was not yet finalized as the programmers will need to discuss with their professor first. As for now, the programmers will work on the same pace with their course. The expected outcome from the programmers for this semester is a complete UX/UI design of the application.
Apart from that the team also had a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss on our current operations, pricing change, marketing strategies, and future plans and development. We agreed to increase the price for all services starting from September 1st. Nevertheless, on Wednesday evening we received a sudden news from the Council of Vet of Thailand regarding the new regulation on telemedicine for animals, resulting in an emergency meeting. We discussed about our possible future plans and whether to pivot our business idea. However, we have decided to wait for the new law to be officially enforced before making final decision as more details will be released.
The UX/UI team had a meeting to discuss about the possible change in website and application according to the new law. On Saturday, me and Best conducted an interview with another vet to collect feedbacks needed for the UX/UI improvement.
Week 3 (30–5 Sep, 2021)
For this week, I had further meeting within the UX/UI team to discuss on the update of the user interface design on some part of the website as there are some parts that need to be changed according to the new law.
For this reason, my primary focus of week 3 was to design the updated version of the user interfaces of the current website to make it better comply with the new law regarding the telemedicine for animals. The design focused on 3 major fixes. The first edit were to add more important details on vet cards including vet license number and a clearer information on vets’ education and work experiences as these are information required by the Thailand’s council of vet. The second edit was the addition of the terms and agreement page before the payment page of every transaction, again, as required by the Council of Vet. The last edit were minor fixes on the font size of texts in some part of the website’s home page.
Week 4 (6–12 Sep, 2021)
For this week, the team had a meeting on Tuesday to discuss on whether we will welcome or not the two new programmers to the team who would become the CTO of SOPet and would create the whole application for us in exchange for shares of profit from SOPet. The team have agreed to welcome the new programmers. The team also discuss on share division within the co-founders of the team as well as discussing a bit on next phases of SOPet after the new programmers start working. I also received a request from Kul, who from the vet relationship department, to add some minor changes in the website’s UI and flow, which was to add a disclaimer for pet owners to always take their pet to the clinic or hospital after the remote consultation with our vet on a review page.
In addition, on Thursday, the UX/UI team had an internal meeting to discuss on a more details of future website/application plan after the new programmers start working. We have discussed on 2 major future phases of the application with different services. Apart from that, the UX/UI team also had a meeting with the programmers from the Faculty of Engineering to discuss on further work plans and a more details of UX/UI design of the application.
Week 5 (13–19 Sep, 2021)
On Monday, the UX/UI team had a meeting together with the two new programmers to discuss about the current situation of the website and their roles in the team in the future. The programmers have requested to see the code of the current website and suggested that we should re-do everything from scratch including conducting UX/UI research as the current website is quite poorly written.
Apart from that, I worked together with Kul and Best Kophong to finalized the contents and the user interface design of the terms and agreements page that was required to be added to the website as soon as possible by the Council of Vet of Thailand. We have submitted the the design and contents to the current programmers for them to add to the website. I also created a new temporary logo for SOPet as well, the change of the logo was minor (changed the name on the logo from S.O.Pet to SOPet).
On Sunday, the whole team, including the two new programmers, had a meeting together to get to know each other better as well as discussed on the future redevelopment of the website. The new front end programmers suggested me and Best Kophong to re-design the user experience and user interface of the website as well as designing SOPet’s corporate identity for the sake of better UI design.
Week 6 (20–26 Sep, 2021)
For this week, the design team focused on creating the corporate identity (CI) of SOPet, as suggested by the new front-end developer, to strengthen our cohesiveness among members in the team as well as to establish the positive brand image of SOPet. Meeting was held within the UX/UI team to discuss and finalize the suitable elements of corporate identity of SOPet including main colors palette and fonts to be used in our future media and application interface design. We were thinking of focusing on using 3 main colors (maybe light brown, baby blue, and white) with some san-serif font (either prompt or kanit). We also discussed about designing a logo for SOPet as well. During the meeting we have found out that designing the new logo by ourselves can be a bit too challenging as almost all of the logos of pet related brands we found on the internet look very identical (almost all logos use either blueish or greenish color with the silhouettes of cat and dog) and it might be too tough for us to design a logo that can be easily distinguish from others by ourselves. Therefore, we decided to look for freelancer to do this for us. The elements of SOPet’s corporate identity will be finalized later after the midterm exam period and I will start contacting the freelancer after that.
Week 7 (27 Sep–3 Oct, 2021 / MIDTERM)
As week 7 was midterm exam week, I decided to halt most of my tasks to review lectures and prepare for the exam. For this reason, my sole task for this week was to create a Gantt chart illustrating and describing the timeline and work plan of the UX/UI design of the new application development with the two new programmers. The period covered in the work plan is next week until the end of January 2022.
Apart from that, the marketing team also held a Q&A live event with vet on Facebook. I helped Paeng, the head of marketing who was responsible to be the MC of the event, by coming up with questions to ask vet in case the number of viewer is too few for the Q&A session. The live turned out to have a lot more audiences than we expected (over 100 viewers) with lots of questions in the comment section.
Week 8 (04–10 Oct, 2021)
For this week, the UX/UI team has been working according to the work plan, which is collecting feedbacks from our current customer as well as preparing survey form and questionnaire for the interview with our customer for the UX research of the new application development. The UX/UI team also had a meeting together to discuss what data do we need and what would be included in the interview. We also discuss on new features that would be added to our application in the future so that we can adjust our work plan to better suit the expectation of the final product.
