Monday, February 4, 2013

Revealing the Design

The Concept
This week I began brainstorming about my first app. Our professor, Dr. Joseph, suggested we build an app to be used while waiting in line. I began by throwing out a list of potential apps I (or my awesome friends) might use. Some of these are a little far-fetched, and some already exist, but we all have to start with a few ideas, right? Well, here's what I came up with:

Waiting in Line
1-Design army for Warhammer 40K
2-Where did I park?
3-Find my friend
4-Mini exercise challenge
5-Photo scavenger hunt
6-Mad lib
7-Look at boobs
8-D&D character builder
9-Appointment scheduler
10-Order pizza (or...any carryout/delivery)
11-Solve a Rubik's cube
12-Check all bank accounts
13-Learn morse code
14-Write a haiku
15-Spy on babysitter/daycare
16-Message to future self
17-Who's that hottie in line over there? (facial recognition, location identifiers)
18-Hidden pictures
19-Read my daily mantra/horoscope
20-Build dance playlist

In narrowing this down to focus my efforts, I selected two apps to prototype. Let me describe them in just a bit more detail.

Photo Scavenger Hunt – This is where users have a list of items to search for in the world around them and capture with their phone's camera. Here are the photos of the mockup for this one:

40K Army Builder – This app allows the user to compile an army list for Warhammer 40K, which they can then save and view later. ...and the prototype photos:

User Testing
Which prototype did I decide to test? I opted for the Photo Scavenger Hunt for several reasons. First, it would take a lot more research to build the 40K app than I feel ready to invest at the present time. The coding would be quite intensive! Also, I believe the photo app would have a wider appeal. I ended up getting sick this weekend, and instead of spreading germs throughout the local stores, I decided to test my prototype from home. This began by testing with my two roommates, followed by three Skype buddies I happened to catch pre- and post-Super Bowl. Here is a screen capture from the Skype testing.

The feedback helped a lot. During one session, it became apparent I needed to add confirmation of a photo saving to a list, which I did, and is included in the above snapshot. And while I had originally intended to only allow one-two lists at a time, another user wanted to be involved in a much higher number of lists. It was recommended for the future to add in functionality allowing users to share the albums (which was something I had already considered, but wanted to keep this simple). I also want to eventually add in functionality to support several things such as company-sponsored lists (maybe even with prizes!?), badge-earning (number of lists completed, 15 votes for an album, chart-topping album), etc. But for now, simple is the key.


  1. Hey Allison,
    very interesting selection of apps to prototype, my personal favorite option 7. :)
    Getting back to whats safe for work, I really like the idea of creating a scavenger hunt with a phone picture, that is very clever!

  2. Warhammer 40K? You rock! Do you know Bryan Wolfford? He was also working on a scavenger hunt app, and is into D&D ... great detail on your protoypes!

    What's Mad Lib?

  3. A Mad Lib is a story, about two paragraphs long, that has a bunch of blanks, and before the story, you create a list of words to go into the blanks (prompted by descriptions: noun, adjective)...

    And 40K and D&D are both the boyfriend's passions. Way too nerdy for me ;)