Friday, March 29, 2013

Week 7: Visual & Information Design


Scraps Article:
I chose to visit the blog, http://beautifulpixels.com/ and read an article about an app called, Scraps.
Scraps is an app for iPhone that makes it easy for users to quickly save thoughts that one might otherwise dismiss and forget the thought forever. The app allows you to easily save your thoughts with just a few swipes of your finger. I think I would find this app useful because like most people, I come across random thoughts throughout the day and can't remember them later on. 
I really enjoyed reading the article, and I think it also followed the anatomy of effective blogging, including the five blog components as well as the simple rules to follow when writing a blog. 
The author clearly explained his thoughts on the app after clarifying to his audience the purpose of Scraps, which I thought was very well said and he made good points. It was also short enough where I could read the whole thing and not feel myself trailing off or becoming bored.



Peer Evaluation:
1) I think having a social media outlet from the Joke Around app would be very appealing to users. Users could have the option to share jokes with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Rating: 3
2) There should be an option to cancel every time you submit a joke, just in case you misspell something or aren't ready to commit to the joke you're about to submit to the server 
Rating: 5
*made comments in the video, this is definitely something the app should have
3) I'm hoping that the finished product will have more color, more of an appealing design. I think his draft was great, very straightforward but I would have just liked to see more color and appeal visually
Rating: 3
4) Martin mentioned that ideally, he would like for his app to have jokes submitted by people using the app, but in the beginning, he will only be using jokes from outside sources that he finds. Maybe there could be an option to view original jokes submitted by viewers and another option to submit common jokes from the internet. 
Rating: 2
*It's not that important but I feel like I read the same jokes online so it would be nice to have a feature where you could see original jokes created by your users. 
Here is the link to Martin's review of my Balsamiq
App Evaluation:

Menu Pages is an app that allows users to search from over 30,000 restaurants in select cities where you can view the entire menu as well as other information. I actually used menupages.com almost every day when I lived in NYC, it was extremely helpful for finding the perfect food! 
In the app, you can search by district, cuisine, price, features, and more! The only problem I had with this app is that it's only for major cities on the mainland like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. 
Pros:
  • similar to how my app would be set up, where you could search what's nearby or narrow down your results 
  • very accurate results and accommodating to users
Cons:
  • only available for select cities 
  • not crazy about the home page design





Ness is an app that allows users to find new restaurants based on your ratings of other restaurants and gives you personal reccomendations on where to eat. It's similar to how Netflix or Pandora works when they're trying to find the perfect song or perfect movie for you.
It almost acts as another social media outlet because you create a profile, find friends on Ness, have followers, and build information on your profile. I'm not sure if I like this because how does this make this app stand out? 

Pros:
  • sleek and modern design that is very appealing visually 
  • finds restaurants based on personal preference of other restaurants 
  • it's free 
Cons:
  • social media aspect, it doesn't make the app stand out

Navigation Bars:
1) Gallery- gallery navigation bars are my favorite kind of navigation. It's very appealing visually to the eye and if you do it right, users are able to navigate your site or app based on the pictures you choose. Gallery navigation could also be interactive, like maybe the picture changes when clicked.
2) Springboard- I think springboard navigation is fun overall and makes it interactive for the user. Similar to gallery, each page is represented by an icon that the programmer designs. While there are universal icons for home and messages, it allows the programmer to think outside the box and get creative!
3) Metaphor- the metaphor navigation is very exciting visually, by using an object related to the app and connects it to the main menu. This can get tricky though because you have to choose the right metaphor so users know what it represents. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week 6: Balsamiq

This week I designed my first app using the toolkit provided by Balsamiq. The changes I made to my prototype are as follows:

1) buttons for categories could be lists to allow scrolling up and down 

2) there was a lot of screens before actually getting to a list of restaurants, so there's always an option at the top of the screen that allows users to jump to results instead of putting in extra information.

Here's my design so far! Let me know what you guys think!