Computer Blog Luisa Fernanda Medrano Esqueda

App Journal 1: Why apps?

Apps are a simple way of doing things virtually, whether to convert files into other extensions or flat out entertain us they are popular because they solve people's problems. I personally use the following:

  1. -Messenger: Solves the problem of intercomunication at a long distance when you have access to the internet.
  2. -ChessProblems: With it I can solve tactical problems easier so that I don't have to go searching for them on the web. It is very usefull for people who need to practice in their spare time.
  3. -Tumblr: I am a big fan of Tumblr so I find the app's shortcuts for posting and sharing rather useful and I don't have to look for the page in google chrome.
  4. Google Chrome: Useful for doing a quick google search on the go when the Wi-Fi is on.
  5. Whatsapp: Useful when you need an immediate call without wasting your money on it. Also serves as a phone number database.

App Journal 2: The Wish List

  • I have always wondered why there are so many useless apps out there, why don't we have a service in which useless apps are discarded....or combined:
  • The app combiner: combines apps that have the same criteria, but keeps some of their unique features. (Audience: Programmers)
  • Crime Advisor: Shows police crime reports in real time so that you can get far away from them. (Audience: The average consumer)
  • Instant Translator: You speak into the phone and it detects your language then accurately translates it out loud so that the foreign people can understand what you're saying. (Audience: Businessmen and the average consumer)
  • The Game That Actually Rewards You (TGTARY): simplistic game in which you get upgrades the more you play, like a flash game but without money barriers for awesome stuff. That way you are satisfied because the reward comes from your own efforts. Obviously it gets harder as you go on (Audience: Teenagers)

App Journal 3: Who's your Audience

  • Pokemon Duel, as i look at it; was designed for teenagers because of its flashy design and bright colors. Not nearly simplistic enough to be a kid's average game app. While FIFA looks like your average sports fan app, with live scores for the different games happening live. The difference is clearly noticable.

App Journal 4: Do people get it?

One of my favourite apps called ChessProblems uses a simple interface that is user friendly. It doesn't give a full explanation on how it works, instead it relies on the client's logic. Naturally, the design is simplistic. Each day it will present you with six chess problems that vary on their difficulty. Once you start up the app you can clearly see it there and are instantly able to play it. The tabs speak for themselves too, once you see the tabs' name tags you can just assume what they are. It makes it easy and fun to use.

However, there are some other apps that just aren't as easy to figure out. Take for example the Tumblr app. It is utterly confusing to the average user, I didn't have much trouble with it since I'm quite acquainted with Tumblr in it's normal form. Not everyone will be able to understand what the reblog button does or how to manage their accounts properly. I myself currently have two accounts and it was utterly perplexing to just jump from one to the other. The app simply didn't clarify how to sign out with one account and enter the other. So this app isn't so user friendly as it might like to be.

Ranking by user friendliness:

  1. Google Chrome
  2. ChessProblems
  3. Messenger
  4. Whatsapp
  5. Tumblr

App Journal 5: What sticks out?

  • The app combiner addresses the issue of having many apps for the same thing at the same time. It also addresses the problem of not having enough space in your phone or tablet for all of these apps at the same time, so instead of getting rid of them you actually just snap 'em together and take the best out of both.
  • Crime Advisor addresses the issue of violence in the city streets. The citizens can now travel safely through alternate routes and report crimes to the police at the same time. Avoiding unnecessary casualties from gunshots.
  • Instant Translator addresses the huge issue of intercomunications between countries. With this app all you have to do is speak into the phone and it will translate it for you in the language you want, without grammatical errors or mistranslations.
  • The Game That Actually Rewards You (TGTARY), granted compared to the others it is quite the useless app, but think about it this way; how many times have you been stuck in a game just because you don't have any more credits in it? Quite bothersome if you ask me. Now I'm not gonna lie, this IS trivial. So really this app is just a nitpick on how game apps are built nowadays, not useful enough.

