Oiled Koils

What is Oiled Koils

Oil Koils is a social hair care application.  I designed the Oiled Koils app with the intention that it’s users could seek out information about their hair and connect to others as well. The application was inspired by the lack of hair care applications on the market that cater the African Americans hair types. I took inspiration  from the Shea Moisture’s Hair quiz, Twitter and Instagram.

Common Use of App

A user would visit the Oiled Koils application in order to gain knowledge on how to properly care for their hair. Oil Koils invites all of those who are interested in obtaining healthy hair no matter the point in their journey. If they are a beginner that recently completed a “Big Chop” but they are not sure of how to moisture their new textured hair. Oiled Koils can be useful if the user is  6 years post big chop as well because there is an entire community that they can share their advice and experiences with. There is a place for everyone at Oiled Koils.

The Predecessors

Shea Moisture has a Hair Porosity Quiz, which suggests products customers should use based on their quiz results.  The quiz asks the participants a series of questions pertaining to their hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Once they complete their quiz the user is taken to a page where they can make a purchase from an entire line of products created specifically for their type of hair.

There is also an abundance of social networks currently available on the market such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. All of these sites allow users to communicate about any topic they choose, but Oiled Koils will be different in the fact that is will a specialized application that allows its user to easily to gain access to knowledge without having to search through a sea of unrelated information. In addition, if the user is not satisfied with the information that Oiled Koils is providing they have access to other users that can provide them with advice based on their own experiences. The difference is that Oiled Koils is providing unbiased education and product recommendations all in within an easy to navigate the application.

User Research:

To begin my research I created a Google survey in order to determine how participants would feel about the creation of an application that caters to curly hair. The survey consisted of questions that help me to understand the current frustrations of natural hair care. I needed to know how people were obtaining their hair education.


The survey also sought out to discover the state of the participant’s hair and their current routines. This was necessary for me to understand how the participants were taking care of their hair as well as which products they loved or dislike and why they developed those preferences.

Overall, the participants surveyed seem to want a quick and reliable resource that was readily accessible. With 23% of participants only receiving hair care information through YouTube, Oiled Koils may be a resource that many Curly girls might be missing.  A common complaint is that although Youtube is rather helpful the information can be buried within tons of irrelevant information.

When participants were asked to describe the current state of their hair 43% expressed that they would like to improve the health of their hair. Many of them have tried popular oils such as Argan, Tea Tree, and Castor but also seemed to be rather curious about other oils such as Jojoba and Emu. When participants were asked which resources do they visit when trying to get their hair care information 26.6% of participants responded that they don’t have any sources that they look into for hair care.

Participant’s Thoughts on Oiled Koils

-“It could make it easier for me to find solutions that are tailored to my hair type and needs rather than me having to spend hours searching the internet for women with my hair type who can share their knowledge.”

-“I think it’s an awesome idea. Consumers would have a personalized experience depending on their type of hair. It would be worth it because depending on your hair type one thing that works for another may not work for you. Also, I haven’t heard of anything like it.”

-”Would be extremely beneficial especially if the app listed the pros and cons, had reviews, price points, places to buy, etc.”

How Will Oiled Koils Add value to Our World?

The Oiled Koils application will provide people with curly hair types a platform where they can receive reputable knowledge on curly hair care.  The social aspect of Oiled Koils is the most important due to the ability of the user having access to people that have similar stories. Through sharing information based on the users own natural hair care journey they can develop a connection and not just to other users but to the Oiled Koils application.

Challenge Accepted

I aspired to create an application that would educate the users in an efficient manner but also showcase their natural hair care journeys as well.

Mood Board

  

The creation of the Oiled Koils mood boards was inspired by different hair types styles and oils. Ironically, my mood board looks very close to the posters that would see inside of a natural hair care salon. I also looked into sites such as ‘The Mane Choice’ and  ‘As I Am’ for inspiration as well. Overall I enjoyed the timeless looks of their websites but felt as though many of the Natural hair care products don’t have creative feels to them. 

Card Sorting

Participates were asked to group words relating to Curl Culture. Surprisingly, all three of the participant’s groups the words in a similar way. After the participants were asked to explain the reasoning behind the groups they created and if any of the cards were difficult to group.

Participant #2 explained: “Well it all makes sense, oils go with oils and hair textures should go together as well.”  In hindsight, I realized that the card sorting should have been more challenging in order to gain more useful insight.

Paper Prototype

Using the information gathered during my user research I began the creation of Oiled Koils. Starting with a few basic wireframes to understand how users would travel through the application.  I then moved on to developing a paper prototype for users to test. 

I discovered that participants would prefer an option to share their results rather than to download them. This was excellent suggest because it encourages users to socialize with each other.  In addition, participants believed that there should be a way to compare the oils that are recommended by the application. This would make it simpler for users that would like to do a side by side comparisons.

Oiled Koils Mock Up

Within my project, I employed my skills for sketch, figma, adobe photoshop, illustrator, and google surveys. This combination of programs allowed me to create a mockup that put all of the collected research together in a uniform manner.  

My Three Red Routes:

Completing a Hair Quiz

Comparing Oils

Creating a Blog Post

So, tell me what you think of my personal app?

Would you be interested in using an application that  suggested oils based on your hair type?

Are there any applications that you currently use to get hair information?

Would you be interested in joining a social community based on hair education?

CUNYFirst Redesign

As a class, we were challenged to create a better version of CUNYfirst website.

CUNYfirst is a website that CUNY students use to access all of the needs of a typical student, such registering for classes, viewing your schedule and even keeping up to date with the current events of CUNY colleges.

Although CUNY has created a website that is accessible  to all of their students the website itself is cluttered and outdated. During my surveys 4 of the 6  people I interviewed complained that the site made simple tasks like logging in and paying your tuition difficult, agreeing that they would prefer a simpler interface.

“When you log-in to CUNYfirst the amount of information that you see is overwhelming”

“CUNYfirst makes it difficult to complete the simple task like paying your tuition”

 

After conducting interviews I  concluded that creating a mobile application would be the best route due to the overall convenience it would provide the users.

I have attempted to create a CUNYfirst Mobile application that will always allow users to have the functionality of the CUNYfirst website but in a simpler format.