Case Study For Affirmation(IOS App): How to Make the Onboarding Experience Better

The App and The Goal

Affirmation Studio is an engaging and creative companion for users looking to cultivate a positive mindset through the power of daily affirmations. Affirmation Studio’s app gives users the ability to personalize their daily affirmations through a wide range of customizable features including AI Assistance, to ensure that daily affirmations are tailored to their user’s individual goals. Affirmation Studio utilizes an engaging combination of visuals and audio to present daily affirmations, which creates an immersive and exciting experience for users.

Based on the clients’ requirement, as we had a discussion meeting with the clients before conducting our user testing, our focus area is mainly about the onboarding precess of this App. Our team conducted a Usability Study for Affirmation Studio’s app in order to identify solutions for any usability issues we found. Our goal for this study was to provide Affirmation Studio with solutions that focused on helping to communicate the value of the app to users who have just started using the app by adjusting the structure of the initial onboarding screens, and providing a detailed guide for first time users of the many features which the app has to offer.

My role

There are 4 of us in the team, which is Eleanor Cunningham-Rothwell, Gilbert Espinoza, Nivedita Thakurdesai and me. I was primarily involved in brainstorming ideas for the user testing scenario, conducting the actual user tests, analyzing the data we collected, and ultimately coming up with one recommendation to improve the App. I also worked with my team member to create the final report and presentation.


UX/UI Design, User Research, Usability Testing

Design Tool

Figma, Notion, Google Sheet, Google Form


Before we had the first meeting with the client, we all did a cognition walkthrough ourselves on the app to find out some usability problems in order to set our primary user testing task. We presented our feelings about using the App and our findings about the onboarding precess and some features while using the App with the client. The clients agreed with what we found and outlined the requirements:

  • The clients want to know about how users feel about the onboarding process and does the set up of the affirmation meet users’ goal.
  • How do users feel about the features in the app.
  • Would users like to rate and subscribe to the app after using it.
  • The clients also mentioned that they recently added a new streak feature and they would like to know how user feel about it.


In order to get the user testing going and meet the requirements of our clients we took the following steps:

  • Setting up the questionnaire, scenario, tasks including pre-test questions and post-test questions. Presenting them to the clients and refining it according to the clients’ feedback.
  • User Recruitment and User testing with 8 users.
  • Analyzing the feedback from the users and coming up with 3 key findings and 3 problems.
  • Based on the key findings and problems, coming up with 3 recommendations.

Moderated User Interview

Evaluation Method

All 8 of our user testing were conducted online through zoom meeting. The user is required to participate in testing using two devices simultaneously. We use the computer’s camera to monitor the user’s actions while interacting with the software. Additionally, the user needs to share their mobile screen to moderate specific steps. Furthermore, we ask the user to think out loud during the testing to obtain the most immediate and crucial user feedback.

User Persona And Recruitment

Based on the client’s description of the target users, we define our target users as adults living in any country who are proficient in using iOS devices, have knowledge of and have previously used or subscribed to affirmation services. Following this definition, we designed our survey questionnaire. We decided to recruit individuals who are proficient in using iPhones and meet at least one of the following conditions: have knowledge of and have used similar affirmation services, or have subscribed to other affirmation services. We distributed the questionnaire to friends or individuals we believed could be potential users. Based on the survey results, we identified 8 users to participate in this user testing.

User Task

Based on the clients requirement and our personal findings, also considering the logic of people using an App for the first time, we came up with the idea of a user using the App for the first time to get the feedback about the onboarding process, first impression about the App and the users feeling about the features. This is the final version of our scenario and tasks:

Affinity Mapping

After moderated user testing has concluded, the chosen method of gathering and sorting the collected data was affinity mapping. Affinity mapping is a method of collecting and sorting data using sticky notes. A sticky note color is assigned to every participant so that we can differentiate the participants throughout the process. This can be done using paper sticky notes or using an online collaborative tool like Figma.

Once assigned a color, the research team then writes anything ranging from important findings to challenges a participant may have expressed during the moderated user testing onto the sticky note. Once this is done, the research team starts assessing commonalities between the notes written and then grouped together to form a category. This is done until every sticky note is categorized. Every category is labeled base on what the similarity is.

In the end, we chose 13 categories, including Icons, Rating, AI, Payment, and others. Following the affinity mapping process, key insights and strengths were discovered—vital to creating three key recommendations that will improve Affirmation Studio’s user experience.

Findings And Recommendations

Based on the users’ feedback, we discussed and summarized the key findings which include 3 key strengths and 3 key insights. According to the key insights we found, we identified 3 problems and proposed 3 recommendations. This is the key findings:

Recommendation 1:

Recommendation 2:

Recommendation 3:


After completing the entire report, we delved into creating slides for the presentation to the clients. We showcased the key findings, issues, and recommendations identified during user testing. During the final presentation, our group divided responsibilities to ensure a smooth delivery.

The final presentation went smoothly, and the clients expressed gratitude and approval for our presentation. After the presentation, we provided the clients with some feedback on individual user testing results, including issues we discovered that were not included in the report and corresponding solutions. The users expressed satisfaction with our findings and looked forward to the final report. However, they also offered some suggestions for the presentation, such as focusing on the actual screen presentation on the mock-up instead of displaying the mobile device to avoid distracting the user’s attention.


This user testing experience has been extremely valuable for me, providing significant insights for my future learning and work. Through this testing, I gained practical experience and insights into conducting user testing. Our work involved affinity mapping, and as a team, we used this method to organize key findings and identify usability issues based on these findings. This has a strong guiding effect on the analytical methods I will adopt in future user testing. The team collaboration was very smooth, with clear roles for team members and continuous, timely communication, facilitating our user testing and subsequent report and presentation writing. I am also grateful to my teammates for their understanding of my relatively unfamiliarity with Figma operations. My skills have greatly improved through this teamwork.

In this project, I learned how to communicate effectively with clients. In the initial stages, we were constantly thinking about how to make the client feel that we were very professional when sharing our findings with them. This included determining the wording to use and the content to present while avoiding too much unrelated information. During the subsequent presentation stage, we were always contemplating how to present our findings in a more gentle manner, as some of the feedback from the user testing was quite direct. The challenge was how to objectively state our findings while considering the client’s feelings, and fortunately, we ultimately overcame this challenge. The suggestions from users during the presentation were also meaningful. I had always thought that presenting the complete mobile screen would be more aesthetically pleasing, but I hadn’t considered that it might divert attention. Overall, this experience has been a valuable growth opportunity for me, not only as a user researcher but also as a member of a team.