App discovery for Windows Phone 8

App discovery for Windows Phone Marketplace was my intern project (Summer 2011) at Microsoft (Windows Phone Division). As Program manager intern, I was tasked to  identify enhancements and opportunities to create a serendipitous app discovery experience while partnering with efforts within Microsoft.  We created specifications identifying improvements such as redefining ‘Top Apps’,  app recommendations (suggestions) and pivot points for data collection. I coordinated with other program managers to identify pivots points and laid the ground work that provides users with information about the app that will help them decide purchases.

Details

App Suggestions: Partnered with stakeholders across the organization to bring app suggestions to WP-marketplace which will recommend applications based the user’s usage patterns.
Top Apps :  Redefined what constitutes ‘Top Apps’ by moving away from mere total downloads model towards reflecting actual usage metrics (such as: total installs, launches, uninstalls, pin-to-start etc..)
Filters: Introduced filters in ‘Top Apps’ to reflect what the user might actually care about beyond just the top selling apps.
‘Now Free’ and ‘Price Reduced’:  Simplest and most effective pivots for discovering top discounted apps.
App Score: A personal favorite of mine that utilizes crowdsourced application telemetry to enhance user experience by providing user’s with quick facts about the app such as app’s popularity among friends, app’s popularity in user’s vicinity, performance of app on user’s device and a cumulative score based on above.

 

My Contributions
  • Created features specifications & wireframes for app discovery experience in Windows Phone marketplace.
  • Laid groundwork and played a pivotal role for App recommendation and other features described earlier.
  • Developed first prototype for app discovery features (1 prototype > 1000 words)
  • Co-wrote patentable specs for implementing crowdsourced application telemetry to enhance user experience in an application marketplace.
Process
  • Contextual inquiry
  • Personas
  • Wireframe
  • High-fidelity prototype
  • Focus group
  • Ethnomethodology (experimental)

 

Tools
  • Microsoft {Windows phone, Expression blend, Expression studio, Visual studio, Visio, Excel, Word, Powerpoint}
  • Adobe {Photoshop, Illustrator}