UX Design, Wireframes, Prototyping, Web Design
Project Overview
PressPound is a Seattle-based startup that simplifies apartment entry intercom systems and expands their functionality. It's designed for people who don't want to constantly be waiting to answer the phone to let their guests in. As part of a team of three, I worked with the founders to streamline the new user experience for their existing beta app and website in preparation for product launch.

An InVision prototype is available here. please note that this is not a fully-functioning prototype and is meant only for demonstration of navigation and select behaviors.
General Assembly

Tools Used:
Pen & Paper, Google Docs, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator & InDesign, InVision

From left: the PressPound founders, David Lowe and Yumei Tsang, and our UX team: myself, Sophia Gallant and Jenni Hoang.

My Role
For this project, I worked with a team of two other student User Experience designers. In the early stages of the project, I focused on competitive and comparative research, as well as developing a site map, user flows, and a style guide. After we had established a solid understanding of the existing market and the functionality of the existing app, my team and I convened to sketch out design concepts and develop an early prototype. With the prototype completed, I worked to conduct user testing and implement iterative design changes based on the feedback gathered. Towards the end of the project, I focused on developing the visual design and functionality of the website and prototype.
Defining the Problem
To commence this project, my team and I met up with PressPound's founders for an introductory interview. During this interview, we discussed their product and it's current state, as well as their business goals and potential design directions. They also demonstrated the beta version of their app as it currently existed. It needed some work:

After researching the existing product, I wrote up a design brief to ensure our team and our client were all on the same page. From that brief:

PressPound currently exists as a mobile app in beta. It's main features are all functional, but the design is bare bones and the user experience is not friendly for new users. Our objective is to expand on the app's user experience elements, making it clear to new users how the app functions and how to use it. Our secondary goal is to establish a strong visual design that helps the app stand out from it's competitors and communicates the feel of the brand. Our design priorities are as follows:

1. Flesh out the onboarding process
2. Expand the product's visual design & brand direction
3. Establish flows for new features: Do Not Disturb & Party modes
4. Create a single-page informational website with a strong call to action

With our problem and goals defined, we were ready to move on to our next design phase: user research.

Target Audience
We set out to design a questionnaire that followed many of the best practices of user research. We then created a secondary survey for the users that met our target users. From this, we screened out five users who qualify to do additional screening and created a 15-minute interview regarding their experiences with apartment intercom systems. From these findings, we derived a persona that represented our target user:

In order to rapidly generate ideas and potential solutions, my team and I set up a Design Studio workshop. We began by generating a list of outstanding problems, then spent 5-10 minutes sketching and exploring potential solutions for each issue. Afterwards, we shared and discussed our sketches, then voted on elements and designs that we thought were potentially effective solutions. This process was extremely helpful for getting the team on the same page and share our ideas without worrying about making them perfect; many of the sketches we developed during this stage guided our design decisions for the rest of the project.


Much of our design and testing was focused on the onboarding process. Our initial client and user interviews showed us that new users often didn't understand what the product did or how it worked; we knew that it was important to have a smooth introduction for new users that showed off some key features of the app and the value it brings to their lives. With that in mind, our initial wireframes focused on providing just enough information to get users started and show them why they would want to use the app.

As I conducted user testing on our first prototypes, I saw that new users often skipped through these pages without reading the text. To address this, we incorporated icons to provide visual interest and adjusted the typography to make the blocks of text more easily digestible. Our testing also showed that the two large buttons at the bottom of the screen tended to distract users from the text. We kept the "Free Trial" button to allow users to skip the onboarding process, but removed the "Sign In" button under the assumption that a user going through these screens likely hadn't yet created an account to sign into.

Guest Access

One concept that emerged from our sketches was that of an access calendar. In the initial design of the app, this screen just showed a list of the guests the user had created; we wanted to expand the functionality of the feature and allow users to see at a glance who had access to their apartment and when.

Our early testing showed that we may have pushed the calendar a little too hard, as users were often confused upon first seeing it when trying to add a new guest. We saw much better results in testing once we moved the list of guests above the calendar and adjusted the hierarchy; our users still found the calendar useful, but seeing it first didn't fit their mental model of what to expect from this screen.

Tutorials & Blank Slates

We had hoped that the combination of the informational website and the onboarding screens we put together would be enough to teach users the basics of the app, but during testing we consistently saw confusion around the navigation and some of the more involved features. One test task in particular, involving a feature called Simul-Ring, was unable to be completed by any of our users. We explored adding some additional info to these screens before they had been interacted with (Blank Slate), as well as using a simple pop-up walkthrough to describe each feature. After adding these two key bits of information, we immediately saw our user's confusion disappear – our testing went from a 0% success rate to 100% for this task, which is a pretty good indication that we were doing something right.


PressPound was an interesting design challenge because it needed to work within the limitations of apartment intercom systems, which are not exactly cutting edge technology. Some of the biggest pain points we ran into during testing, such as having to contact a building manager to change intercom numbers, were unfortunately limitations of that system.

Next Steps

While we focused on streamlining the new user experience and establishing a strong visual design for PressPound, we also identified a number of additional features for future development:
• Create an interface for multiple call-boxes
• Create a web-based interface so users can access & control features on their browser
• Create a new and separate interface for the landlord/management. Our interface is specifically tailored to the tenant.