Monday, February 18, 2013

Storyboards and Prototypes

Point of View
This week we were asked to consider applications that fit a certain point of view. In my own personal life, I am attempting to go paperless, so that was the driving force behind the apps I chose to storyboard. This fits in very well with the digital age. Whether it's saving trees, saving money, or just being in a place where you don't have paper, a mobile app can come in handy!

Paperless Fitness
A few years back, I was following the workouts from the CrossFit website regularly. I would log onto the website, write down the workout of the day as well as my previous stats for that workout, go to the gym, record my stats for the week, then go back to my computer to enter my new stats into my digital record. This was an incredibly inefficient, but it worked at the time. The following storyboard depicts an idea for an app that takes care of that whole process.

Paperless Scoring
When visiting my family over Christmas, we played cards or dominoes every night. I have always been the one to keep score, but this year my sister wanted to take care of that. Unfortunately, she could use a little brush-up on her basic math skills! Additionally, the notepad my parents had handy would not hold an entire game, so we had to flip the paper over mid-game, and hope the sleepy scorekeeper would record everything correctly. Here is the storyboard for an app to solve the paper and math problems.

I selected the scoring app for my prototypes. The first model I built was what I initially believed would be closer to what I would ultimately construct, but after designing my second model, I found some problems with the first one.
Model 1

Model 2

Finally, if you would like to see the prototypes in action, here is a video demonstration and self-critique. Until next time...


  1. Great point of view; going paperless is awesome, and your storyboards are really clear - great to see you using the star people :-) Regarding the prototypes, do there always need to be four players? Perhaps I'm not familiar with the particular games you are describing - I know dominoes just needs two, but maybe I don't know spades. The second prototype definitely feels like it would be easier to navigate. If spades is the game I think it is, doesn't the number of tricks you make get implicitly recorded by the number of cards you get when you take them ...?

  2. Great questions! For spades and hearts, while there are ways to play the games with fewer than four people, in general those are incredibly uncommon. For dice and dominoes (and the other rare card game I'm going to include), there will be a selector for the number of players.

    And with regards to the number of tricks...this isn't actually a game, just a scorekeeper, so there wouldn't be any automatic recording of the number of tricks. Did that answer your question?

  3. Nice work Allison!
    The paperless-card-game-score-tracker thing is sheer brilliance! When I play spades with friends or family, we always burn through at least a few dozen sheets of paper (Most of my more elderly family members write larger for some particular reason, I can't understand.)

    My only question is - how are you going to manage creating the app so it is smart enough to know how to score the game a player is playing! (How will it know the difference between who is rich man or poor man AND THEN knowing how many 'books' someone has in another game of spades?) Perhaps a library of rules will be in place? Curious to see how it turns out so I can throw it in my app collection.

  4. Hmm...not quite sure what you're asking. I don't know what you mean by "rich man/poor man." Maybe you're playing a version of spades I've never played! The books will be manually entered by the user, so it's not something the game will have to inherently "know." I think putting in a full library of rules could be a little more space-consuming than I want, but maybe at least a section with "this is how the scoring works on this game." That way you could play different versions of the same game, and the app wouldn't have to change. For example, some people play with Ace high, others add jokers and such. Either way you play, though, there are still 13 tricks in a round, so it doesn't matter.