Month: March 2014

A New Tablet App: Three Concepts

This week I started to develop different concepts for applications that I could create. To do this I brainstormed about things in my life that give me problems, that way I could try to think of an app that would solve that problem.

The first idea that I came up with was one to help with grocery shopping. The idea came to me when my roommate and I were struggling to find just a few ingredients at the grocery store, when we had to hurry back to our room.

Here are some links to some of the competition I could have if I followed through with this idea:

http://www.talkandroid.com/guides/beginner/best-android-grocery-list-apps-to-help-you-organize-shopping-trips/

http://www.androidauthority.com/best-grocery-list-apps-101625/

Although the there are some competition for applications like this one, they mostly have outdated interfaces, and do not have all of the features my application would provide.

The next app was inspired by the service fraternity I am in. There are times that it is very difficult to find places to volunteer. This app would be for those who are looking for a place to volunteer, or organizations who are looking for volunteers. People would be able to search and communicate with those in the area.

Here is a link to some of the completion:

http://appadvice.com/applists/show/apps-for-volunteering

Again, the other apps are different then the concept of this app. Many of them are for a specific organization.

The last concept was inspired by a story I saw in the news. The story was a bout mothers who take their children to the park and lose track of them because they are distracted by their mobile devises. After doing more research I found many articles and stories similar to this one.

The applications would remind users to look up and check on their children. This way they do not lose a track of time and dangerous situations could be avoided. I could not find any applications similar to this one.

Some of the new stories and articles I found could be seen here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/parenting/put-down-cellphone-study-finds-parents-distracted-devices-n47431

http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/06/14/phone.addicted.parent/

http://www.wfsb.com/story/23756291/west-hartford-moms-blog-post-goes-viral

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/03/10/study-smartphone-obsession-leading-to-more-examples-of-distracted-parenting/

Here are my three ideas in more details:

concepts

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Healthy Recipes Prototype

I looked more into detail about the different options that I had for my prototype. The one I decided on was invisionapp. I chose it because it had a lot of flexibility and was also very organized and simple to use. I was very happy with the way it turned out. I wish I had found this before I started designing my UIs though because I had to resize all of the screens. This seamed like a task that could have been easily avoided. I will make sure to be carful of this in the future.

After all of my tests I made my final changes to the UI design. I took into account all of the feedback I received during critiques, as well as the data I gathered through my tests.

I watched a few videos as inspiration for my video prototype. This was the first video. I felt looked very professional and put together. I really liked the layout and style they chose for the application. However there were no words in the video and instead distracting music. I feel a voice over would have made it more clear to the viewer as to what was happening.

Another video I saw was interesting because it was a working version on the phone. I like how the app could be tested on the phone, however again there was no voice over explaining what going on. I felt very lost watching the video.

From these videos I learned the features that I liked from their strategies and the parts I did not like. Mainly the fact that they did not explain the application was a big down fall. In my video I will make sure to give a clear description of what I am doing with my prototype.

My prototype video can be seen here:

Prototype

Paper Prototype Testing Round Two

This week I went back to the paper prototyping stage and perfected it. There were many things that I learned from the first attempt of prototyping that I wished to change.

The first was the actual paper prototype itself. Although the paper prototype is meant to me a wireframe so you can catch mistakes in the early stages, my first prototypes were just too much of a wireframe.

It interfered with the results of my testing because I could not tell if my user was confused because of the functionality of the application or because they could not understand what the wireframes represented.

The other visual problem with my first test was the size of the prototype. I had made the pieces really small, which was a problem because the user was not accurately test the flow and placement of the application.

I also changed the style of my testing so that I could get an understanding of what the user expects on each page. I still asked the participant to perform certain tasks, that way, I could guide them in a way to explore the entire application.

After the modifications made to my paper prototype and my testing style, I was able to find out which parts of my application are working and what I may need to look into changing.

I remember back when I conducted my first usability test for this project I watched a video about paper prototype usability testing. The video was extremely helpful at the time, so I went back and watched it again to familiarize myself with how they conducted the test. The video is called, Example Usability Test with a Paper Prototype. I really like how this test was conducted. I strongly recommend watching it for anyone unfamiliar to paper prototype testing. It explains the important parts of how to test while simultaneously demonstrating it.

Another video that was very well done was a video called iPhone app | paper prototyping although this video was more of a demonstration of the application rather than a test, I felt it was a great example of what to visually look for. It had a neat layout and accurate sizing.

Here are just a few more images I found as inspiration in the recreations of my paper prototype:

Paper Prototype

Paper Prototype

Paper Prototype

After completing more research I was inspired to complete next paper prototype test. Overall I am very happy with the results of my test.

You can view my video below:

Test

This week I also did more visual research as I continued to work on my user interfaces for the screens. It is going to follow the flat metro style. The main menu is going to resemble Windows eight block look.

Windows 8

Windows 8

I began researching different possibilities that I may want to use for the screen prototype. One of these is invisionapp, this looks like a nice option that is free to get started. Before making my final decision I will have to compare it to the other options.

Another is proto.io this one also looks like a nice option. It had a lot of possibilities with this app such as animation, interaction and more. This is one that I will diffidently look more into as I get closer to making my screen prototype.

Another great option is Marvel, which says, “Turn sketches, wireframes, PSDs and designs into interactive mobile and web prototypes in just a few clicks.” This sounds very easy to use and will most likely be perfect for what I am trying to accomplish. This is also another free service.

Fluid is another option, however it only allows 10 screens to be used. Although my application is not that large, I would rather choose something with more flexibility. I want to really show the capabilities of my application and I don’t want the limit on screens to ruin that.

The last option that I looked at this week was called justinmind. This looks like it has a lot of options and capabilities. I will definitely consider this as a strong contender. However this may be even more than I want for this particular project.

Next week when I create my screen prototype I will reevaluate all of my options and start my creation.

I made some changes again after my video of my paper prototype test. I made some changes to my prototype so the participant could understand more about how the app is going to work. I also made some changes to my video so it looked more professional.

The new paper prototype test video is below:

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 11.36.02 PM