Unit 9 Reading Response

I feel like being bombed by enormous amount of information from this week’s reading assignment. I found the Starter’s Guide to iOS Design by Ben Taylor to be very informative and comprehensible. He makes me think of things that I should’ve paid more attention to and the little details I’ve seemed to miss. Since his article is long, I thought it would be best for me to point out which part of his theory on how to build an app that relates to me the most.

Taylor suggests that we understand the screen resolutions and the role of pixels in our intended mobile platform. I didn’t think of this before and after reading this article I learned more about pixels, points, retina display in iPhones and iPads as well as how as designers we should use vector graphics so our designs will not be pixelated when scaled down. Taylor also says that before we begin any wireframing to do the storyboard process first. My partner and I did a very vague and basic storyboarding but then we did not really discuss transitions page or how big the size of the buttons shall be. I found myself keep thinking about the size of buttons, transition page and hand gestures last night after I glanced through this article. I’ve always hated if an app has very small icons. I tend to click with my thumb and it becomes difficult for me since I have a meaty thumb.

Animations, segues, touch & feedback as well as direct manipulation did not cross my mind until Taylor mentions them. These small things make an app more efficient. I took a mental note to discuss them with my partner today. In his article, Taylor has related links that I found very useful as well.

http://ivomynttinen.com/blog/the-ios-design-cheat-sheet-volume-2/

http://blog.mengto.com/pixel-perfection/

https://medium.com/design-ux/transitional-interfaces-926eb80d64e3

Application Design Statement

An online productivity app that helps people who loves to hang out to create and manage events and group gatherings. This app allows you to create multiple events, invite friends by Facebook, allow you and your friends to pay for the shared cost with credit card and share the events to Facebook. This app features options like fee selection where you can choose to have the guests to pay the fee or have the fee included with the price, in addition to setting guests and time limit for your events. You can also keep track of your events and set up reminders in the app.

Unit 8 Reading Response

I found this week’s reading assignment to be extremely helpful. Hearing first-hand experience on process of building an app gave me insightful tips and reminders. There are two parts to this article, the first one being idea and design process and the second one being marketing and launch. I find the first part to be more important and could relate best to my assignment. In the first part of the article, Jeremy Olson shares his point of view and thought process in making his latest app, Languages. Having a great idea is a great start, but how you develop it further matters very much as well. You have to know your competition, do a lot of research about them and find out what’s they’re lacking. After you got sufficient information under your belt, figure out your target audience. Building persona is imperative step. Learning about your target audience’s lifestyle would help you further comprehend what they want. The next step would be to nit-picking and eliminating ideas. Olson calls this process Kill the Baby, which I found really funny since Scott always tells us to Feed the Baby. Coming up with suitable project statement could help us focus on the goal of the app. Whatever features the app has should adhere to the project statement. Olson used OmniGraffe to do his wireframes. I believe Scott has mentioned it to the class but I haven’t really explored it. It looks cool and maybe I shall use it. This article definitely brought some things into my perspective. Olson pays attention to small details that I haven’t thought before.

Since my app would be for an existing business, I believe that these articles would aide my design process.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220448

http://www.zdnet.com/tactile-ceo-why-nows-the-time-for-bring-your-own-business-app-7000029807/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalonespark/2012/12/07/theres-an-app-for-that-building-a-mobile-app-for-your-business-is-easier-than-you-think/

Unit 7 Reading Response

In this week’s reading assignment, Steve Krug mentioned that iPhone was made only 7 years ago in 2007. It’s amazing how young iPhone is and yet, everybody’s got one nowadays. I like to say that I joined civilization in mid 2007. Most people do not know that I came from a very humble beginning, was born and bred in a very small town called Jambi in Sumatra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jambi_City). There was nothing there. Well, there is nothing there up till now. I love my hometown but I’m not going to stay there longer than 3 weeks, I’d eventually kill myself over the frequent electrical blackouts and slow internet. My boyfriend in the other hand, is 10 years older than me and sometimes I found his stories interesting. Steve mentioned, it’s getting harder and harder to remember a life without “a powerful touch screen computer with Internet access in his pocket”. I found my boyfriend’s reminiscence of the part of his life where smoking on airplane is not prohibited and not everybody has cell phone,  weird. As a part of much younger generations, I had my first mobile phone when I was in third grade. I’m sure it was already late for me since I was living in a small city. Perhaps my friends from Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia) had their phones way earlier than me.

With widespread and addictive use of mobile phones, we get to talk about usability. 

Over the years size of phone is getting smaller and slimmer and small screens mean we can’t fit what we’re used to fitting. The key aspects of usability for phones are trade-offs. This means we have choices to make when designing for phones. We need to know that usability is still the most important aspect of our design when making design choices. Keep in mind that people expect to do everything on their phone even though it’s smaller. Steve suggests we watch for how long it takes our pages to load, aesthetics of our sites, and how easy and comprehensible our sites are to learn and remember. Steve’s whole book greatly emphasizes on the importance of usability testing. He suggests that we use camera and record the process. This is my first time hearing about such method and I find it amusing.

Below are several links that I think would contribute to this week’s understanding of the given reading assignment.

http://mashable.com/2012/04/11/mobile-app-design-tips/

 designmodo.com/design-mobile-apps/

http://uxmag.com/articles/eight-lessons-in-mobile-usability-testing

Week 6 P2 Classchum Feedback

This week Jack Dickey and Brian gave us feedback on how to improve our project. They suggested to readjust our navigation system in order to make it clearer. They thought that the line page should be bigger so it bleeds more and increase the size of the circle (background). We also should account for the amount of negative space, the position of navigation systems and they suggested to try vertical navigation look as well as to add reviews section. From this feedback we changed our design a little. We decided to make the whole page black with white stars and the circle white and text would be displayed there. Instead of doing horizontal navigation, we arranged it vertically. I believe their feedback has been really helping us in our project.

