Doodle is a simple Web app that allows people to “find a date and time for a group event.” It’s free and requires neither registration nor installation. With over 2 million users a month, it’s one of the most successful Web apps outside Silicon Valley.
iA was asked to redesign Doodle’s interface and brand identity. We began by evaluating the previous interface with a series of usability tests. Then we designed a sequence of updates that were checked and redesigned in a tightly coordinated evolutionary process between iA’s design team and the usability lab run by e&t in Zürich. This was the first time we developed a Web application in an environment so rich with usability testing. The high-approval rate of the previous user interface made the frequency of tests absolutely necessary.
Along with a few déjà-vu and “a-HA!” moments, we experienced some rather astounding results. The most surprising of which was the total failure of the calendar-UI standard as currently employed by Google, iCal, Outlook Express, and Doodle’s competitors. We would never have though that among the various possibilities, the current iFrame-esque scrolling div box would have delivered the strongest results.
After the initial few rounds of wireframes and tests, iA defined a modular design system for the Doodle brand that reflects its straight-to-the-point, user-oriented character.
Here are a couple of screens of the process, and how it developed:
This is how it used to look: