Customer Spotlight5 min read

How ProtoPie Accelerates Groov’s User Testing

Learn why ProtoPie became a game-changer for the Groov team and their user testing process.

Rebeca Caritas
Rebeca Caritas, Customer Success ManagerMay 18, 2022
screen shot from the groov app

Groov is a workplace mental well-being platform based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Its mission is to improve the well-being of 100 million people and “save 100,000 lives”.

Groov is a unique ProtoPie case study—after the product design stage, the products are sent to a team of in-house clinicians who rigorously test them to ensure that everything is based on sound scientific evidence. Naturally, they require a rapid prototyping tool that can quickly create high-definition, realistic prototypes.

We caught up with Maya McNicoll, the Senior UX Designer at Groov, to find out more about how Groov uses ProtoPie to create safe-to-use mental well-being platforms.

Maya McNicoll Groov

What Groov does

Groov designs tools that help people feel better. We comprise a team of 50 people based across New Zealand, Australia, and the US.

We’ve created tools like the Groov App, which is used for daily, personalized well-being and inspiration, and Modules, for interactive online learning. There’s also a Hub, which we use to measure well-being insights, and a Ritual Builder—for helping workplaces introduce positive well-being habits.

Our team encompasses a wide range of disciplines. There are in-house UX designers and content creators, marketing experts, and product managers. Critically, we also have an in-house clinical team who ensures that everything we release is clinically sound and evidence-based.

I work on the Groov app. On any given day, I might be focusing on prototyping, user flows, discovery research, user testing, or working on our own product design system.

While the role is challenging, the hard work is made worthwhile by the fact that I’m improving the lives of people in a meaningful way. I can’t emphasize enough how fulfilling it is—particularly when I hear from those whose lives have immeasurably improved as a result of Groov.

Why Groov turned to ProtoPie

Being a mental well-being platform, the single most important thing for Groov is that our products are safe for people to use. We have zero tolerance for risk. This adds a whole new layer to usability testing.

We encountered a problem. New features that tested well after the UX design stage were being rejected by our team of in-house clinicians, making the whole process longer and more arduous.

However, it wasn’t ethical for the clinicians to sign off on static user flows. In short, we needed a high-fidelity rapid prototyping tool—one that would allow us to speedily create realistic prototypes that the clinical team could test as though they were using the real thing.

Groov App and Hub

"We needed ProtoPie—we just didn’t know it yet."

Then the pandemic hit. The New Zealand Ministry of Health approached us, asking if we could release our app for free to everyone in Aotearoa—to help them alleviate the increased mental suffering brought on by government-imposed lockdowns.

They wanted to see some demos—we needed to create a high-fidelity product design quickly and affordably, testing ideas that would normally require a whole development team.

That’s when we turned to ProtoPie.

How ProtoPie helped Groov achieve its objectives

The Ministry of Health loved the prototype and agreed to support a free public version of the app.

That’s where ProtoPie has solved most of our problems—user testing. Stakeholders will be thoroughly convinced of your product’s merit upon seeing a user genuinely enjoying your prototype.

It was so successful that the partnership was renewed in March 2022, and now everyone in New Zealand has a free-to-use Groov app at their fingertips. However, we’re still selling our original version to businesses across New Zealand, Australia, and beyond.

The next big hurdle was engagement—how could we create an app that was safe, accessible, effective, and fun to use? ProtoPie proved to be the game-changer. As soon as we have an idea, our UX designers can create mock-up prototypes quickly, complete with complex interaction designs.

Groov app colllection front

So, when fellow UX designers ask me, “Is ProtoPie good value for money?” I always point out that as a rapid prototyping tool, ProtoPie is second to none: time is money, and we’ve cut our iteration time in half.

While it’s also fun and intuitive, once you get the hang of it there is so much wiggle room to grow. The Interaction Recordings feature is popular among the UX design team, but for me, it’s not just about the tool—it’s the support that comes with it. Whether it’s the Discord server or the ‘open roadmap’ in Canny—a forum that allows users to upvote proposed new features—I just love being part of the ProtoPie community.

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