Like I often do, I hit the mouse too quickly with this one. I had an idea, sketched a few ideas and then got straight into designing in Flash. I guess I’m just used to doing this & need to stop it. As I went further down the line, spawned better ideas & discovered the complexities of the interface, I needed to go back and redesign graphic elements – I could have avoided this if I had planned on paper properly first.
I created task scenarios (big ones) that attempted to show the complexity of the application and then drew rough prototypes. I should have stuck with hand-drawn prototypes for longer. It felt like I was trying harder to “demonstrate” the app as opposed to prototyping the app. Maybe it was the complexity of trying to get the idea across that was the most difficult part of the process – I’m not sure.
I enjoyed designing this application and learnt a lot. I do honestly feel that in this day and age prototyping mobile touchscreen apps should be easier – there are applications out there – but I didn’t feel many really took advantage of modern interactive design. A lot of these prototyping apps can do the standard “website with pages” approach well but when moving outside of that, many prototyping applications fall short. Even Briefs could only handle swipe left / swipe right functionality. I did, however, find some tools (Indigo Studio as an example) which may offer better gestural prototyping – but these were expensive or required a monthly fee. I was also running out of time quickly and so did not have time to investigate.
As with IDM21, I felt the designing prototype to designing full blown screens tricky – moving, cutting, pasting and exporting between apps just feels complicated. Sketch 3 does have promise here but sits kind of in between prototyping and full blown design.
The next iteration of the design could include grouping of objects, solo and mute buttons (originally intended but then removed) sync with external applications, jam with friends (requested feature) and include album artwork, media, and general listening of tracks, albums or playlists. Some of this functionality was originally intended but was trimmed back as the project was becoming to large and I needed to focus purely on the interactive audio component. The biggest change (which I think makes complete sense) is a dedicated record button on the transport bar – which, a few days later, now seems completely obvious.
Adopting the MVP approach, it does feel like the Cyclo app could go to market as a first release and then see what the market wants from there.