Working at an advertising agency means that each individual person has a specific role. We have strategists and IAs that work out the UX of the majority of the projects that come down the pipe and I’ve been wanting to dive more into that realm. So this begins a series where I’ll be making my own app in order for me to go through the process and practice my skills.
Determining the Problem
I knew I wanted to create an app that solved some sort of problem, rather than entertained like a game, so I started to be more aware of small trivial problems of my every day comings and goings. One recurring issue that I have is that I’m constantly lending or borrowing money to/from my friends without really keeping track of it. I used to make lists on sticky notes in my phone but once the item goes into the list, I’d tend to just forget about it. So what if there was an app that allowed me to keep track of the money that I borrowed or lent, but had a few additional utilities as well?
In order to think about the type of utilities the app might include, I began by first looking at the two types of users: the lender and the borrower to determine the most basic utility I’d like the app to have.
In addition to simple record keeping, I thought it would be interesting to have the ability to set local reminders for yourself or send reminders to your borrowers via text, email or simply calling them (simple phone features). Also, it would be really nice to be able to pay someone back directly from the app, perhaps with a paypal extention or something? After all, IOUs are meant to be paid back …. eventually?
Using my user profiles, I mapped out a flow of actions that my app would ideally have. I found that using post-its on my living room wall were a great way of visualizing the different actions. I would write a single action on a post-it note, stick it on the wall and rearrange them over and over until it looked right.
Once everything looked right, I arranged it in a nice flow chart:
In my next post, I’ll be researching existing apps to see how my idea stacks up. With these apps, I will be looking at both functionalities and design to see if there are things I have missed. From there, I can decide if my user flow needs to be reworked (or even if there’s a point to creating my app at all!)
See Part 2: Research