Mobile Prayer App
The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is a nonprofit, interdenominational missions organization that offers practical and spiritual help to persecuted Christians around the world.
Through a redesigned mobile prayer app, The Voice of the Martyrs is able to provide timely prayers for Christians facing persecution for their faith in the world's most difficult places.
This is the story of how I was able to help shine a glimmer of light onto the dark places around the world.
Christian persecution is any hostility experienced as a result of one's identification to Christ. This includes imprisonment, torture, beheadings and rape, to the loss of home and assets, the loss of a job, or even rejection from a community.
Please Pray For Us
What can we do to help? The most common request from persecuted Christians is "please pray for us". However, speaking for most of us, this is often intimidating at first, mostly in knowing where to begin and what to pray for specifically. The Voice of the Martyrs wanted to help by making it easier for people to pray for persecuted Christians by offering timely prayers through a redesigned mobile prayer app.
The existing Voice of the Martyrs prayer app was initially created to help meet this goal; however, it was outdated and lacked current mobile technology to function at its full potential. The app also felt dark and gloomy, instead of conveying hope and encouragement. By enhancing the technology, design and user experience of their existing prayer app, The Voice of the Martyrs set out to help encourage engagement through prayer, but also provide additional opportunities to get involved to better support and bring hope to persecuted Christians around the world.
VOM Old Mobile App - Prayer Screen
VOM Old Mobile App - Country Screen
VOM Old Mobile App - News Screen
I was responsible for leading and executing the user experience for the project in defining the scope (product requirements), creating the skeleton (wireframes), designing the aesthetics of the surface (visual design), and presenting the deliverables to the organizational stakeholders involved in the project.
Through a series of stakeholder interviews, asking questions specific to business and user needs and goals, I was able to identify product requirements and branding guidelines to establish the scope of the mobile prayer app.
After sketching to help determine the structure of the mobile prayer app, I was then able to create a series of wireframes that included components such as the interface and information design, to help define the skeleton of the app.
Once the scope was identified, and the structure and skeleton were defined, I was then able to design the aesthetics for the mobile prayer app, creating a design to please the senses, while also fulfilling the requirements of the app.
Initial stakeholder needs and goals for the mobile prayer app included an extensive list of requirements, all viable; however, it caused the app to feel bloated, and thus it lost the simplicity we were looking to achieve with the new app. After consulting with the stakeholders, I was able to determine the core features and requirements we would use to build the minimum viable product (MVP) and the optimal user experience we wanted to create, by omitting features that would most likely distract users from the primary focus of the mobile prayer app - which was to help encourage engagement through prayer, and to provide opportunities to get involved to better support and bring hope to persecuted Christians around the world.
Features & Requirements
Users shall be able to read daily prayer requests from around the world and easily pray for persecuted Christians
- Each day shall present a new prayer request for a country where Christians are being persecuted
- Include an 'I Prayed' call-to-action (CTA) to display the total number of times people have prayed for the specific prayer request
- Provide specific background information for the country being prayed for, including demographic information
- Include sharing options to allow users to share the prayer requests with their social networks
- Users shall be able to create a daily reminder notification as a reminder to pray for new prayer request
Users shall be able to read daily devotionals filled with stories of courage, commitment, confession, and compassion
- Each day shall present a new devotion for users to read that will be pulled from an existing API source
Users shall be able to listen to weekly radio programs with testimonials of persecuted Christians suffering for their faith in Christ
- Each week, a new radio program shall be available for users to listen to within the mobile prayer app via an existing JSON feed
- Include sharing options to allow users to share the weekly radio program with their social networks
News, Alerts & Callouts
Users shall be presented with occasional CTAs to alert and promote specific VOM initiatives
- Use case: Urgent prayer request notifications, including a CTA that directs users to the VOM website allowing them to make an impact through prayer and giving a gift.
- Use case: Promotions such as encouraging users to register for the VOM newsletter, including CTAs directing users to the appropriate areas on the VOM website where the user can take action.
- Use case: Alerts for upcoming conferences or events in the user's local area, including CTAs directing user's to the VOM website to register for the conferences and/or events.
Conferences & Events
- Users shall be able to view location-specific conference and event information that will be pulled from an existing API source. CTAs shall be included to direct users to the VOM website to register for the conferences and/or events.
- Include a CTA directing users to the VOM website where they can subscribe to the VOM newsletter.
Tell A Friend
- Users shall be able to share the VOM prayer app with their networks via social profiles and/or email.
About VOM & Social Links
- Include information about VOM and a CTA directing users to the VOM website to learn more.
- Include CTAs to view VOM social profiles (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Building upon the product requirements determined through the stakeholder interviews, and my initial sketches that helped to define the structure of the mobile prayer app, I was able to begin integrating and arranging all of the elements of the mobile prayer into a series of wireframes to help represent the overall conceptual layout of the app. This included the interface design, the arrangement of elements to enable interaction; the navigation design, the arrangement of elements to enable movement through the app; and the information design, the arrangement of elements to communicate the information to the users. The wireframes were helpful in providing visualization to all of the communication that had taken place up to this point in the project, as well as to help create stakeholder support in the decisions and directions being made regarding the product, and to point the way towards the surface design (visual design) of the mobile prayer app.
Once the wireframes were created, to further exploration, I used the wireframes to build a functional prototype to better articulate the functionality of the mobile prayer app.
Country Information Wireframe
Home Share Wireframe
Extreme Devotion Wireframe
Extreme Devotion Share Wireframe
VOM Radio Wireframe
Hidden Menu Wireframe
About VOM Wireframe
Conference & Events Wireframe
Using the wireframes created during the skeleton phase of the project, I was able to determine and create the aesthetics to visually present and communicate the arrangement of information to users, with the goal of encouraging them in pursuing The Voice of the Martyrs goal and mission of supporting and bringing hope to persecuted Christians around the world.
Next, read about Cass County, Iowa