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USR Studio


My involvement

Design Lead: Literature review, Competitor audit, Personas, User Scenarios & Flows, Heuristics Evaluation, Ideation, UI Design, Branding, Design System, Design QA

August 2020 to April 2021


Alex Garneau Developer
David Cocom Developer
Eddie Chu Developer
Shawn Skinner Developer
Southworks Back-end Development Team
Trevor Dunn Project Manager/Developer
Yasanthi Wije Goonewardene Project Manager

The Brief

The client was looking to create a social media app that prioritized:

A way to verbally record and share your ideas


A way to listen to and engage with other people's ideas


The Approach

Drawing on competitor analysis and user research from the Discovery Phase, we created a few focus areas for design with the client. In the 1st Design phase, an aspirational prototype was created and presented to the client, which then helped inform the focus areas for the 2nd Design Phase. In the 2nd Design Phase, a feature set was paired down and prioritized to create the MVP product. It was reviewed, tested with real users and iterated upon, resulting in the current version of the product.



Through deep dive sessions with the client, we developed core principles for what Vover would strive for.

  • The pulse of what people are thinking

  • A platform to document and share something of substance

  • A more authentic way to share ideas through social media

  • The sequence of posts and related train of thought is more valuable than any individual post

User Research

User insights were derived through secondary research of potential overlapping audiences, primarily through analysis of podcast audiences and social media users to identify user wants, pain points and opportunities.


Competitive Audit

We assessed flows, features and opportunity areas of competitors and related applications such as podcast app, audio-based apps and social media leaders. We identified opportunities for innovation in areas such as: navigation, post curation, audio visualization, and hands free listening.


Analysis & Prioritization

Research and conversations with the client converged into synthesized the insights into 5 themes.

Create and share content in a more personal way: through your own voice

Less edited, polished content

Democratization of voice: it’s not just for podcasters and radio pros

Allows users to stay up-to-date with the thoughts of the masses in a hands-free format

Allows conversation and discussion of niche subjects

I also created personas and potential scenarios to provide a digestible means of understanding information.

These design tools helped solidify the understanding of opportunity areas and were used to inform design decisions.



I created prototypes based on the previous research and tools through frequent co-creation and design review sessions both internally with our development team, our external back end team and with the client. 

Paper sketches

I started by developing paper prototypes for key flows and views of the app.



After rounds of feedback from the client on the presented flows and sketches, we selected a which ideas to run with at a wireframe level.

Style exploration & logo

Through more iterations with the client, style exploration spikes were created for key views. I also designed a logo that aimed to show the fun, expressive nature of the app.


Iterations & Final Designs

After creating our exploration prototype, we narrowed down and prioritized the features and views that we would need to create a minimal viable product.

MVP Designs

The MVP Designs took inspiration from the exploration prototype, but with a paired down feature set to fit the previously agreed upon development timelines with the client. Focusing on the prioritized areas, I created high-fidelity designs and started building a design system guide for our developers.


Highlights of Design Features

Record & publish

Allows people to easily record short snippets of audio of themselves speaking and publish the clips with a related personalized cover image and caption.



Sharing URL links for public posts allows people to let more people listen to what matters to them by not limiting the listening experience to the app.



Audio-only commenting allows people to add onto and build out the conversation, creating a thread of different opinions to listen to related to the original post.


Privacy settings

Since voice recordings are not as anonymous as a text-related post, we wanted to ensure that people had the ability to limit who could listen to their posts.



People can curate their own playlists based on other public posts and comments, allowing for more customized ways to listen to content on the app.



I walked through each ticket with our developers to confirm the feasibility of the designs as well as to explain the expected behaviours. Then, I created JIRA tickets for sprints, which each contained a detailed user flow, the problem the design addressed, links to the related Invision prototype, links to the related parts of the design system, motion comps and annotated design mockups. 


Lessons Learned

  • Get more involvement and interaction with your target user base. While I had the opportunity to do secondary research on who our target user base was, nothing compares to being able to do 1:on:1 interviews and more frequent user tests to ensure that the design decisions being made are the right ones.

  • It is vital to have a shared understanding of timeline and scopes when working with external teams and clients. Clear, frequent communication internally and externally can help everyone better understand timelines and expectations.

  • Spend more one-on-one time with the development team to ensure clear understanding during handoff. Time is saved when you take the time to discuss features thoroughly with the development team to get a shared understanding of what the final product should act and feel.


Check Vover out here:

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