top of page

Facts Comando

Volunteering Project - Web App

In the digital age, the spread of misinformation can have far-reaching consequences, particularly during times of conflict. "The Facts Commando" is a volunteer-driven web app project initiated in response to the October 7th war in Israel. The app's primary aim is to counteract the pervasive issue of fake news by providing accurate and reliable information to users in areas heavily impacted by misinformation.

#UserResearch
#UserJourney
#PainPoints
#UserFlow
#Survey
#GroupSessions
#CardSorting
#Wireframes
#UserInterviews
#Personas
#Prototype

Roles:

UX/UI Designer

Project Timeline:

December 2023 - Present

Joining the Project:

February 2024 - Present

Team Size:

16 members

Contribution

Hannah Ilievsky - UX/UI Designer

As a UI/UX Designer on this project, my role was to ensure that the app's interface and user experience were optimized for clarity, ease of use, and engagement. This case study will explore the design challenges, research methodologies, and creative solutions employed to bring "The Facts Commando" to life.

Background Story

On the morning of October 7th, at 6:30 AM, there was a devastating attack by Hamas on Israel, resulting in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of approximately 1,400 Israelis, including women, children, and men.

In the aftermath of this tragic event, there was a significant effort by Palestinians to avoid international condemnation and sanctions. This was achieved through by pushing their propaganda hard all over the world - the support for Israel slowly began to fade.

Within Israel, the situation was equally tumultuous. The Minister of Information resigned, acknowledging her failure to effectively manage the crisis. This resignation was just one in a series of political upheavals that Israel faced, further exacerbated by ongoing conflicts over legal reforms.

However, in the midst of these challenges, there were numerous private initiatives led by remarkable individuals. These efforts, spanning various industries including information dissemination, highlighted the resilient and compassionate spirit of the Israeli people during these difficult times.

My Journey

Feeling a deep sense of frustration and a desire to contribute to the war effort, I decided to use my skills in UX/UI Design to make a difference. I felt a strong need to be a part of the national effort and to use my expertise to support Israel in these challenging times.

Simultaneously, I was engaged in volunteer work for the global campaign of the

Me Too Movement of Israel. I was on the lookout for a meaningful, long-term project where I could leave a lasting impact and truly make a difference.

That's when I crossed paths with Boaz Deri, a meeting that would steer me towards a new and impactful volunteering opportunity.

My Role

As a UX/UI Designer in this project, I took on the challenge of improving the product's design and user experience as part of the design team. In a data-driven environment, I assumed responsibility for the design elements, striving to ensure that the product surpassed user expectations.

Working closely with the Product Manager and Founder, I was deeply involved in the decision-making process, shaping the trajectory of the product's development. My key contributions included designing the desktop version of the product and conducting user interviews. These interviews were crucial in establishing a strong foundation for the business, product, and design strategy.

Background

I became part of the project several months following its inception. Due to the rapid launch of the project, there was a significant deficiency in user experience, and I identified several issues that required attention.

To tackle these challenges, my initial step was to create a desktop version of the product, which had previously been limited to mobile platforms. I also suggested undertaking comprehensive research to understand users needs by conducting user interviews.

In times of major geopolitical events, the digital realm is frequently inundated with misinformation, creating a fog of confusion and misunderstanding. The October War in Israel served as a stark example of this phenomenon. Our primary challenge lay in combating the spread of fake news, empowering users to sift through the multitude of competing narratives and achieve a well-rounded comprehension of the historical backdrop.

The Challange

The Beginning

An initial review of the product revealed substantial usability and design issues stemming from a rushed design process. Notable problems included the use of a "disabled" color scheme for buttons, overly complex designs, small, cramped sections, and impractical button placement.

Following this initial set of revisions, we embarked on research to compile an initial database. This served as a foundation for making educated design decisions in the ongoing development of the product.

Strategy

Our project has established a comprehensive research strategy with both short-term and long-term objectives:

  • Short-Term: The initial phase involves conducting in-depth research with 20 key questions. This step is crucial for gaining an up-to-date understanding of our user base and evaluating the product's current user experience.

  • Long-Term: Our strategy includes sending out NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys on a monthly or quarterly basis. These surveys are instrumental in measuring our progress towards our set goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicator). Additionally, satisfaction surveys were send to users who decide to discontinue using our product. This feedback will be invaluable in identifying areas for improvement.

Workflow

In parallel with formulating the research plan, leading to inefficiency and confusion. This lack of organization meant important tasks were overlooked, hindering our progress toward our goals and objectives.

Structured task schedule using Trello. Organized this schedule by departments, assigning tasks to specific team members, setting deadlines, and prioritizing activities. The implementation of this system transformed our approach from a style to a more systematic and controlled workflow, significantly enhancing our productivity.

