FeelingsChat Journey of Exploration
Concept development is an essential and critical stages of new product development.
Project Inception- Wireframe
Wireframe is an important step in any screen design process. It a rudimentary shapes and lines used to designate position and plan the layout of how users are to engage and maximimise their experience using a product. Wireframe does not actually indicate how elements may actually appear in a final design.
The wireframe help to understand what to build more better by clarify the interface of the app. This make content development more effective and make the design process iterative.
Paper Wireframe- The First Concept Design
Some of the above features were screened out with modifications so as to conform to the expected required features for the target Users and fulfill the app Goals and Objectives. The unwanted features were modified while some were weeded.
The above Feel Tags wireframe were modified to “Feel Tag Activities” on the final design. While the FeelChat
The FeelChat was weeded during the Inception phase but to be incorporated after which the Minimum Viable Product(MVP) has been achieved. This decision was necessary to enable the app get to the hands of the target users within the stipulated duration for the project (23 Weeks- Starting from the Inception to deployment), this in returns help in generating feedback from the target users for incorporation of new user demand features and modification of required features as demanded during Users testing.
The FeelChat feature are designed as communication of feelings between two mutual users instead of engaging with large number of defined users (Friends/Public/Users within your location) as it is on the Minimum Viable Product released- (Version 1).
Concept Development- Competitor Analysis (Research)
Competitor research helps to distinguish product from other competitors. Hence, competitor analysis were embarked on during the concept development for FeelingsChat. This was used to turn competing apps weaknesses to opportunities which help in early adoption of the this newly developed app. Thus, the concept design focus on target users needs.
Mobile app development is a competing field. There are millions of apps in App Store and Play store. Hence, there exist numerous relating existing app to any conceptual idea.
As part of the efforts to address the unmet needs in the market, which are not fulfilled by similar apps, competing apps were search by the use of Keywords relating to the project on both Play Store and App Store. More also, Product Hunt was also used to discover new and existing app with similar features to this project in question.
The websites of competing apps were studied and also their customer review were taken into considerations. Moreso, their marketing potentials was studied through the analysis of their advertising strategies, services and distribution channels. More also, new competing apps were investigated to know when likely they will be launched and other dates for launching new versions of existing apps with incoporations of new features were all noted.
The competitor analysing was an added advantage for understanding FeelingsChat Target Users needs and their Profile.
Two major competing app were analysed and evaluated, among many other competing apps- the Mood Meter app and Vent App.
Special Note: As an author, designer and developer of this project, the earlier work, research and efforts of the competing app developers are all well appreciated. The evaluation of Mood Meter and Vent App in this project symbolised their good efforts to be mentioned of herein. This evaluation is to serve as guide towards developing the features expected by the target users in this world of continuous advancement in technology and a green light to look into for the future continuous development of competing apps by other developers and .
Evaluation of the Competing Apps
Mood Meter App- Competitive Research Analysis
Mood Meter is a tool that help user to ascertain the mood a person is experiencing at any moment. It has a square user interface which is divided into four quadrants- red, blue, green and yellow. Each representing different sets of feeling. It guide users to figure-out the reasons for their feeling with in-built feature for students to control their mood.
According to the content of the app on the RULER Real Stories, the app focus on children to better recognise, understand, label, express and regulate their emotions.
The app aim on wider range of children and educators. The Market channel strategy adopted is by focusing in children schools by formulating RULER program (RULER- Recognising, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions). The program which they describe to have the power to investigate and unlock the power of emotional intelligence in Children.
Among the Marketing Strategy is creating landing pages for the app and building an online social network like RULER Approach on Twitter and Fb Ruler on Facebook. The app is made available on both iTunes and Google play at download cost of $0.99. To increase the app revenue, the app was designed to run minimally on iOS 7.0 or later and Android 4.1
Mood Meter offers volume purchase for Education and to distributors for resale.
2. Vent- Express your feelings- Competitive Research Analysis
The app is designed as an interactive social diary for connecting with people and a means expressing user's feeling with people around the world. The age rating is 17 years old. The app is available on both App Store and Play Store as free download, but it operates about ten In-App Purchases ranging from £0.99 to £2.99.
