Week 6 – User Scenarios — May 18, 2017

Week 6 – User Scenarios

What are user scenarios?

Using the “user personas” discussed last week, we create a scenario where the made up user is placed in. Such as Bruce who is a quick and efficient man being put in the scenario of needing to find out his bank balance at the shops. Having these scenarios helps us developers understand where our system thrives and also fails. If Bruce has to click on 5 different links to find his balance, even though he found it, he had to go through to many links. This process refines the experience and project so its more user friendly.


Summary

User scenarios are very important in discovering the strengths and weaknesses of a project. By coming up with more scenarios for our users personas to go through, the project becomes more refined and helps us understand what is important and not important to a user.

Week 5 – Personas —

Week 5 – Personas

User Personas

Personas are fictional characters representing real users. Usually in a project, 2 personas are created with 1 being the primary character. User Personas cover a few areas to distinguish their personality or habits. These include:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Likes / Dislikes
  • Behavior patterns
  • Goals
  • Skills
  • Attitudes
  • Their environment (or context)

This process of creating a user persona enables the developer to have a more detailed understanding of the target audience and user interactions. Creating user persona’s should always happen before designing or wire-framing, as it gives better insight into how to create the project for your target audience.



Artefact Personas

Used as a proposed way to visualise the personality of the project. To develop an artefact persona you need to ask yourself a few questions such as who would your project be as a person, what would they be like? How would you describe this person to a friend? Questions like these guide the development process which in turn creates a more refined artefact persona.


Summary

Personas are a way of personalising and contextualising your projects. Making user personas helps us understand the needs of a user, how to address the needs of the user and develop a more refined experience. Artefact personas assigns a personality to our project. Giving your project a personality helps everyone understand what to focus on when developing. As well as what no to focus on.

Week 4 – Understanding the Device —

Week 4 – Understanding the Device

Gestures in iOS
The first 5 seconds of a users interaction with an app are the most important. They are the building blocks and show the user how to use the app.

Simple gestures become second nature like tapping and swiping.

The tap –  gesture is the most common and simplest gesture. The standard area for a simple touch on a screen is a 44 by 44 pixel area.
The drag – is used mainly for scrolling or moving objects like apps.
The flick – is designed for a less direct movement.
The swipe – allows the user to access hidden, touch heavy elements.
The pinch – can be used to scale images or objects.


UI – iOS anatomy
iOS has guidelines or requirements for designing you app. Almost all iOS apps use similar toolkit features in their apps such as navigation bars, tab bars, toolbar buttons, segmented controls, map view and alerts. These features fall into 4 main categories – Bars, Content views, Controls, Temporary views. iOS have different keyboard types depending on the context off the app. Such as for entering a phone number, the numbered keyboard will display, typing an email will prompt the keyboard to have the ‘@’ key accessible without having to dig into menus to find it.


Summary

Knowing the device your developing for is very important. Without knowing common gestures, UI styles and the anatomy of the device, the app your developing will look odd in the chosen device market.

Week 1 – App Design — February 25, 2017

Week 1 – App Design

What is an app?
An “app” is an abbreviated form of the word “application.” There are 3 main types of apps designed for mobile devices:

  • Web App (HTML5) – this consists of HTML, CSS and JS that are stored on a remote server.
  • Hybrid App –  these apps use both the web and native instruments to deliver the best of both worlds. This consists of online or offline modes, using the devices accelerators, camera, etc and data storage.
  • Native Apps – this runs directly on the device that does not need an internet connection or browser to run.

Previously HTML5 was more common as it was easier to implement and create. Native apps were to expensive and needed more attention and care with higher levels of programming and more complex strategies to implement.

There are 6 basic categories of apps that dominate the mobile device market. These include Utilities, Entertainment, Games, News, Productivity and Social Networking. Games are the most downloaded and most demanded category of apps on the market with 23% of all apps being games.

There are a few key attributes of apps we need to consider when creating an app, these include:

  • The Interface Controls (UI)
  • Touch Input (Gestures)
  • Screen Sizes and Resolution
  • “Time is short” (Get information out there fast)
  • Screen real estate is tiny
  • Context is Everything
  • Wireframing is Essential

 


Summary
Apps are all around us. They come in 3 main types, web apps, hybrid apps and native applications. Developed for all markets such entertainment, games, news, etc. When creating an app, attributes such as gestures, screen real estate, UI, etc need to be taken into consideration when developing an app.