App Journal 6

  • App name: "App Synthesizer"
  • Problem: Reducing the amount of apps that work for the same purpose.
  • It will combine the apps and leave their best features in.
  • App name: "Crime Advisor"
  • Problem: Citizens get caught up in crimes without it being their fault.
  • It will make sure to tell you where the crimes are and you can notify the police with the press of a button, as well as report the crime location to the other users.
  • App name: "Instant Translator"
  • Problem: People rarely know an extra language that is not English.
  • It will translate your words into the other language without grammatical failure and mistranslations.
  • App name: "The Game That Actually Rewards You (TGTARY)"
  • Problem: Let's face it no one wants to spend money on a game just to advance an extra level.
  • It will reward you for your efforts in playing the game and beating the levels fairly.

App Journal 7: Using what I got

For the vast majority of these apps I will definitely use the touchscreen as it is already implemented on most Android and Apple devices. I will also use the GPS for the "Crime Advisor" it is practically crucial to have it in there. Other than that, not many tools catch my attention at the moment with these current app ideas I have.

App Journal 8: The part where I go crazy with ideas...part 2 (Part 1 is in App Journal 2)

  • For starters:
  • I could use the cameras for the "Crime Advisor" and people would be able to record the crime as it goes on (not advisable, but plausible) So that it can be presented as evidence in court.
  • Cameras on the devices can take pictures of your victory expression once you complete a level in "The Game That Actually Rewards You (TGTARY)"
  • GPS is extremely crucial to the "Crime Advisor" because without it, it will not be able to keep a record of dangerous zones.
  • GPS could be used in "Instant Translator" to detect the country you are in and provide the standard option of translating into that language, it can be done manually too if you so wish to do so.

App Journal 9: The moment I realise someone already did it. (except no one actually did)

App synthesizer currently has no competitors on the app store, mainly because it is an insane idea and it would take ages to program and get the rights to do so, so I can see why it's not a thing yet. Currently there are two app competitors for the Instant Translator; "Translator with Speech" , "Voice to Voice" and "Talking Translator". "Translator with Speech" works only for text and it can convert what you say to a text in another language and tell you its pronunciation, although really it isn't all that special and the quality of the pronunciation could vary. "Voice to voice" is a rip-off because users keep complaining in the comments about how the app will only show adds to them. "Talking Translator" converts your speech to text and text to speech in another language, it also pronounces the sentence for you. It's similar to my idea, but not quite. You see, my idea for this translator is that it can hear the speaker and translate the speech directly from the sample and pronounce it, skipping the text part. For "The Game That Actually Rewards You" there are billions of games that don't actually benefit from profit like "Unlimited Elevators" which is a game in which you jump platforms endlessly so indeed there is a lot of competition for this one.

Lesson 10: First Impression Counts

For me the most important aspects of an app would be the Deference and Clarity. Depth is an aspect that can be easily made, when it comes to apps it's something almost automatic for apps made for the Mac. However the importance of Deference is key to having a good navigation, it is important for the user to get where he or she wants inside of the app without much effort. As for Clarity, it is expected from professional app makers to already know how to make any text appealing for the user so it is a MUST. Of course I will try to balance these three things, but I'll focus a bit more on those two.

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App Journal 11: Icons

In my search for app icons that appeal to me I found the following apps; Har-mo-ny, Epistory- Typing Chronicles, Gunpowder, SUPERHOT and Bear. All of these share practical effects and HD images as icons, they're mostly games, but that speaks for the quality that game designers put into the logos. Epistory- Typing Chronicles has a bright fox with a tail covering its lower half which reminded me a lot of Firefox. It appealed to me because it was brightly colored and seemed like a cool design. Regarding my apps, I personally hate unappealing loading screens and startscreens. What I would do is have a unique feature to each loading screen and in the start screen I would display the action directly, without forgetting about the introduction to the app which will be optional (because surprisingly enough sometimes I hate tutorials too when they're just too basic and predictable.)

App Journal 12: Picking favorites

Well, more than a favorite idea I'd say that the easiest one to do is "The Game That Actually Rewards You (TGTARY)". Its interface would display a red screen (not incredibly bright though) and then the main character hero would come down with the title by stabbing it with his sword. Then the game options would appear, "Share", "Instructions" and "Play". The buttons would probably light on fire once you select them. It will be a straight forward thing to use, although it won't stay on a red screen, I'm probably gonna try and make something appealing as a background. Maybe I'll have a forest in the background. The navigation would be straight forward, just one tap on a button of your choosing and you'll be where you wanna be.

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Ginger Panic

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