Imagineering Success

 Analysis of competitors' features (created as part of prototype design process).

Analysis of competitors' features (created as part of prototype design process).

Project

App Prototyping

Client

Marriott International

Role

Director of Mobile Experience Design (staff), designer, information architect, content strategist

Problem

Incremental improvements were not going to get the design of Marriott’s mobile apps where it needed to be. Each release slapped a different set of parts onto what had become  Frankenstein apps. As the complexity of Marriott's problems increased, its ability to solve those problems with a mobile app diminished.

Solution

I created two end-to-end prototypes. The first one broke the mobile team out of its Frankenstein-app-inspired stupor, introducing different approaches to existing challenges in a format that would allow for innovation and entirely new demands.

As I shopped that prototype around, other efforts within the organization were changing the environment for mobile. There was a new commitment to Agile (or at least iterative) development and, most importantly, the timetable for moving off of the wonky Kony platform suddenly got shorter.

In response, I retired the initial prototype and built a much more aggressive version. The second prototype worked within the constraints of:

  • A new design system for all digital Marriott products
  • A newly launched iOS 7
  • An MVP largely defined by existing functionality

As the native phone app launch project progressed, the prototype became an essential umbrella for the finer details of a new design described in wireframes and screenshots.

Both prototypes succeeded by providing a common understanding for the mobile team, third party vendors and Marriott corporate leadership. The prototypes solved current problems and eased current pain while rejecting the limitations of the status quo.