Clique Rescue – Mobile App Definition

Clique Rescue is an app designed to save ladies from bad dates, questionable outfit choices, and alcohol-vision decisions.

This tool is created for females from 18-28 to use in a “date” or “night out on the town” setting.  The main feature of this app will be the alert button.  This button, when pressed, will alert their designated friends or clique.  When these friends receive an alert, they will know that the friend needs to be saved: either from a bad date, creepy guy at the bar/club, or just an awkward situation.  From their the friend can decide the appropriate following action–whether it be a call or walking over to them at the bar or club.

In addition to this main feature, there is also a sub-feature of communication options.  These include:

  • Message page for cliques to talk to each other (ideal for bachelorette party or barhopping situation, where there is a bunch of people in a group who need to communicate on where they are going next)
  • Voting page for opinions on outfits (women love to have second opinions on their outfits, and this will keep some fashion disaster from leaving the house)
  • Voting page for opinions on “cute” guys (this will prevent the possibility of alcohol-blurred vision that leads to bad choices)

Overall this app provides fast and easy communication without the hassle and confusion of group texts.

Unit 8 Reading Response

This entry discusses chapter 10 “Usability as common courtesy” and chapter 11 “Accessibility, Cascading Style Sheets, and you” of Don’t Make Me Think.

Summary of chapter 10:

You need to be considerate of your customer’s wants, or it may have more negative impact then just them leaving your site that one time.

Image

 

This image represents the amount of goodwill toward a company, and how it replenishes as your website ignores what they want.  However, the amount a consumer starts with, is entirely up to the individual and their current situation, so you cannot count on a certain amount being available for exhaustion. Good news, is you can refill it by looking out for their best interest.
Things that will lower goodwill:

  • Hiding customer support numbers, shipping rates, and prices (leaving these things out, can usually have the opposite effect you intend.)
  • Punishing the consumer for not entering information correctly (have many format options available for entering things like phone number, CC#, etc.)
  • Asking for more personal info than necessary
  • If your site does not look professional or organized

Things that increase goodwill:

  • Make the main demands of consumers obvious and easy to find.
  • Be upfront about costs, numbers, etc.
  • Save consumer from extra steps (anticipate questions and answer them)
  • Apologize if you have no other way then to inconvenience

Chapter 11 discusses designing for disabilities  and advocates why it is importan to be actively working on it, as well as working to progress the status quo.  Some things are beyond what we can do now, but these five things can be done now:

  1. Fix the usability problems that confuse everyone (thinking universally)
  2. Read an article about blind users and how they use the web
  3. Read a book about accessibility
  4. Start using Cascading Style Sheets (does anyone not use this today??)
  5. Add alt text to every image, make forms work with screen readers, create skip main content link on every page, make all content accessible by keyboard, avoid javascript unless necessary (though I feel this information is outdated perhaps?) and use client-side image maps.

Related articles:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130407/education/Designing-websites-that-are-friendly-to-disabled-people.464502

http://webaim.org/intro/

http://jamigold.com/2013/03/does-your-site-welcome-disabled-readers/

Unit 7 Reading Response

This week’s reading was a brief, but to the point, article entitled “What The Heck is Responsive Web Design?” by John Polacek.

Responsive web design is where the website automatically adjust it’s size and layout based on the size of the browser.  This allows for seamless integration to mobile devices, creating a smooth and easy experience for the user.  I’m pretty sure we are all familiar with having to zoom into someone’s site who did not think about mobile application.  Speaking of, one of the easiest (arguably) best practices to start, is thinking mobile first.  Design for the small screen first, and the desktop version after.  Users do not want a dumbed down version of the full desktop version.  The same information should be available on all versions of your site–just layed out appropriately for the window size.

In this day and age there really is no reason to not be thinking in terms of mobile first and ensuring your website is responsive.  There are many websites and articles out there to help make the adjustment easier.

Some sites include:

Twitter Bootstrap (Many responsive templates/grids to use–all with great documentation):
twitter.github.io/bootstrap/

Screenqueries is a tool to test the responsiveness of your site:
http://screenqueri.es/

11 Responsive Web Design Testing Tools:
http://designerves.com/article/11-responsive-web-design-testing-tools/

Unit 6 Reading

This reading discusses three articles on mobile web design.

The first article is “How to Create Your First iPhone App” by Jen Gordon.  In this article, the author explains how the best course of action when coming up with a new app, is to stay focused: have a clearly defined goal to keep on task, and allow yourself to finish in a timely  manner.  Next it is important to define your expectations–how much can you expect to make.  Lastly, get your idea evaluated for success.

When you are ready to start work on your app, it can be accomplished in 5 steps:

  1. develop a monetization and marketing plan
  2. sign up for a developer account
  3. sketch your application
  4. identify the work to be outsourced
  5. hire your team for design, development, and marketing.

