Friday, March 29, 2013

Week 7: Visual & Information Design

Scraps Article:
I chose to visit the blog, 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 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. 
  • 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
  • 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? 

  • sleek and modern design that is very appealing visually 
  • finds restaurants based on personal preference of other restaurants 
  • it's free 
  • 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. 


  1. Thanks for all these Jade. Ideally you'd post each assignment component in it's own separate blog post; that way I could comment on them each individually. Since you've posted them all together I'll try to separate out my comments.

    On Scraps, that looks like an interesting app. I was using the iOS notes thing for a long time. Recently I'm trying to use Google drive for the same thing so that my notes are synced across all my devices. However the Google drive app is a bit clumsy on iOS - I can see it is easier on Android - need to make that switch.

    Thanks for your HE of Martin's app. Very pleased to see you assigning severity ratings, however I was very much hoping that you would categorise issues under the Nielsen categories. Hopefully you can do that for subsequent HE.

    Well done reviewing two other related apps - please include links to those apps in their respective apps so your audience can quickly see more detail about the app.

    Regarding Navigation Bars, it would be great if you could pull in images from the mobile pattern design gallery. The idea was to select one of the images of mobile GUIs rather than the high level pattern category, but in retrospect I can see that was unclear ...

    Also, did you invite me to be a contributor on your blog? I'm still having to type in robot captchas to post comments :-(

    1. Hi Professor:

      Here is the link for the Ness app:

      and here is the link for Menupages app:

      Sorry about the misunderstanding of doing single blog posts, I'll be sure to do that next time, and I will also categorize issues under Nielson for HE.

      I did add you as an author a few weeks ago, I will check back though just to make sure!
      Thanks for all your suggestions!

  2. many thanks! I'm in as an author now - I think maybe I just missed the earlier invite - apologies for that.

    Regarding those app links - ideally you'd edit the blog to that they were active hyperlinks on the names of the apps themselves so that someone reading the blog could just click on the names and go straight to the app. Something to keep in mind for the future. Also that link to Martin's youtube evaluation could be embedded ...

    Well done catching up with all this!