Unit 6 Reading Response + P3 Possible Ideas

When designing an app, it is good practice to first research and analyzes the platform your app will use. You first need to figure out your goal. It is important to decide this early so you are not struggling later on. Focus more on functionality ideas before thinking about the UI. Design decisions should be based on functionality and staying true to your goal. Several suggestions to consider are to make full use of the given screen resolution, using less visual indicators and let them come second after content, give adequate amount of negative space and practice legibility and borderless buttons.

You have to create design that’s ready to use and preferably skip sign-up details. Prevent using splash screen and encourage login from other built-in app. Your app should be easy to navigate and comprehensible. Avoiding the use of onboarding is possible given adequate information. I realized that I always resent apps that inquire me to sign up. I’d like an app to be effortless to use and the less typing the better. In addition, I always skip the onboarding experience and immediately try the app and try figuring it out myself. If it’s not clear enough, I’ll instantly delete it.

I feel this week’s reading very useful as I learned a lot of tips on how to start on my app design. Many of their tips I had never even thought of before. As much as I love long shadow for icons, flat design is the trend right now. The use of long shadow reminds me of the old iPhone UI. Below I include links that I found useful.

http://www.creativebloq.com/app-design/creating-flat-ios-7-41411388

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/07/04/top-ten-app-part-1-idea-and-design/

http://www.creativebloq.com/app-design/tips-weather-channel-51411714

 

For Project 3, my first idea would be to develop an app for gosignup.me My boyfriend’s a software engineer and he recently made this website. It allows people to create events, add people in them and give them payment options. Like for example, I want to go clubbing this weekend and going to book a table that’s gonna cost me $1000 and I’ll have 10 guests list. I will create an event in the website and set the guest limit to 10 and allow the first 10 people to pay me their shares of $100 online with their credit card. I tried using the website via mobile but it didn’t work. My boyfriend would be more than happy to work with me as a real client on this.

My second idea would be to create an app to keep recipes from magazines to phone. I subscribe to cooking magazines but I don’t like tearing and catalog them in a binder. I wish there’s an app that could read the content of the recipe for me, keep just the text and the picture in my phone. I usually take picture of the recipes but eventually I forgot about them and it’s hard to look for them. Digital recipe binder would be very useful.

My third idea would be to create an app that could remind me what’s the weather for today so I could plan my outfit. Seattle’s weather is super quick to change and it would really benefit to know the weather’s update every two hours. Sometimes I check the weather app the night before to plan my outfit the next morning but the weather changed overnight or in 3 hours.

Book Promotional Websites

Trying to find good promotional websites is just like trying to find a needle in haystack. After rummaging through a lot of websites, I finally found some acceptable ones.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

http://www.cassandraclare.com/my-writing/novels/the-mortal-instruments/

http://www.shadowhunters.com/mortalinstruments/

I have read the 6 books in Mortal Instrument series and think this website’s works well with the content of the book. There are two links, one being from the writer’s website and the other the book’s website.

The Strange Angels series’ website shows great navigation system and hierarchy.

http://www.strange-angels.com/index.php

while Justin St. Germain’s Son of a Gun’s website shows an organized, good navigation system and hierarchy.

http://www.justinstgermain.com/

Unit 5 Reading Response

This week’s reading talked about usability testing and working in teams. Everybody’s entitled to his or her own opinions but when working in teams sometimes it’s hard to agree with other people’s opinion. When making decisions in a team it is very easy for everyone to think that most users are like them and agree with their personal preference therefore this can effect your perspective on what is good website design. Since there are no right or wrong answers, the best way to determine the solutions would be by testing. Although the testing process could be stressful, it is a very significant step that designers have to go through. The earlier the testing is done, the better it’ll be. An average of 3-4 people should be enough to carry out usability testing. Once the results are in, review them right away and find their solutions. When fixing the problems try to avoid breaking other parts that work, and focus on how that change affects other pieces of the site. Typical problem on the test will be unclear concept, wrong word choice, and too many things on the website.

Here are some links that I think would be suited for this week’s topic:

http://www.great-web-design-tips.com/web-usability/71.html

http://uxmyths.com/post/1319999199/myth-26-usability-testing-focus-groups

http://www.webcredible.com/blog-reports/web-usability/focus-vs-testing.shtml

Unit 4 Reading Response

A good homepage should have identity, hierarchy, search box, content promos, timely content, advertisement, shortcuts, and registration. It has to fit various diverse information that would appeal to most users. The objective can be filled by showing what users are looking for, interesting parts of the website or the place to start surfing, and it has to give great first impression. Home page should explain clearly and quickly what the website is about and what the website has. Tag lines must to be comprehensible, clear, informative, personable, lively, and clever. Well known website might not need tagline at all. Homepage has to show users starting points like search box and tabs. Homepage navigation can be unique and different with other pages. Drop down menus help with site that has long information to display, however, they are hard to scan and read.

Here are some examples of websites that I think has good homepage. All of them have their information very organized, tidy and clean and good taglines.

https://www.box.com/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

http://www.ewedding.com/

P1 Further Research

Last week during the prelim critique, Scott suggested that I do further research and give examples of websites with their designer’s photos present. Here we go http://jessicarycheal.com/ I got the url to this website from a professional graphic designer manager at True Fabrications Company. We were there to interview a professional and she emailed us examples of good portfolio websites that she has ever come across and this is one of them. http://workdiary.de/ http://coletownsend.com/