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The mobile ideation solution for creatives
my role
Product Design
User Research
UI Design
Out In Tech
October 2023—March 2024
Travis Wilds
Miimo is your digital companion for creative inspiration. Whether you're sketching concepts, jotting down notes, or saving inspiration from across the web,  Miimo empowers creatives to quickly record their thoughts as they arise, and organize them efficiently with AI tools.

With Miimo, your ideas are never lost in the shuffle; Its intuitive interface and seamless integration into your ideation routine allows you to focus on what matters most—your ideas—without distractions.

The ephemerality of ideas

The forgotten idea epidemic.
For many creatives, ideas are fleeting. While pocket notebooks and notes apps can capture these thoughts, they often lack the efficiency and organizational capability to prevent idea loss.
Organizing our internal filing cabinet
Directed Storytelling
Understand how creatives approach the ideation process
What current methods of idea collection and organization are used?
What form do new ideas take? When and where are these ideas recorded?
Cultural Probe
Participants engage in a photo study showcasing their initial concepts
Routine mapping shows the ideal creative process participants take
What tools are used in the ideation process? What medium are they?
Competitive Analysis
Utilize current idea collection and organization solutions on the market
Understand how multi-media content is displayed and organized
How do competitors facilitate an efficient upload of media?
Research methods, and what they address.
Qualitative coding.
In my directed storytelling approach, I aimed to uncover anecdotes about the ideation process, focusing on how creatives manage timeline, format, and organization.

Utilizing Dovetail's AI tool, I initially grouped similar ideas together. Though not immediately accurate, it served as a time-saving starting point for my coding process. It became clear that both analog and digital ideation were integral to the ideation process.
Surveying the competition.
Reviewing existing market solutions, I found a spectrum of crowdsourced collection systems to purely user-generated organizational systems.

I used a matrix to uncover market gaps, revealing an area of opportunity for a user generated, mixed media solution.
Ideas are ephemeral
Ideas come at random, tranquil times—but ultimately they are fleeting
Ideas tend to begin as abstract, unrefined concepts that take form either as notes, scribbles, or photos
Early ideation requires efficiency in both recording and organizing ideas
Ideation is personal
Brainstorming is often performed passively over time
The quality of a brainstorming definition often benefits from an environment that isn't overstimulating
There is a struggle in turning ideas from random thoughts into artifacts
Analog sparks, Digital refines
Analog methods are more efficient than digital ideations, and is preferred at the start of the ideation process
Digital methods excel in facilitating idea development and refinement
There is a desire for a method to translate ideas from analog to digital
The insights.
The big question.
My insights pointed towards a solution that prioritized a efficient means to record ideas, as well as facilitating the translation of ideas between digital and analog mediums.
starting the journey
The first attempt
Setting intentions.
I prioritized features that directly addressed my insights. Observing competitors, I noticed a trend of AI-driven updates aimed at saving time. Recognizing its potential to streamline my solution, I sought to integrate AI into my app to reduce monotonous tasks.
The evolution of concepts.
In early wireframes, I explored featuring one idea at a time using a 3D scroll to prioritize clear focus. However, this concept conflicted with my insights for a simple yet engaging UI.

Shifting gears, I adopted bento box UI patterns to structure an image wall, using color blocks to highlight featured ideas.
A false ending riddled with overstimulation.
Building on my established visual language, I developed a simplified image scroll, a semi-permanent navbar, and an AI tagging system for organizing ideas. I then moved on to conducting user testing.

User testing revealed that this solution fell short. My insights of overstimulation and efficiency were negated by a complex user journey and an interface that deemphasized ideas.
reevaluating design decisions
Realignment based on insights
Let's reevaluate.
A sample of quotes from user testing regarding my first iteration. Participants expressed frustrations with navigation, complex UI, and the time spent on adding ideas.

There was a positive response to the bento box grid system (granted they hosted images over color blocks).
Redefining organization.
A major pain point was the rigid organization system that confined ideas to categories within a project. Participants desired greater flexibility to move ideas across projects.

Drawing inspiration from Atomic Design Principles, I developed a hierarchical organization system called 'stacks.' Unlike Miimo's auto generated categories, stacks are user-curated groupings that span projects and categories, focusing on evolving a central idea.
Revisiting UX patterns.
Once the flow was restructured for streamlined navigation, I knew I needed to tackle the UI next. Given the overstimulation that V1 created, I focused on researching existing UX patterns.

In Miimo V1, displaying all information on a single z-axis hindered discoverability. Instead, I introduced modals to guide the user more effectively. However, I knew that this clarified UI lacked the stimulation requested in the user workshops.
Building a component library.
While refining the UI, I embraced the emerging trend of glass morphism to add a subtle stimulation, as per my insights.

I created a custom component library with subtle glows highlighting touchpoints. Reducing color outside pressed states allowed the ideas to take focus.
Before and after.
The previous version of Miimo relied on color for visual interest, which sacrificed its main intent of recording and developing ideas.

Miimo now focuses on user-generated ideas. The new permanently visible navbar ensures navigation takes a primary role. To allow for critique, a share feature exists in the top nav.
Final product
Your ideas, each and every single one
Analog vs. digital: best of both worlds.
Say goodbye to flipping through notebook pages and scrolling through endless files. Miimo's visual tagging system parses all your ideas, allowing you to quickly refine your search to find the exact inspiration you need, no matter the medium.

Need a more high level view? Switch to the categorized view. Miimo utilizes AI to group your ideas by theme, further refining your search.
Ideas are ephemeral: saving time.
Designer, artist, author. No matter what your idea looks like, Miimo can capture it. Scan your sketches using the AI scan to instantly vectorize them into digital artifacts. This view can be toggled at any point, preserving your hand drawn work.

Have a text idea? Immediately jump into Miimo from the lock screen widget and write a note. Whether your idea is a note or an image, Miimo displays all ideas with equal importance.
Ideation is personal: self organized.
Miimo focuses on increased granularity, allowing you to narrow down to individual ideas. As you move from projects to stacks, from categories to ideas, Miimo allows you to sort, retag, and edit ideas at every step of the way.
Analog vs digital: AI for efficiency.
Miimo utilizes an extensive tagging system to help narrow your search. Manually add relevant tags to your ideas, or add descriptions with explanations or plans.

In a rush? Miimo uses AI to recognize the content of your idea and tag it for you, so you can get back to ideating. While in edit mode, simply click to remove tags that aren't relevant to your idea. Outside of edit mode, clicking on a tag pulls up all ideas with that same label.
Try, try again. And again.
Finding areas of opportunity.
I began this project as a UX research mentee for the Out in Tech U program, under the guidance of Travis Wilds. This project would not be possible without his support!

There were many points throughout the process where I needed to reevaluate my design decisions and hold them against the insights I gathered. I learned how important using insights as a benchmark is throughout the process, not just user testing.

If I were to rework this project, I would spend more time observing the ideation process of creatives to better understand where Miimo can fill gaps in the routine.
Next project
Airflow Dashboard