I'm Manuel Urrego, a computer science engineer who fell in love with UX design, currently living in Los Angeles, California.
CVS Pharmacy
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Kogi Mobile
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Cancergraph
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Pikkup
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Palét
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Raise
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Senior Point
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Falcon Bank
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Scorebook Live
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Divorce Force
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I was a lead UX at CVS Pharmacy.

In early 2018, CVS Pharmacy was transitioning some of their teams from the waterfall development process to agile, scrum or extreme programming (XP). Their mobile app at the time, built by a third party while ago, was a hub to access most of their services like prescriptions, store, and minute clinic to name a few. I hypothesized that users were not aware of the tools the mobile app offers to enhance their experience in or out a CVS Pharmacy store. This is a short story of what happened over the year I was at the company.

Goals achieved in this experience: Users were now able to use and understand the majority of the mobile app. Daily active users increased by 47%. Sales increased 8% on average. The app reviews have skewed positive and c-sat survey scores have increased.

The CVS app in early 2008

I was the UX Lead on an extreme programming team comprised of 2 product managers, 1 UX designer, 5 iOS developers, 5 Android developers, and a QA engineer. I was responsible for determining the new experience for the mobile app, with an emphasis on user personalization (per business request), while collaborating with the rest of the team on feedback and validation.

After user research studies that involved in-person interviews and un-moderated usertesting.com sessions, we discovered that users were interested in most of the current functions of the app but the way they were displayed was too cluttered making it confusing to use or understand. Also, in ideation sessions, we went through several different concepts that ultimately did not get approval from the business side due to how goals were prioritized.

Ideation at CVS Pharmacy

Some of the features I root for were:

When we start cleaning up the app, I notice that some of my peers didn't know about native app design especially the navigational structure. It took a while to spread this knowledge across each CVS department (prescriptions, deals & rewards, minute clinic, etc). The way the company set up its pods were a bit odd. It wasn't feature-based pods, it was more department based where the teams didn't communicate with each other. Everyone was doing its own thing and that's why the previous version of the app looks like 5 apps in one.

Native vs Custom (CVS app navigation)

As the top priority was to make the app clearer for the user, we aim for consistency on the overall experience and applied best practices on each platform (iOS and Android). CVS has a defined design system that was focused on web development making the app look and feel like a mobile website. Our plan included new definitions for the design system regarding native app development.

We conducted additional user research on the revamped UI screens, which showed an increase in readability and findability compared to the previous version of the app. Users were able to find and use sections of the app the couldn't identify before.

The CVS app at the end of 2008

I was happy to get features desired by customers that pursue business goals despite the constrains some big corporation implied over its production teams who work with altered versions of agile frameworks.

Some of my friends blame me for the wrong implementation of the app icon. In my defense, I propose the correct icon but CVS Pharmacy branding guidelines didn't allowed me to used it.

Ideal vs Real (CVS app icon)

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UX manager at Kogi Mobile LLC.

Kogi was a boutique mobile development company with offices in Miami, Florida and Medellín, Colombia; with clients all around the planet. I had the pleasure to lead a good quantity of projects and incredible talent in the engineering and design space. From big corporations to recognized digital agencies to startups; from native app development to responsive web apps; every project was an exciting new challenge. Kogi was sold to a Boston agency in late 2017.

Despite being a computer science engineer, I always had a passion for great design experiences to a point I taught myself the principles of digital design and user experience. In my career, I have found challenges on how an engineer communicates to a designer and vice-versa. It is logic for this gap to exist being both disciplines completely different, but an agile mindset and a user-centric process trend to close the gap to a point the team will find a path to great products or solutions.

Up there you will find just a small piece of a cake that was baked for almost 8 years. As a director, I shared with each member every product or service we created in the form of a poster. Despite we worked with companies such as Samsung, Forever 21 and Hewlett Packard, I have skipped those projects in favor of the unknown but unique concepts. I do apologize for the lack of consistency in the presentation of the projects; each poster reflects the complexity, client personality and user desire that the project had.


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... The CVS App you will never get to experience