Our Agency

Today, we formed our agency and decided upon job roles. Our initial ideas that we presented to one another, are either very similar or carry the same weight and style within the idea itself. From this, we believe we will be a real success at creating an app that Salisbury Cathedral really wants and needs, by pulling our brains together and forming an uniformed idea.
digital-agencies-copy

  • Ashley Wilkie -Project Manager
  • Alex Sisan – Programmer
  • Dan Burdan – Designer
  • Kaylee Hawkins – Designer
  • Kurt Stubbings – Programmer

As I am the designer the following posts will focus on the design aspects of our app. Other posts can be found on our collaborative blog – https://magnacartaapplication.wordpress.com/

Xcode – Map App

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 21.34.00Here is a screen shot of a map app that I produced, displaying pins for restaurant in Bournemouth town. To create this mini app, I used existing knowledge of arrays, variables, classes and images, butScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 21.30.43 also learnt a lot about MKMapView.

Users can interact with the map view, zooming in and out to different locations and rotating the map. These interactive gestures help to make the app more appealing as users expect to use different touch screen gestures when experiencing different apps. When you click on a pin, the restaurant name, comment and image appears. I think it works well and if I was to develop it further I would go on to create more pins for different locations.

To set the coordinate of the pins, I had to get the longitude and latitude on the restaurants. I also made it so when previewed, the map automatically displays bournemouth. This save the user time in have to zoom in as otherwise it displays the whole of the UK. Thinking about the user experience is important as they will have expectations gained from using existing similar apps. I also set it so the pin drop is animated, although this feature is only small, I feel it benefits the apps. It is important to think about the little things that could help enhance a users experience, and animate could be a feature to explore further.

Here is the code:Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 21.28.31

 

Here is the Restaurants class, consisting of variables and initialisers:

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 21.28.42

 

I feel that my xcode knowledge is developing over the workshops and I am learning some useful features. From this, I will continue to develop my skills as well as develop ideas for our group app.

Initial Moodboard

Here is my initial idea for the app:
app moodboard

-education – infoming people about magna carat due to it being 800 anniversary

-target teens who are usually on phones

-school group – as stated are common people who go cathedral – international too

-simple idea but think it can be effective

-elements to make it fun – race against clock and competition

-may have issues relating to internet connection in order to do multiplayer

-could be played in the exhibition/on way there/after (at schl etc)

From this, we will get into groups with people with similar ideas and interests for the app and decide upon job roles.

 

Xcode – Images App

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 20.35.02

Here is a screen shot of a scrolling image table app that I created in a workshop. I used existing knowledge of table views, arrays, labels and constraints and learnt new features regarding images and parallax scrolling.

I think the app looks okay, but next time I would try using images of similar qualities. I would also experiment with adding more images to scroll through.

It was beneScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 20.51.22ficial to learn about adding images as we may decide to use images within our app. It is important that the Magna Carta app is not full of lots of text, so the inclusion of images could help to make it more visually appealing and interesting for users. An app full with text could be quite boring and a dull experience for users, so dependant on the aimed audience the amount of text and images will differ.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 20.54.18

Changing the view of the image is also an important features as it allows you to suitably position and scale the images. The layout of an app is important and something I need to take on board for the Magna Carta app. It is essential that users can easily use the app without difficulty and have a good experience using it. The layout needs to be well thought out as well as the ratio of text and images, of which will be dependant on who we aim our app at.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 20.59.57

I added a scroll view to the app, so that you can scroll through various images. This features could be useful and I think it is important to incorporate common touch screen gestures into our app.

Here is the code:

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 21.05.53

From this, I will continue to create some mini apps, in order to further develop my knowledge and think of features that we could incorporate in our app to enhance the users experience.

Xcode – Checklist App

checklist appAbove are screen shots of a checklist app that I have been working on in workshops. As you can see, the app displays multiple rows with tasks to complete. If you swipe left on a row, then an option comes up to delete the task, and if you press the ‘+’ button, you can add a new task. Creating this checklist app enabled me to advance my knowledge and learn about new xcode features. I will explain some of the features I learnt and how they will come in useful when it comes to creating our group app.

– Using a table view controller. This is important if we wish to create an app that requires a table. I learnt how to set up an array of items and initiateScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 17.53.21 them to display in the table. As well as using tableView methods such as numberOfRowsInSection and cellForRowAtIndexPath etc.

– Using if statements, so that if an item is pressed, the tick appears and disappears. As well as if the cell is swiped theScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 17.56.48 delete button appears etc. Conditional statements are important to learn as they are required in most apps.

