iFish Illinois Mobile App

About the Project

This project is a proposal for an integrated experience mobile app to support fishermen/fisherwomen of all levels around the Illinois area. The below highlights the user experience design process of my teammates and myself throughout this project.

Personal Work

Created at
DePaul University

Project Teammates
Rodolfo Gomez
Akash Singh



Project Description

iFishIllinois seeks to support all levels of fishermen/fisherwomen when they take part in the activity of fishing, seasoned and novice anglers alike. It seeks to improve the experience of fishing and make the activity more enjoyable for all. This project hopes to accomplish this by giving immediate answers to questions about all bodies of water throughout Illinois and create an environment in which all people are able to gain more knowledge on the subject. The goal is to provide one convenient integrated experience which will prove invaluable to all fishermen/fisherwomen in Illinois, so they can stay focused only on the activity and be able to otherwise relax.



Contextual Inquiry

A contextual inquiry was completed with six individuals from a variety of backgrounds and levels of fishing experience. We observed potential users while they performed tasks similar to those connected with an integrated experience of the activity. The goal of this is to determine how the subjects actually perform tasks now, what their goals are for doing these, and what things work and do not work for them using their current approach.

An inquiry protocol was created as a guideline for our subject observations. Here is what this consisted of:

Intro/Informed Consent
Thank you for meeting with me today. I’m working on an integrated mobile application for fishing in Illinois. I would like to know more about how you personally fish.

There are no right or wrong ways to carry out an activity, or right or wrong answers to my questions; I just want to watch what you do and hear what you have to say. As you perform the activity, your actions and comments will be noted and you will be asked to describe what you are doing. You may be asked questions before, during, or after performing the activity. This meeting should last about 30 to 45 minutes.

This activity is voluntary. You have the right not to demonstrate any activity or answer any question, and to stop the inquiry at any time or for any reason. Your actions and responses will be confidential and used only in connection with this class assignment. Only your first name will be used to identify you. If you wish, you can use a pseudonym rather than your real name.

Is it OK for me to begin with my requests and questions?

Warm-Up/Build Rapport
  • I’m interested in understanding the process that different people go about before, during and after fishing.
  • Can you tell me about your experience in fishing? (novice/seasoned)
  • Can you tell me about the last time you went fishing?
  • Where did you go fishing (lake name/state located)?
  • Did you go out on a boat or did you fish from land?
  • What type of fish do you enjoy catching the most?
  • How often do you usually go in a year?
  • Where did you purchase your fishing license?
  • Did you need to buy additional stamps to supplement your fishing license?
General Inquiry
  • How do you prepare ahead for a day of fishing?
  • Do you do any research beforehand?
  • Did you use any websites or mobile apps to prepare? If so, which ones?
  • Have you previously purchased any fishing related items online? From which websites?
  • Do you have a “favorite spot” you usually go to?
  • Could you please show me how you have organized your fishing equipment/tackle box?
  • Can you walk me through the process of how you bait your hook and otherwise get prepared for once you (hopefully) catch something?
Deep Focus
  • What part of fishing do you dislike the most?
  • Do you like helping/teaching others to fish?
  • Do you like being around others when fishing or do you like fishing alone?
  • What are the most important aspects to you when choosing a location to fish?
  • Do you keep track of what you catch on what day (keep a log)?
  • Do you have any hobbies other than fishing?
  • In general, how often do you use your computer or mobile device during a typical day?
  • What advice would you give a new/novice angler?
  • What is one thing you feel would improve your fishing experience?
  • What is your main reason for fishing?
  • Is there anything else about your fishing experience you would like to share with me?
That concludes the activity. Thank you for your time and for meeting with me.



Stormboard was used to compile our team’s findings and gain insight.ifishillinois-stormboard



Models and Requirements

Using the information gathered in the conceptual inquiry, the team developed several design-informing models and established a baseline set of requirements for our integrated activity.

Persona 1 - Novice Angler

Name: Jeff
Tagline: “Fishing is a new relaxing hobby of mine”

Age: 25
User role(s): Novice Angler
Education: College
Level of computer expertise:  Adequate

– Fishing is a relaxing activity that takes away the stress from being at the office
– This is a new hobby of mine and I want to learn more about it

Frustrations and pain points:
– Jeff wants to really try fishing, but is unsure on where to get started on it
– Being overwhelmed with the amount of information out there related to fishing such as an array of tactics in catching certain species of fish
– Not really knowing how to do some of the techniques related to fishing by his own

Jeff is a 25-year-old male who works at an office job in the city of Chicago. Jeff did not really do much fishing growing up, but now that he lives in a very urban environment and the stress of work catching up to him, it is now time for him to get away from city life and enjoy the outdoors more. Always liking to challenge himself, Jeff decides to take up the hobby to see how well he can do with minimal knowledge of fishing.

Persona 2 - Seasoned Angler

Name: Bob
Tagline: “There is nothing like hearing the drag screaming while you are reeling in something that is pulling on your line!”

Age: 68
User role(s): Seasoned Angler
Education: High School
Level of computer expertise:  Minimal

– Fishing is a very fun and relaxing hobby
– Would like to help other anglers out if they are having issues when they are first starting out with fishing.
– The need of preserving the art of fishing needs to be taught to younger generations whenever possible.

