App Journal by Valeria Burnes a01570208

Lesson 1

  1. Whatsapp
  2. Facebook
  3. Instagram
  4. Spotify
  5. iBooks

Now that I have analyzed the purpose of each app, I can say that one important purpose that all of these apps have in common is that they simplify tasks that we all do on a daily basis. Elaborating more on the topic, the reason why I decided to download Whatsapp and Facebook was mainly to keep in touch with the persons that I do not regularly see. On the other hand, I started using Instagram because I think it is a really awesome way to build a platform where you can collect moments that are memorable to yourself. Last but not least, I believe that Spotify and iBooks are two tools that really simplify two things that I frequently do: listen to music and read books, respectively.

Lesson 2

How awesome would it be if there was an app that could...

  • Detect any song and have a button to instantly download it to your smartphone.
  • Help you plan a trip.
  • Allow the user to make a video conference with "language" teachers of any country in order to help enhance the students' learning process of a certain language.
  • Display the globe and let the user click any country and learn its actual situation.

Lesson 3

Apps @ the App Store

After making some app-research in the App Store, I realized how important it is to have a specific target market. The applications shown above are mostly downloaded by people whose wants and needs are met by them. For instance, Trivago is most likely to be downloaded by a person that constantly travels; on the other hand, Tastemade would be acquired by someone that is looking for cooking recipes to prepare.

Some of the key audiences that the apps that I mentioned on "Lesson 2" would focus on are persons that truly enjoy traveling and people (of any age) that makes an effort to have a multicultural approach in communication and actual news.

Lesson 4

Classwork Lesson 4
Ranking my Top-5 Apps according to their UI Design (from 1 as a minimum and 5 as a maximum)
  • Whatsapp: Personally I give this app a 5/5 because it is really simple to use and because, as a user, it is easy to know what each button does.
  • Facebook: I give this app a 4/5. We need to recognize that it is really simple to use the app, however there are certain functions/buttons that not every user knows how to use, thus it leaves some users with doubts.
  • Instagram: This app deserves a 5/5. I believe so because it is way simple to use. Each time the app adds on a feature, it teaches you how to use it with a quick tutorial.
  • Spotify: Just as Whatsapp and Instagram, this app's ranking is a 5/5; this is due to the app's simplicity and self-explanatory buttons.
  • iBooks: Last but not least, this app's grading is 5/5 as well! This app is way simple to use and it does not have a lot of "buttons"; however the ones that the app does have are really simple to use without a doubt.

Lesson 5

Classwork Lesson 5

There are two main solved problems with the apps "created" in the app-brainstorming done in Lesson 2: time efficiency and cultural knowledge for users. The apps that help trip planning and the song detecting and downloading process help users to optimize their time by not spending so much time on simple tasks. On the other hand, the cultural knowledge is enhanced by both the app that helps the user learn a language as well as the one that helps the user know the world's countries actual situations. I believe that both of the problems mentioned before, are partially solved by the apps mentioned, however there are a lot of other things that have to be done and changed within ourselves in order to truly eradicate these issues.

Lesson 6 

Classwork Lesson 6

App Name: "Trip this Out". This app will help users plan their trips according to their budgets, times and desires. It is necessary because there are lots of people that enjoy traveling yet the "discount apps" that already exist are not helpful because the prices are still on the higher end.

App Name: "Here & There". The purpose of this app is to enhance the user's learning process of any language. It is necessary because, as a student that is currently learning a foreign language, I have detected the importance of understanding the fluent accent of another individual that speaks that specific language.

Lesson 7

  1. Touchscreen - The apps will use the touchscreen feature in order to detect the user's presence and interaction; this will serve mainly on the app that allows the user to see a 3D world image and select a country to learn more about it.
  2. Camera and GPS - Both of these features will be used for the "Here & There" app since its main feature is going to be video conferences with teachers from all over the globe.
  3. Accelerometer - This feature is highly helpful to sporting apps; this helps to keep track of the users development and movement.

Lesson 8

Classwork Lesson 8

Ideas Brainstorming for Features:

  • A feature that could detect the device's battery level and thus could adjust its own settings in order to consume the least battery percentage possible.
  • An app's feature that could adapt its content display according to the user's preferences.
  • Feedback feature that summarizes the user's reviews (in graphics or tables, for example) and makes the product development more efficient.
  • A feature that identifies the user's main targets and thus help build those up.
  • A social media feature that allows users to login into the app with their same accounts on other social media platforms; besides, if there are any relevant news presented on social media (that are linked to the app) the user will be notified.
  • A feature that loads the titles of the content of the app when offline. This will allow the user to save the titles that are relevant in order to read them when being online.

Lesson 9

Classwork Lesson 9
  1. App Idea #1 (Song detector and instant downloader): the top three competitor apps are Spotify, Shazam and Snapchat. The only improvement that I would do to these apps is to be kept updated; for instance, Spotify's "listening now" does not always follow what is really happening. Overall, the reviews of these apps indicate that users like them because of their simplicity and because they do not have to loose any more storage. However, users suggest a feature that shows the lyrics to the song that is playing.
  2. App Idea #2 (Trip planning app): Trivago, Expedia and TripAdvisor are just a few of the apps that have a similar objective. The reviews that these apps have let us infer that the quality of the app is "just good". Besides, users have said that they have experienced trouble updating the app.
  3. App Idea #3 (Language learning aid through video conferences): Some of the apps that are strong competitors to the idea that I developed are Duolingo, Rosetta Stone and Busuu. These are really simple apps to use and thus users tend to prefer them from the others.
  4. App Idea #4 (Globe display and actual-situation learning): Some of the apps that have a similar concept to my idea are Where is that?, History Today and BBC History Magazine. None of these apps have reviews in the App Store.

Lesson 10

Classwork Lesson 10 (Page 1)
Classwork Lesson 10 (Page 2)

The following are some design principles that will be taken into consideration for the app:

  1. User Engagement: The app will place its new features in the appropriate place of the app in order to make them a source of interest rather than confusion.
  2. Organization: Have a labeled menu to distinguish among categories.
  3. Frictionless Transitions: Consistent layout and design in different platforms (app and websites, for instance).
  4. Sorting: Provide users with filter options to narrow results.
  5. Differentiate: Show "sing in" and "register" options to avoid any unnecessary confusions.
  6. Password: Require authentication of passwords; third parties (such as Touch-ID) shall be used.
  7. Keyboard Match: Ensure that the app provides an appropriate keyboard for text entry.
  8. Clear Communication: Ensure that the app "speaks" the same language as the user.

Lesson 11

Classwork Lesson 11
  • Appealing Icon - Instagram has won the title! This app has a really simple yet fun and intelligent icon that captures any persons' attention, less is more.
  • Right into ACTION - Snapchat for sure is one of the apps that gets you right into action since the one of the first things the app will display is a window to create your account right away!
  • Initial Tutorial - Dropbox is an app that cares for its user's understanding. When you first download the app, it will quickly guide you through the different buttons and functions you can use.

"Codesters" Practice

Classwork March 3


Created with images by Unsplash - "light bulb lightbulb light" • LoboStudioHamburg - "twitter facebook together" • Unsplash - "phone cell cell phone" • 377053 - "mac freelancer macintosh" • AlexKingCreative - "mouse apple magic mouse" • mjmonty - "Google Neon" • 2742255 - "phone cellphone smartphone" • ThoroughlyReviewed - "Apple MacBook Pro on Laptop - Must Link to" • TheHilaryClark - "phone cell customer service" • Pexels - "adult blur chair" • AndyRobertsPhotos - "Google Campus" • StartupStockPhotos - "children win success"

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