Apart from that, as we are in the process of partnering with our prospect business partner, the whole SOPet team had a meeting together to discuss on company registration process. We have agreed on our roles within the company once we are registered, which will consist of 3 shareholders, including the programmer and other 2 co-founders, and the rest of the team would be the members of the board of directors. We have decided to register for a company right away if the partnership process requires us to do so, otherwise we would extend the plan for a bit more as register for a company requires quite a large amount of money and more workload, especially for the finance team.
Week 9 (11–17 Oct, 2021)
The team has agreed to proceed further with the company registration as our prospect partner required us to do so. The business team has contacted and submitted all the documents needed for the registration to the freelancer who would help us with the process. We are now currently waiting for our documents to be processed which will take approximately 7–14 days.
As for my task within the UX/UI team, I have been working according to the work plan. This week I have been listing out and finalizing questions as well as preparing for the interview with a customer for the purpose of UX user research. I have requested the customer relationship team to recruit at least 5 interview participants from our existing customers. The relationship team has reached out to 5 customers but only one has responded so far. The interview with that customer is scheduled to be on Monday 18th, 2021, at 17:00. Apart from that, since we are able to recruit only 1 participant so far, we will have to see if we can use any incentives to recruit more participants for the interview, otherwise we may have to change the research approach to using survey form (which I personally find not insightful and effective enough).
Week 10 (18–24 Oct, 2021)
This week the UX/UI team has been working according to the work plan and timeline. We have finally found 5 participants for the UX research interview as planned. 3 we have already interviewed and the other 2 are scheduled for interviews this coming Monday (25 Oct 2021). I find the feedbacks very insightful. So far, all of the participants we have interviewed do not have any issues with the flow of the website, but rather with the payment system of the website which they stated is a bit complicated and time-consuming. They also stated that they like the current design of the website and they feel that the beige color, which is the main color of the website, gives off a warm feeling. Our plan for next week is to analyze all the insights we received from the user interview and finalize the user persona and the storyboard.
Apart from that, I have finalized the color tones that will be used as SOPet’s corporate identity. I have also contacted a freelance designer to design a new logo for SOPet. At first, we were going to design the new logo ourselves but we later found that it was much difficult than we have expected especially if we want our logo to be distinct from other pet-related brands.
Week 11 (25–31 Oct, 2021)
For week 11, after completing the interview with 5 users about the website as planned, I extracted the data from the audio recording and analyzed the insights, and found that all of the objectives of the user interview are met. The key insights that I got from the interview are that all of the users do not have any problem with the flow nor the design of the website, but almost all of them have a problem with the payment system which they stated takes too much time. Some also complained about the online-offline status of the vet as they often experience a situation where the vet’s status is online but the vet isn’t online.
The UX/UI team’s task for this week is to re-design or adjust the user flow of the website/application if needed as well as create the website wireframe and the rough sketch of the application. However, since it turned out most of the users don’t have the problem with the flow as expected. There is no need to re-design or adjust the user flow that much.
This week I also received a response from the freelancer that I contacted to design the logo. The logo looks OK but I still don’t like it that much so further adjustment is needed.
Week 12 (01–07 Nov, 2021)
For this week, the UX/UI team continued working on the wireframe and the sketching of the developing web app/application. As the user flow did not need to be adjusted that much as according to the interview, no users have any problem with it. For this reason, the flow and the wireframe of the application is still stay kind of similar to the current website. In addition, I have also finalized the color palette and the font that will be used for the UI design as well. The task for next week is to start working on the detailed design of the website/application.
Moreover, the logo that I have contacted the freelance is now finalized and I am quite satisfied with it. Still, the colors of the logo may need to be adjust a bit more.
Week 13 (08–14 Nov, 2021)
This week the UX/UI team has been assigned to create the user flow of the application as requested by the Small Animal Hospital Chulalongkorn University. Therefore, we temporary halted our progress on the detailed design of our new application’s User Interfaces. The hospital want us to demonstrate the user flow of the application in 3 services including telemedicine, online drug prescription and delivery, and the payment system of the whole hospital. The user flow need to be customized and adjusted from our original flow a little as there are some specific requirements that the hospital wants. For example, for the telemedicine, the hospital plan to mainly serve only its regular customers such as those with pets with chronic diseases and passcode is required for the user to be able to access the service. The UX/UI team needed to design the user flow for both the user side and the vet side, as well as the admin side for all 3 services. I found designing the flow for the payment system a little difficult as I don’t know if there are any limitations that need to be concerned when designing the flow.
Week 14 (15–21 Nov, 2021)
For this week, the main focus of the UX/UI team is still on the user flow and the system design of both the new application and the site for Small Animal Hospital Chulalongkorn University. I have continued working on the user flow of the application as requested by them, focusing more on the payment system and user flow for telemedicine service for the vet side this week. In addition, the UX/UI team, the business team, and the developer had a meeting together to discuss on the flow that we have been working on to see if there are any issues or loopholes that we need to fix.
Apart from that, the team has also had a talk with the software house whose CU Innovation Hub referred us to. We later had a meeting together to brainstorm on the system layout with features that we are going to have as we need to send to them for the development of the application. We also had a discussion on whether we should outsource them or work in-house by ourselves.
As for the detailed design of the website’s user interface, we plan to wait until December for the engineering students who are working with us under the Innodating Program to finish designing the application UI. We will later use those UI as a based and add some further adjustments to the design.