In the second article, “iphone App Icon Design: Best Practises”, the main focus is to keep it simple: Don’t include words, avoid using Apple’s standard gloss, simplicity is best, but details are appreciated, stay consistant, and provide something unique to stand out from the crowd.

The last article, “The Flat Design Era”, explored the new trend toward flat design versis Skeuomorphism.  The latter (and nearly impossible to pronounce) word, refers to designs that resemble a feature of the past–even if the functional need is gone. iOS is famous for doing such things.  For example, their app for holding iBooks, is designed to look like a library, with wood texture and everything.

There’s no right or wrong way to design, but the need to take so much design choice from the past, is slowly moving away.  Users are becoming more confortable just experience design in a more refined/pure way.

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I found the following articles to be of particular use in this mobile discussion as well:

Mobile First Design: Why It’s Great and Why It Sucks
http://designshack.net/articles/css/mobilefirst/

4 Mobiel Design Strategies for Content-Heavy Websites

http://www.nten.org/articles/2013/4-mobile-design-strategies-for-content-heavy-websites

Nine Ways to Improve User Experience in Mobile Design
http://css-tricks.com/nine-ways-to-improve-user-experience-in-mobile-design/

Unit 5 Reading Response

This week’s reading was Chapter 8 “The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends” and Chapter 9 “Usability testing on 10 cents a day”

These chapters discuss the importance of usability testing.

In the first chapter, it addresses why just focusing on a web design team’s opinion on the usability of a website is a waste of time, and how to avoid wasting time. Left to their own devices, web development teams can rehash old problems, rather than finding the real problems and therefore the correct solution.  The only way to actually find the most effective website for users, is to test it.  When a group is working on a project, they can be looking too closely, looking as a web designer, not a typical user (unless of course the site is for web designers).

The second chapter discusses the importance of user testing early on into the process.  The reason for that is fairly easy common sense that can be easily missed.  If the website is tested early on, problems can be caught sooner when there is still time to fix it–allowing for the best possible version of the website to be available upon launch.  When user testing is put off until the end of the process, there is often not time to create real changes (or anything more than minor tweaks).  Unfortunately, the best user experience may be missed in this situation.

Unit 4: Reading

This unit’s reading assignment covered chapters 7 of Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug.

In Chapter Seven of Don’t Make Me Think, the author discusses the importance of simplifying and focusing on how your home or landing page appears.  The mission of the home page is:

  1. to make sure it portrays the site’s identity and intent
  2. provide site hierarchy
  3. include a prominently displayed search box
  4. provide things to inspire you to look through the whole site
  5. Include relevant and current content, current promotions or deals
  6. Include shortcuts to key information

In addition to these posts, there are also abstract objectives to satisfy a users needs quickly.  It should make the path for a user to find the information they seek easily identifiable–as well as what they are NOT looking for.  This is accomplished through showing where to begin and establishing credibility and trust.

Only the most important information should be displayed on a homepage–it’s all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! This is the first thing user will see–and therefore it is very valuable real estate on your site.  It should be considered as such.  Only the best of the best get to live on the front page.

The best way to describe the home page in my opinion is in these words “with great power comes great responsibility.”  The home page wields great power, therefore it is very important to make the most of that space (or your whole site is at risk of being void).

The homepage is the super hero of your website.

Unit 3 Reading Response

This unit’s reading assignment covered chapter 6 of Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug.

 This chapter, entitled “Street signs and Breadcrumbs”, is all about designing effective website navigation.  A clear navigation path is essential for any website.  If a user cannot figure out how to navigate to the information they want quickly, they will leave 9 times out of 10. It is important to keep in mind that when people are on the web, they are looking for something, and their approach to finding this information will differ from person to person.  Some users will always search first.  Others prefer to browse and use navigation to find what they want.  A lot of times I think this comes down to how specific what they are looking for is.  If they are interested in browsing, they may navigate, versus a user looking for a specific model of a product.

This chapter provided an interesting bit of information: “The back button accounts for somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of all Web clicks.”  This provides useful information.  Just like when shopping in a store, you will first look for an item based on what category you assume it would be in; if it is not there, you go back and try something else.  The same is true for searching a website.  Users will try the most logical section in their mind, and then will try another if they do not find what they are looking for on the first try.  However, a user’s time/attention is limited, and most users will not stick around for many guesses and checks of where to find something–and will leave instead.

It is important to not overlook the part of navigation that gives the user a sense of space–it tells them WHERE they are in the page, not just where else they can go.  Without a sense of where they are, navigating the space is significantly harder.  It also tells the user how to use your site, where to find signs to find other information–the same way you know where to look for the categories of foods located in a particular isle in a grocery store, or where to find the street name on a street. Navigation should be consistant on all pages, to give a sense of unity and calm, to the site.