Survey

Research

A survey was done, which included questions about the product experience, engagement in WhatsApp groups, encountered obstacles, and demographic information.

The collection of demographic information was strategically aimed at crafting a primary persona. This persona would then guide our design decisions moving forward.

After initial ideas were proposed, we incorporated requirements and feedback from various departments, enhancing the relevance of our data across different areas of the project.

Research Assumptions

Research Outcomes

  1. Predominantly, users are aged 50 and above.

  2. A majority engage in sharing posts at least once a day.

  3. Sharing behavior is influenced more by personal preferences than by the collective need.

  4. Interactions such as commenting on others' posts are infrequent among users.

  5. Unfavorable content is unlikely to be shared by users within the group.

  6. There is a general lack of awareness about the impact users or the project have.

  1. Age Demographics: The assumption that the typical user age is over 50 was confirmed, aligning with our initial predictions.

  2. Posting Frequency: Contrary to our initial belief, we found that users tend to share posts more frequently than just once a day.

  3. & 5. User Behavior and Preferences: Our hypotheses regarding user behavior and content preferences were validated, indicating our user base aligns closely with our initial user research.

Execution and Outcomes

In response to inputs from other departments, the survey was rolled out across several project-related groups. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 579 participants providing detailed responses. This rich input significantly deepened our understanding of our user base and their specific needs. It enabled Rei and myself to proceed with more informed and precise design choices.

The Challenge

The survey revealed a critical gap: users have a limited understanding of the project's overall effectiveness and their individual contributions. This insight has reshaped our primary focus, driving us towards enhancing user awareness and perception of their impact. Our aim is to address this challenge comprehensively before the next survey period.

Main Problem

  • Identified Issue: A significant issue highlighted by the survey feedback is the users' limited grasp of both the project's overall success and their own personal contributions. This gap in understanding and perception has emerged as a primary concern.

  • Objective Set: Addressing this concern has now become our paramount objective. Our team is dedicated to elevating users' comprehension and awareness of their individual impact, aiming for measurable improvement by the time we conduct our next survey.

Empathy Map

To lay the groundwork for identifying "who the average user is" within our product, we meticulously analyzed the survey data. Our goal was to uncover clear patterns that would reveal key characteristics of our users, setting the stage for the development of a central persona.

The Main Persona

After an in-depth exploration of our user base, focusing on their needs and the challenges they encounter both within and outside of the platform, we crafted a primary persona. This persona is not just a representation; it's a cornerstone of our product strategy and design process, guiding every decision to ensure it meets the real and nuanced needs of our users.

Data-Driven Redesign

Armed with insights from our survey data and a refined understanding of our 'average customer,' it became evident that a substantial redesign was necessary. This led me to initiate a significant departure from the traditional product approach, embracing a more user-centric redesign strategy.

Enhancing User Experience

A key aspect of this strategy was the reorganization of content, with a special emphasis on refining the onboarding process. The objective here was to simplify the learning journey for new users, reducing the likelihood of errors and frustration, thereby minimizing the chances

of user dropout.

Moreover, the focused on streamlining the user flow, ensuring a more logical and intuitive navigation path. This approach was designed to enable users to transition from point A to point B in fewer steps and clicks, ultimately facilitating a more seamless and efficient interaction with our product.

Conclusions

  • The Impact: A significant discovery was the realization that a large portion of our users remained unaware of the project's effectiveness and their individual contributions. This lack of awareness underscores the need for strategies that better communicate the value and impact of user participation.

  • Constomization Gap: We identified a customization shortfall, with many users reluctant to share content or engage with groups that don't align with their personal views. This disconnection has led to decreased engagement, affecting overall productivity and hindering the achievement of our project and product objectives.

  • Revamping Design Strategy: The demographic revelation that our primary user base consists of individuals aged 50 and above prompted a pivotal shift in our design approach. Initial designs failed to account for this demographic, leading to a misalignment between our product's design and the needs of our target audience. This insight necessitated a comprehensive redesign and strategic reorientation to ensure our offerings resonated with our intended users.

  • Fostering a Sense of Belonging: Feedback highlighted a pervasive feeling among users of being mere 'cogs in the machine,' undervalued and disconnected. This sentiment, stemming from the current 'publish and go' model, emphasized the need to overhaul the user experience to promote a stronger sense of community and personal value.

Design

The design encompasses the development of concept screens and setting the overarching direction for the design. After obtaining approval from both the project manager and the design lead on the initial concept, the design progresses to the finalization and prototyping stages. This precedes the transition into the development phase, where the concepts are transformed into functional product features.

UX Design

Scalability Considerations in Complex Systems

Recognizing the critical importance of scalability, we integrated scalability principles into the product's diverse functionalities. Our aim was to ensure the product could accommodate a growing user base without compromising the quality of the user experience.

