Difference between Functional and Usable Products UX Case Study

Sometimes when we are working on a project, we deeply involve ourselves in it and assume that our user will use it as we think and the product will be perfect for them. But do you know your actual user?

Last year I got a project to be designed for kids. I had to design a platform where kids from age group 4–8 years can publish stories and read stories published by other little writers. I was very excited, because it was the first time where I got a chance to work for a completely different age group.

The reason behind mentioning “Different Age Group” is that the difference of kid’s understanding level, knowledge, color preferences, language and maturity level. I had a chance to work on these parameters and to understand them. For this I had to step into the kid’s shoes. So let’s start from the wireframe stage.


As per the contract, I designed the wireframe where a Kid can write his/her story and then publish it with different “Publish’ options available. And he/she will get a confirmation message.


The entire platform was based on the stories published by little writers, So that they can attract other readers around the world to read them and to encourage other little writers to publish their stories on the platform.

Problem I realized

During visuals I realized that it is a very complex task for little writers to publish the story. Because when the little writer clicks on “Publish” button the system ask to choose one option to share it, which are
1) Publish publicly
2) Publish with a private link
3) Share via mail

Here the questions are-

1)Do the kids know the meaning of these terms?
2)Do they know the consequences of publishing the story publicly?
3)Do they know how to share the link?
4)Do they know the email id of their friends and relative to mail the story?

When these questions arose, I had to change the design. Let’s have a look at the second version..

I tried to solve the problem in version 2

So, To simplify the task I put the mail option at the bottom. Now little writer will have only 2 prior options to choose, either share it publicly or share via link. But, still I wasn’t sure that this task can be performed by 4 year old kid without any hesitation or confusion.

Let’s try version 3

So, again I tried another option where I gave all the priority to “Publish Publicly” option.The reason behind prioritizing “Publish Publicly” option is to make the platform more strong with the content shared by little writers. Publicly published stories will help the platform to attract more users.

Changes were
1) I changed the label from “World” to “Shout Out” with sub label- share it with everyone.
2) Changed the button label from “Done” to “Publish Now” to encourage kids to publish it directly and to guide them what to do in this step.
3) Below the button I put a text to inform the little writers that they can also change the publish option anytime.

Version 4 solved the problem finally

After a brainstorming session and making a lot of changes, again I wasn’t sure enough that it is fair to ask a 4–8 year old kid this question. And I started to find that guy who said “Designing is easy”. Finally, what I did…

What I did to solve that?

I just removed that part. Now, according to the latest flow when a user clicks on “Publish” button the system directly publish the story publicly. But with options to change the privacy settings and to share it via email. And when the user clicks on privacy setting button below options are available with some updated UI and text to make it more easy to understand.

I changed the icons and simplified the headings to make to easier for little writers to understand their meaning.

If you think this solution was easy to do for me then fyi, we have to follow a written contract signed by the client. Minor changes in the design can lead to legal consequences. I know the changes I made in the flow was beneficial for the product, but to do that I took approval from all the stakeholders.

Because my job is not to finish the work but to create a product which is useful for my user. This is nowhere perfect but I feel with its unique approach, this idea can help you to be productive.

Let me know what you think! Bye!

For more works, follow me on Dribbble & connect with me on LinkedIn.


User Experience Designer