Year : 2018    
Duration : 3 month
Role : Design Concept / UI/UX Design / User Research / Branding 
Tools Used : Adobe XD / After Effects / Illustrator / Photoshop 


Objective
My Alexa is a suggestion of a new concept for Alexa assistant. It is the human experience of Amazon Alexa app having the new visual and empathic interface. My Alexa will empower a user's daily life with inspiration, motivation, insight. The whole concept was inspired by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
A Story Behind My Alexa
I struggled to find my direction as a designer during my school and even after graduation. I wanted to achieve something specific. However, I didn't know how to make it, and even how to start it. I tried to find some people with whom I can share my circumstance to get some feedback for the direction. However, it was not easy at all. 

One day, I saw the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It gave me the enlightenment that each emotional factors, such as safety, and belonging, and esteem play the key role to achieve the personal goal to success. I thought there must be many young people failing to grow up in the tough situation. I really wanted to make a meaningful product to help them. I ended up deciding to create My Alexa project.
We Think Too Much And Feel Too Little
Internet (Social Media) has been making peoples' lives much better, but it also made the further distance and closed mindset among people at the same time. "We think too much and feel too little." spoken by a great man, Charlie Chaplin gave me the chance to think about our realities that we are facing now. Advanced technology is not always bringing happiness to people. Eventually, I started thinking how I can make a meaningful product to inspire and motivate the users, and bring them closer together by using the latest technology, which is Alexa voice assistant. I ended up deciding to create a new concept of Alexa app to help people.
Problem I
1. Alexa answers queries about 20% less correctly in all categories than the competitor, which is Google Home. 
According to loupventures research, Alexa answered 64% of queries correctly compared to recent tests of Google Home at 81%, Siri at 52%, and Cortana at 57%. Even thought it leads the AI speaker market share, it sill need to improve the AI assistant performance which is its original purpose. 

2. Internet isolates people. 
According to Norman Nie, one of the principal investigators in the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society (SIQSS) contends that "the Internet could be the ultimate isolating technology," reducing participation in communities. The SIQSS study shows that "the more hours people use the Internet (social media) , the less time they spend with real human beings… [such use is] at the expense of time people spend on the phone gabbing with family and friends or having a conversation with people around them." Internet causes people to remain "home alone and anonymous"
Problem Il
1. Millennials are the most voice assistant users
Millennials and Gen Z will be the most voice assistant users. They are also tech-savvy generation. My Alexa project is aiming this target audiences.

2. Millennials & Gen Z fundamentally think about their growth opportunity
According to Brandon Rigoni, the Associate Director for Selection and Development at Gallup Research, at their current stage in life, Millennials and Gen Z fundamentally think about their role as a stepping stone and a growth opportunity. They place a greater emphasis on opportunities to learn and grow and opportunities for advancement. It’s important to understand what motivates them, what doesn’t, and the delicate balance between the two. 

Persona
After the user research, I created two each different personas called the busy professionals and college students. They have the potential room to grow up, However, they experience the pain points constantly being motivated and educated for their personal growth because of their busy work and the lack of resources, 
User Journey Map
I put the hypothetical personas into the user journey map to see each phase of product interaction of My Alexa project from their point of view. It helped me to develop the key solutions for the mobile app.​​​​​​​
Key Solutions for My Alexa​​​​​​​
After the user journey map, I created the 3 big features: Visual Interface, Mentoring, and Empathic Interface. The new app should support Alexa voice assistant by adding its visual interface and it will improve the voice assistant performance. It also should give the mentoring to our target audiences, which is millennial by giving them the daily quality contents, such as inspiration, motivation, & insight. Lastly, it should understand and empathize with the users to give them special emotional moment. 
 Fundamental Idea 
In Maslow's Pyramid, self-actualization at the top level inspired me a lot while I'm working on this project. I think self-actualization is really important for young people. I thought it would be great if we inspire and motivate the users to keep them on the right path to their successful lives. According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, we can't achieve the higher goal of a life without the basic steps, such as food and safety. This fundamental ideas of this My Alexa project are as same as Maslow's Pyramid. Without the combination of each important factors to help the human conditions, it wouldn't be the good product to help our target audiences.
Style Guide
The style of My Alexa followed the layer structure and color pallets with the current Amazon Alexa app & Echo Dot.
Sketches for Flow and Layouts
User Flow
The user, a young pioneer in this context, should be exposed the quality of contents for insight, inspiration & motivation, seamlessly get involved in the next action of each page with Alexa's automated response. As this can happen in any random order, the app’s flow has to be instinctive, almost automatic, so the user can focus on the core purpose of the app: empathic interaction, insight, inspiration & motivation
Dashboard 
User can customize their favorite cards on the dashboard. Mini Alexa button at the bottom helps the users easily summon Alexa. This button stays all different pages. 
Visual Interface
I think there are still many frictions between the user and Alexa voice assistant. Intuitive interface design supporting the voice assistant make seamless user flow and help people understand information visually better and easier. New communication interface between the user and Alexa guide users to get the answer correctly. My Alexa automatically responds user to give more open direction for further action.
Whisper
MyAlexa can respond with whispering voice when you summon her with a quiet voice. In private or public place, whisper function play a big role.
Interact in Human Emotion
My Alexa can respond to user emotion. It connects with home smart devices, such as Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue, or Smart plugs, and controls the color, lighting dimmer, temperature, and music playlists depends on user's current feeling to make their comfortable environment. 
Memories (Connection)
Sometimes, we reminisce about the good old days of childhood. It would be very precious and surprising if the special memories are sent to users without any pre-setting. Those memories can be any mediums, such as photos, playlists, videos, or even voice messages about the certain person who is important to the user. It will help the user to connect with other people with the shareable memories.
Inspiration & Motivation
Alexa inspires and motivates the user every day. Inspiration and motivation can be the quote, poetry, story, and speech about the relevant people who are significant or important to the user. This will help the user keep their purpose driven life and they can keep imagining what they want to pursue.

Insight & Collections
Millennials need the mentoring to have the better insight for their future. They need a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development. They want a roadmap to success, and they expect their companies or schools to provide it. However, it's not easy to find out the reliable mentors around them. My Alexa will give users the quality contents of their professional field, such as design, culture, technology, media, even politics. This will help the user to have the insight and foresight for their relevant field.


What I have Learned from My Alexa
My Alexa helps the user with a sharper focus on their career and it will help them gaining specific skills and knowledge. Its new empathic design engaging technology will promote the user with positive well-being.
My Alexa has a lot of meaning to me. It was my self-reflection journey and I knew it was not just about designing the pixels, it was designing the compliments to the human condition. What I’ve learned from My Alexa to create a meaningful product for human experience is I should consider the next following steps.

First, Solving the user's problem
Second, Making them feel good
Third, Making them feel safe  
Fourth, Making the positive energy
Five, Educating them
Six, Achieving their primary needs. 
Seventh, Inspire them with vision, dream, and hope.


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