The app is categorised under Social Networking and requires iOS 10.3 or later and compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
The app has an online landing page and social pages like Vent Feed on Twitter, ventfeed on facebook, Ventfeeder on Google+ and linkedin, to keep readers informed and being followed.
Overview of the Competing Apps
Below are the summary of the competing apps overview, usage and download as gathered using SimilarWeb (an online tool in researching for the competing App)
The summary are being represented in the table below:
Summary of Competitor Research Analysis
Merits and shortcomings of Mood Meter and Vent app were analyzed through their customer review on PlayStore, App Store and promo Videos on Youtube. They serve as a vital guide during concept development of this Project. Morealso, customers expectations and future likely plans were also noted.
The result of the competing research analysis help to focus on the required expectation of FeelingsChat Target Users so as to achieved developing a unique User companion, locative, emotional communication and mental health tool with much comparative advantage.
The competitive research analysis is a vital tool which help in achieving orginality in app development, so as to avoid inventing and developng on same existing app (Imitation).
Project Colour Scheme
Colours is one of the most essential part of app design for a better user experience (UX) and engagement.
Two factors are key when deciding on app colour palette, these factors are:
- The Target Users
- The purpose of the app.
Researches show that majority of the age group from 16-34 years are more attracted to pink and purple. They also do flag red colours for certain reasons- like mark for attention, treatment or eminent danger.
Human feelings evolve around two ends:
- Feeling good or bad
- Feeling strong or weak
- Feeling happy or mad.
Analogous colour was considered on all the user interface (UI) of FeelingsChat project, with the exception of Home UI that is feelings-defined. Analogous colour schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.
For the Minimum Viable Product (Version 1.0), the UI colour scheme of the Home screen (activity) depends on the chosen Feelings selected by the users during their Status-Update. The said home screen complementary colour are brought together with the app background colour of the Home screen which saturately complements each selected feelings-defined colour from different users. This bring about the home screen UI desirable illusion of the Home screen user interface with interesting effects.
The combination of the above colour schemes (analogous and complimentary colour) produce an overall pleasing effects and better interpretation and representation of the colour palette implemented for this project.
The App Colour Palette
Learn to interpret your Feelings from below Colour Wheel
Prototype Creation and Blueprinting
Mockup- Previous User Interface (UI) Design of the App
The Mock-up was designed as a proceeding to the wireframe design and chosen of the colour scheme.
Mockups is the design choices for colour schemes, to visualise the basic layout, design and content as well as demonstrate the essential functionality of the user interface before any interaction of the different user interface, as found in Prototype. It is about creating well-defined steps of product navigation to show it to potential customers or investors for a quick feedback before investing time on prototype.
Concept Development- First Mockup Design
Below are the first concept design which was later modified due to continuous research and development on the target users emotional habits, which include their attitude, life style and interest.
Concept Development- Prototype
As defined by wikipedia, a prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. A preliminary visualisation of a working product. It is also referred to as 'proof of concept'.
Major technical risks demand the creation of prototype.
Below are some of the benefits for creating Prototype:
- Requirement validation
- Eliminate ambiguities and improve accuracy
- Bridging communication gap between developers and end-users
- Demonstrating a working system
- User training
- Testing the final system
- Reduce development cost
- Meeting up with deadline (timescales)
- Helps to identify and address problems early on misunderstood features
- Allows developer to explore ideas and exchange feedback on
Continuous Development through User Testing
The prototype was used for evaluation of the concept by the target users before development phase
The link of the prototype were shared with the Target User so as to get their Feedback with through an attached Feed back Google-Form for the evaluation of the Feelingschat concept and evaluation of the technical feasibility before the commencement of the app development.
The prototype served as tool that see to end-user requirement matching for the project.
Continuous Development- Modification and Enhancement to Preceding Prototype
Further continuous research was carried out to justify the requested modification by Target users during user testing. The technical possibility were also analysed. There was incorporation and modification to initial design.
‘Target users satisfaction is core in app development’.
Proceeding Prototype to the initial Prototype
Technical Requirements for FeelingsChat Minimum Viable Product (MVP)- Version 1.0
Below is the technical specification for the minimum Viable Product (MVP)- Version 1.0
- Platform- Android
- Support minimum Android- Version 4.4 (KitKat)
- API Level- 19
- External storage access
- Minimum graphics requirement
The app run on approximately 95.3% of android devices.