Frustrations and pain points:
– Going to a new lake and seeing that the facilities there are not up to par such as poor bathroom facilities or the docks are poorly maintained for launching a boat
– Possibly losing fishing tackle due to some new underwater hazard in the body of water he is fishing in (such as losing an expensive lure from some debris after a storm went over a lake the previous day)
– Fishing a lake with a boat and not knowing some of the very shallow parts of a lake where he might damage the propeller of his boat engine

Bob is a 68-year-old retired blue-collar worker who spends most of his retirement fishing the big lake near his place of residence weather permitting. Since he has been fishing since his childhood, he has gained a plethora of fishing experience. He is pretty well acquainted with various fishing techniques for targeting various species of fish. He also owns a fishing boat which he uses to get to other parts of the lake that a shore-bound angler might not be able to get to. With a vast array of knowledge, Bob would like to share to his knowledge to the world to novice anglers and to the next generation of younger anglers whenever possible.



A user journey map was created for the persona that faces the most challenging journey, the novice angler. Essential elements included are timeline, indication of persona’s emotions, touchpoints, and channels.




This diagram visually represents the activity-related concepts and the relationships among the concepts.




Based on the information gathered up to this point in the project, these were some of the requirements we decided on:

– Find and save fishing locations
– View beginning and advanced video tutorials
– Learn more about or locate a specific species of fish
– Research the forecast
– Purchase and view/show a fishing license
– Connect with friends and others around me
– Examine rules of the body of water visited
– Search for the identity of a fish based on photo/description
– Record and save a fishing log
– Read and share reviews
. . .



Conceptual Design

A card sort was completed by the team to inform us on the types and names of application content. This information was used to create the navigation map.




The team focused on two conceptual task scenarios while creating the conceptual mobile app design: (1) User looks up tutorials on fishing techniques and (2) User looks up a terrain map of a lake.






Prototyping and Evaluation

A navigable prototype was then created using Adobe Illustrator and Balsamiq to carry out the two focus conceptual task scenarios to completion.

TASK SCENARIO 1 PROTOTYPE VIDEO – User looks up tutorials on fishing techniques.


TASK SCENARIO 2 PROTOTYPE VIDEO – User looks up a terrain map of a lake.



Usability evaluations were performed using the interactive prototype and six different subjects with a variety of experience in fishing and using mobile apps. An evaluation script was created beforehand, and afterwards the gathered data was analyzed and interpreted. Measurements were also collected, such as total time to complete each task, the number and type of errors committed per task, and number of times a question was asked to the facilitator during each task.


  • Interaction with the application would certainly differ, if our participants all used mobile devices. This would allow us to accurately assess certain affordances, such as physical and sensory, since the users would be navigating with touch, instead of a mouse or laptop touchpad. In our evaluations, zero users mis-clicked a button or item on a menu. This could be a result of users using input devices with superior control.
  • Users who interact with map applications tend to expect them to work a certain way. Zooming in and out of a map is one of those ways. Half of our participants attempted to zoom in while on the map page. Our prototype did not have that functionality.
  • One user attempted to select the ‘Logo’ on the main page of the application. Perhaps the logo can be adjusted to not resemble or be interpreted as an interactive button. This issue may exist only in the prototype, since an actual logo does not exist and the prototype is not designed with color and typography as important factors.
  • The sidebar was not utilized very often. As it currently stands, the button for the sidebar is a standard “Hamburger button.” While this button is common in many websites and applications, in our application the iFishIllinois name located at the top center of the app, served as a way for users to navigate back to the main menu.
  • All six of the users enjoyed using the application prototype to an extent. Five of the six users mentioned added functionality or features such as: Fishing hotspots, better user feedback (vibration), more photos of a specific lake.
  • The ‘Map View’ and ‘List View’ buttons for the fishing locations were confusing some users.
  • When on the lake details screen, it seems to be confusing on how to get to the map from this screen.
  • One user was very concerned about having to enter his email address just to enter the app. We could possibly not ask for email when user first enters the app.
  • Location of the search field was not easily found by some users.


  • The ‘Learn More’ section was changed to ‘Learn to Fish’ to more accurately describe what it means. Two users asked if ‘Learn More’ was associated to fishing or the app itself.
  • The ‘News’ button was changed to ‘Recent Fishing News’ for better clarification to our users.
  • The main page logo could be re-worked to a background image of the logo or something related to fishing. This would replace the large circular logo, that may be interpreted as a button.
  • The hamburger button sidebar, is an important feature to the application. It quickly allows users to find what they need in the app, by browsing or searching. We would have liked to see users utilize the sidebar more. The iFishIllinois link at the top center of the app could be reduced in size, making it less noticeable to the user, as they navigate the app. Perhaps this would allow the hamburger button to be utilized more, instead of the user having to navigate back to the main menu.
  • The ‘Map View’ and ‘List View’ buttons at the top of the fishing locations screen should switch background colors. All of the clickable buttons throughout the app are dark grey and the current view is also dark grey (but not clickable).
  • Make ‘Back to Fishing Map’ on lake details screen more obvious/pronounced so users can see it more easily.
  • Only prompt for user sign-up at required sections, ‘Fishing Log’, ‘Interact With Others’, and ‘User Menu’.
  • Add a message during user sign up stating that email will only be used for account creation and not for ‘spam’ mail.
  • Possibly move the search field to the home screen. (We would probably want to do more testing on this).