To achieve this, we meticulously developed states for each feature that handle various quantities of content, such as blogs, content banks, lists, and tables. This approach addressed scalability challenges at both design and user experience levels, following a systematic four-stage process:

  • Empty State: Designed for scenarios with no content, ensuring users understand how to begin adding items.

  • Few State: Tailored for just a handful of items, focusing on easy access and interaction.

  • Many State: Adjusts for a moderate amount of items, introducing additional navigational controls.

  • Plenty State: Prepares for a large volume of content, optimizing navigation and accessibility.

At the UX level, we designed distinct controls for each scenario, gradually introducing more options as the content quantity increases, ensuring users can effortlessly find their desired content while maintaining a fluid experience.

On the UI front, we seamlessly integrated these controls into an evolving design system, maintaining a user-friendly color scheme and intuitive action cues. Primary actions are highlighted with Fill buttons, while secondary actions use Stroke buttons, keeping the interface clear and navigable.

Flexibility was paramount. We made thoughtful adjustments based on user feedback and testing. For instance, in scenarios with 'many' items, we prioritized navigation controls like 'next' and 'previous' as primary actions and demoted less frequently used features, such as pagination dropdowns, to secondary status.

This approach, validated through user testing, aligns with users' preferences for page-by-page navigation, fostering deeper engagement with the content and enhancing daily active users (DAU) metrics. It exemplifies our commitment to a user-centric design philosophy, ensuring our product not only meets but exceeds user expectations for an engaging and intuitive experience.

Desktop Version

In my endeavor to enhance the user experience across platforms, I undertook the meticulous task of crafting a desktop version of our system. This wasn't just about scaling dimensions; it was about reimagining the mobile simplicity that our users have grown to love and rely on, ensuring that this essence was not lost in the translation to a larger canvas.

Understanding the diversity of our user base, including the significant segment of older users, I prioritized accessibility and ease of navigation in the desktop environment. This entailed an intuitive design approach that maintains the familiar feel of the mobile version, thus minimizing the learning curve and ensuring a seamless transition between devices.

I leveraged the latest in responsive design techniques, ensuring that the desktop version is not just a static translation but a dynamic, adaptable entity. It's crafted to fluidly adjust and present an optimal user experience across a myriad spectrum of screen sizes and resolutions, from compact laptops to expansive monitors. This adaptability ensures that every user, regardless of their device choice, is met with a design that’s not only functional but also visually engaging.

In this process, I delved deep into user research, gathering insights on usage patterns and preferences, which informed the strategic decisions in layout adjustments and interaction design. By integrating these insights, I aimed to not only replicate but also enhance the user experience, making it more intuitive and engaging on the desktop.

The culmination of this effort is a desktop version that stands as a testament to our commitment to inclusivity, accessibility, and adaptability. It's a design that respects our users' familiarity with the system while embracing the possibilities that a larger screen offers, ensuring that every interaction is simple, intuitive, and efficient.

This project showcases not just a technical achievement but a thoughtful approach to design, where user needs lead the way in creating a product that’s both beautiful and functional.

Frame 1615.png
Frame 1612.png

Flows

In order to streamline the transition from design to development, it was decided to organize and share the UI designs with the development team in segments defined by specific user flows.

This segmentation not only simplifies the development process but also provides developers with a clearer understanding of the sequence of actions within the application. When needed, developers can easily access the prototype, navigate to a specific flow, and observe the design's functionality and appearance in a practical context.

Sprints

In an effort to streamline the transition from design to development, it decided to segment and share the UI design with the development team by specific flows. This method not only aids developers in grasping the sequence of interactions but also allows them the option to delve into the prototype, choose a particular flow, and observe the design's functionality and aesthetic in action.

Designs awaiting development are marked with a brown/yellow background, allowing quick identification of their status at a glance, even in zoomed-out views.

Embedded sticky notes within the design files provide essential reminders and insights, ensuring alignment and clarity on development and design considerations across the team.

Meet the Team Behind "The Facts Commando"

Leadership

  • Boaz Deri: Founder & Lead Developer

  • Arie Duvdevani: Business Coordinator

  • Larry Shnirman: Product Manager

  • Batel Lugassi: Product Manager

Design Team

  • Rei Ayal: UX Designer

  • Aviv Wildikan: UI Designer

  • Hannah Ilievsky: UX/UI Designer

Development Team

  • Yair Orchen: Development Team Leader

  • Stav Hasidim: Full-Stack Developer

  • Ronen Boxer: Full-Stack Developer

  • Dima Drapkin: Back-End Developer

  • Noam Anisfeld: Infrastructure Developer

  • Nehoray Ilani: Infrastructure Developer

  • Nadav Kassif: QA

Content Team

  • Orly Finkelman: Content Manager

  • Roy Fimiamov: Copywriter & UX Writer

bottom of page