People are always in a rush — not everyone has time to sit down and read a few lengthy articles on today's topics or news. If they do have time, they surely want to use it to relax and unwind rather than continue to read articles they may not have an interest in.
tldr; serves those that don't have the time or patience to sit down and read an article from start to finish — especially not knowing how long it'll take them to finish it. The mobile app provides users with a shortened, summarized version of the article with the most relevant and important information first. If the user likes what they read, they can get the entire article or have it played to them using voice audio.
tldr; is relevant in today's society where everyone is either lazy or not focused into reading what's important or trending. tldr; takes out the boring parts of the articles that throw users off and gives them the facts, and only the facts. So users know they'll only be getting the best content first.
With this project, I hope to give back the most valuable thing in the world — time. I believe it'll give users more information in less time because of the quick summaries they are looking for in an article — especially if the article isn't as important to them as another article may be. I hope my audience gets to read more, or know more and not have to worry about sitting down and getting the information they came looking for.
As someone who enjoys doing mobile app design in my free time — I believe I will be able to get this project done without any issues. When I set my mind to do something that interests me, such as this project, then I don't back down from it until its fully complete. I will make deadlines for certain tasks that have to be completed with this project and get them done in a reasonable amount of time so I'm always on task, focused and my goals are always aligned.
I've always had this idea and constantly wanted to design and build it out, but never had the time to sit down and do it. With this class, it gave me a perfect reason to finally start it and envision what I want this product to look and feel like at the end.
I am someone who likes reading articles and news, but never has the time to read more than an article or two, and tend to lose focus on some articles rather quickly. I like how Medium gives users the ability to see how long an article is and that merits whether or not I read the article most times. So with this project, I want to combine all of this to create a solution that gives users the summary of articles and how long the actual article is if they want to read it. This way, I'll be up to date with current news and get more articles in a shorter time.
Suggested Design Overview
My proposed design solution involves two things: getting the most important information first to the user and knowing my users likes and dislikes. Both of these are fundamental in creating an app that serves my user best and makes he/she happy and satisfied with the product. I want my user to be able to scan maximal amount of information in a short period of time.
USER PROFILES, PERSONAS & SCENARIOS
Three profiles: Retired and/or older people, middle-aged businessmen and women, college students
PRIMARY TARGETS: Busy young adults and adults who read, listen or watch the news often
TODD - 35 YEAR OLD MALE - WIFE & TWO YOUNG KIDS
JAMIE - 28 YEAR OLD FEMALE - COWORKER OF TODD
TODD: *Frustrated* I never have time to do what I want..I'm always busy with the kids or working on this project at work, I don't even have time to keep up with the news like I used to.
JAMIE: *Overhearing Todd's frustration he is spilling out to another coworker*
TODD: I just like to hang out with my friends and talk sports or politics, but I've been so out of the loop with it with no time, sometimes I can read, at most, one article per day.
JAMIE: Todd, hey, I overheard you and I couldn't help but hear that you had a similar issue to me. I never had time to do things I wanted to and I'm an avid news listener and reader. I stumbled on this app called tldr; and I think you could really use something like it.
TODD: No way! What does it do?
JAMIE: It's like any other news app, but it summarizes all articles for you so you can find topics you like, headlines that interest you, and read a short 1-3 sentence summary. If you have time or want to read more details, you can expand the article and read the full thing! I haven't used another news app since.
TODD: Neat! I'll try it out..thanks Jamie!
Initial: When designing my initial prototype — looks wasn't the end goal. The end goal was making sure my navigation, accessibility, and basic user understanding of the app were inline so that the it would be easy for the user to use. So I created the most basic outlined screens that would show basic navigation and what each screen was responsible for and contained within the application.
Feedback: What was received was lots of confusion how the application was supposed to function and the overall purpose of the app. Now even though its just prototype — it was key here to understand the confusion behind my user and what they didn't understand and how I could fix it. They didn't know how one screen communicated with another, they didn't know where they would be able to view an article or let alone find it. All of this went past my mind when first designing it...I needed to make it feel more real for all my users so that they could experience the most basic app without actually having their phone.
Revised: The revision allowed me to redefine my scope, how to show the user the purpose of the app, and see if they would be able to understand it once again. I re-outlined the entire app, added some more screens, and put in basic helpers on the paper so at least the user could have signifiers in there to understand what is clickable and/or scrollable throughout the application. I added titles to each screen, made it feel more personalized to the user, and added statistics that could make it stand out amongst other applications. Overall the feel and look of it became more adopted and a lot more user friendly.
Feedback: I chose to feedback as a primary recommendation because the app requires great feedback for a user when they are scrolling over articles and reading them. Being able to hold down on an article and read a quick summary is vital with feedback so it sends a response back to the user that a pop up is being presented through haptic feedback. Currently — I do not believe it is fully being reflected within my design, but through iterations and more visual prototypes, the feedback will be shown to the user.
Consistency & Standard: I believe this is one of the most important recommendations in my design process due to the fact the iOS application has to conform to many of Apple's Human Interface Guidelines on how the application is used and the actions the user may take in it. My application should be consistent in all the main processes such as finding, scrolling and viewing different articles throughout the application. The scrolling of articles will always be consistent — whether it is horizontally to left or vertically down. The current design process currently illustrates this pattern very well and displays on paper how a user interacts with scrolling in the application and clicking on articles to display information like many other applications do.
Offer Simple Error Handling: This will be especially useful for this application as it relies on internet/wifi access to retrieve and display news articles for users. When they are cut from the internet, the users need to be shown a message that displays why they aren't getting the information they want. In this case, error messages that they do not have connection or loading is taking to long. Currently, the design of my application does not account for errors and does not display that to users — in my next design iteration, I plan on displaying these errors in the application.
Aesthetic and minimalist design: The mobile application will have a consistent, minimalist, aesthetic look and function to it. The entire application and all its different pages will have a clean look that display minimal information other than what the user needs to see such as articles, titles, and topics and where they currently are in the application. This is relevant to my current design because of the overload of information that could be presented such as thousands of articles that need to be organized in a good way so that the user can view every relevant article. In my current design, I feel like I illustrate this well as all of the design is organized in a simple manner and is easy to read, understand and navigate around. The main pages are organized in a tab bar on the bottom that shows consistency across Apple's human guidelines and the other information is organized across the rest of the screen.
Recognition rather than recall: I used this recommendation because it applies to my application design process using many icons and pictures. Due to the fact that this application is heavily content based with words — there needs to be a break with icons and pictures to reduce the amount of words always on the screen. The tab bar shows icons that correlate with their actions that a user can easily recognize. Along with that, topics will include picture backdrop, and articles will always display pictures on the main screen. Doing all of this will help ease the user with the amount of information displaying to them at one time. Currently, my design somewhat illustrates this with the tab bar, but the topics and articles do not fully show the pictures that will be used, this will be seen in the next iteration however.
High Fidelity Prototype
Basic prototype available: https://sketch.cloud/s/MlGOW/L5o2nW/play
Created with images by David Švihovec - "untitled image" • Ali Shah Lakhani - "untitled image" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • StartupStockPhotos - "library books tv multimedia room modern interior"