Light Home @ Naver

2.5 week, Fall 2017

Independently worked on the end-to-end design process from research to high-fidelity prototyping

UX/UI Design

Mobile App

Prototyping

Search Engine

Light Home is a lightweight version of Naver's main page. I redefined the product strategy of Light Home to better serve search-oriented users through a simpler and focused interface, personalization features and enhanced interaction for entering and exiting Light Home.


Background

Naver is a search engine most widely used in South Korea. It's also a platform for contents where people visit to read the news, peep into what others search, and watch trending videos. These core services, search and content, are first accessed through Naver’s main page. As you can see, a lot of things are going on here!

Light Home

Although the content is an indispensable part of Naver's main page, its fallback was heavy data consumption. Light Home is an alternative version of the main page, which consumes less data.



I conducted user research and data analysis to understand how users currently make use of Light Home. Throughout the research process, I constantly questioned who would most benefit from having a separate home, and how we can improve Light Home to better serve their needs.

People use Light Home differently

When I compared what users clicked for each home, I recognized that Light Home's use pattern is more concentrated on search. This got me to think that Light Home users may be search-oriented. They are less sensitive about content and mainly use Naver app to search.




..but the design doesn't reflect that

Interviews from Light Home testers revealed that the participants were motivated to go back to the other home because there wasn't enough content, which brought fear of missing out. For search-oriented users, they didn't find much advantage as the design is almost identical.

How can we expand Light Home's value to better suit people’s needs?

Decision #1: Home for search oriented users

I increased the amount of space dedicated for search, creating a simpler and more focused interface more appropriate for search-oriented users. The search bar is bigger and located it in the middle so it's easier for the thumb to reach.

Decision #2: Reach favorite services faster

From research I acknowledged that search-oriented users often had service that they use extensively. However they had to go through extra steps because content was taking up much space in the default home. Thus, I came up with the concept called Favorite that brings users' favorite naver services, search queries, and bookmarks to the front.

early explorations on interactions



Decision #3: Seamless transition between homes

One problem in the original home was poor entry point to Light Home. The user had to make several scrolls and tap a very small button to enter Light Home. This caused a friction for users, making them feel like they had to choose one home and commit to it. Thus I incorporated various interactions that could produce a seamless transition between homes.

As I was experimenting with various interactions, the relationship between the Classic Home and Light Home became more clear.



The Classic Home felt like a map of the whole city, where users have access to all the information and services. On the other hand, Light Home was like a map of one's neighborhood: what users need day to day. I wanted to translate this metaphor to the interaction.





Focus on daily matters,
expand when you need to

I incorporated the idea of expand and shrink for the transition between the two homes. Whenever the user wants to focus on search, he or she can simply tap on the expand button to expand the search bar. Whenever the user wants to see content again and return to the original home, he or she can tap on the shrink button.

This interaction produces an illusion that content is reachable when the user wants it. The transition to Light Home feels temporary, and the user feels like having more autonomy over what they are viewing!





Thus, the redesigned Light Home constitutes of the three design decisions: prioritization of search, favorite feature, and the expand/shrink transition. Pivoting around these design decisions, I also designed the corresponding screens for search, browsing, and setting for favorites. The flow map below shows a more detailed overview of these processes.

Reflection

What appealed most to the team was the fact that I used interaction and motion to resolve the existing user problem. Also organizing search related features with favorite services felt more appropriate for search-oriented users. This new information architecture further translated into Naver's new 2019 design makeover, and it's really exciting to see how my work has influenced Naver's new look!

Naver's New Home