The world of development creates opportunities to enhance our daily lives. Creating applications to streamline processes and improve efficiency. However, not every problem needs to be solved with custom software.
OMBase is a scheduling and client management system used and developed by YourYoga. Its core functionality is logging the status of client’s memberships and checking them into classes. The web application was designed and developed by the OMBase team for use in their Minneapolis Yoga studio, YourYoga. OMBase would like to sell the application for use in other Yoga studios.
Identify the elements holding the application back from use in other settings. Establish a more functional hierarchy of information and align with common mental models for web applications to create a more positive experience. These changes will not only make the product more viable for the employees at YourYoga, but will make it easier to sell to future client Yoga studios. Alongside this usability makeover, provide features to streamline the check in and sales processes.
Tools & Methods
Students enter the space via a long staircase. At the top of the staircase is a small table with the current session’s instructor. Each client writes their name and email on a clipboard before they put their personal belongings into a cubby-hole. The instructor then reviews the clipboard and enters the persons name into the check-in screen.
If the client is new or needs to re-up their subscription, the instructor needs to utilize Square, a separate app for paying with a credit card. Any other means of payment is manually entered into a google spreadsheet. Most of the time the instructor is sharing dialogue with the customer to keep them entertained as they enter the space. They juggle their time at desk with helping students get set up, often having to wait until after class to re-enter names they missed via the clipboard.
This workflow leads to a lack of connection between the instructor and students as they enter the space. What is supposed to feel like a tranquil, welcoming environment feels cluttered and chaotic.
Realigning Application Goals
How could we maximize the individuals experience and streamline the workload of an instructor? A contextual inquiry identified a need to minimize the on screen time for the instructor. The application that was originally designed to solve a problem for the business was creating more work. I tried to identify a strategy that would break this workflow and provide more time for the instructor and more contact with the students.
Instead of asking students to write their name on a clipboard, provide them with a check-in screen. This reduces the redundant workload on the instructor's behalf. This same portal could be displayed externally to individuals interested in joining a class so that they could pre-register or check-in on their way to class. The instructor would be free to move through the space and would only be required to take over in the case of a problem. To improve the effectiveness of instructor’s ability to resolve problems, I established a stronger visual hierarchy and alignment to standard mental models. Many button and interactive elements on OMBase hide behind a click. I brought those elements to the forefront in a way to call attention to an instructor’s most used functions. This creates a more shallow learning curve and reduces the potential for unintentional errors.
OMBase was created to solve the tracking of individuals attending classes at YourYoga. The application added a layer accountability at the cost of more work for their instructors. Adding a self check-in feature would allow studio instructors more freedom. Along with the self check-in, the refined user interface and suggested API connections to square will help OMBase be more applicable to future businesses.