– Using delegates/protocols (a blueprint of methods, properties, and other requirements that suit a particular task or piece of functionality). These are important when it comes to creating more complex apps and isScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 18.01.57 something I need to explore further if I want to become the programmer for our group app.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 18.04.13– Using buttons – this is important to learn as is a common feature in apps. You can apply different properties to the button and connect it up so that when pressed it does a certain action.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 18.06.14

 

I am pleased with the outcome and the app works as expected. To improve, I feel I could edit the colours and fonts to make it more visually appealing and to also make it stand out from existing checklist apps. From this, I feel that I need to explore delegates further in order to develop my knowledge.

Design Methodologies

A methodology is a system of methods used in a particular area of study. It is important to explore different design methodologies in order to understand how the industry operates and to use the methodologies when producing our group app, in order to achieve a successful design solution. I will explore the outdates waterfall model, in comparison to iterative design, with a focus on agile methodologies.

Waterfall:

Waterfall_modelThe waterfall methodology was one of the first to be introduced. It is a simple, linear model that it easy to follow and understand. The model is fixed and doesn’t offer room for constant improvements and refinements. Therefore, it would not be useful to follow these methods as it is important that we regularly engage the clients to ensure their requirements are being met. As well as constantly thinking about the users and testing our app with the target audience before submitted it to clients. Following a waterfall methodology could result in the following:

mismatched_expectations

The illustration clearly explains mismatched expectations, hence showing the important of regularly having team meetings as well as meetings with clients in order to ensure that everyone is working along the same lines. From this, it is very important that we meet the clients requirements in our app and also to sustain users expectations.

Iterative:

iterative-model

 

This methodology is which I followed for the previous design iterations unit. It allows room for constant refinements and improvements to be made, and the cycle can be repeated various times, to produce a successful well developed end product. The testing stage in particular allows you to gain important user feedback, allowing you to improve on the product to enhance the users experience.

Agile:

Agile-Methodology

 

The agile methodology is an iterative model when designs are produced in incremental, rapid cycles. It is normally used when there is a short deadline and usually works best with smaller design teams.  It involves constant testing and engagement with clients in order to satisfy their needs and requirements, therefore avoided mismatched expectations show in the illustration above. This is a diagram to visually show the sprint cycles within agile methodologies:

scrum-overview-mark-hoogveldI feel that the scrum methodology is that which my team should follow for the production of the Magna Carta app. It will ensure that all team members are on track, continuously working to produce a product that will meet the expectations and requirements of the clients and users. I think that the daily scrum stand ups is something we could incorporate, as it will allow members to share how their work progress is going and any problems they are encountering. However, as we don’t have an dedicated office/room, the location would have to be organised in advance. Also, I feel that mainly stand ups could be held once/twice a week rather than daily as teams may not see each other every day at uni.

It is important to explore different design methodologies and I feel the agile methodology would be the best one to follow for this unit. Using methodologies would reflect the design industry and make our team more professional due to this project being a live brief. It is extremely important that team members each have a job role (programmer/designer etc) and I feel that by following an agile methodology, it will ensure that we are all working along the same lines in order to meet the users requirements and to produce a successful end product that satisfies the users.

Cheng, C, 2015. Why Scrum? Why Agile Development? [online]. Available from: http://calvinx.com/2014/05/22/why-scrum-why-agile-development/ [Accessed 10 February 2015].

ISTQB EXAM CERTIFICATION, 2015. What is Agile Model – Advantages, Disadvantages and When To Use It? [online]. Available from: http://istqbexamcertification.com/what-is-agile-model-advantages-disadvantages-and-when-to-use-it/ [Accessed 10 February 2015].

Xcode – Facts App

HeScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 16.27.20re is a screen shot of a ‘running facts’ app that I created in workshops. To access new facts, you can either click on the next/back buttons or swipe left/right across the screen. I am pleased with my first app and although it is fairly simple, I learnt lots of useful techniques. I will briefly explain some of the features I learnt and reflect on how this is important…

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 16.34.07

– Adding text labels and connecting them up with the view controller as an outlet or function. This is important as our Magna Carta app is bound to have some text in so learning this is essential.

– Changing fonts and colours. This is important as our app needs to look visually appealing and the use of colours and customiseScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 16.39.03d fonts will enhance this. The aesthetics of the app are important, so it is essential that the colours and font we use match the style guidance given by Salisbury Cathedral, in order to successfully meet the clients requirements.

-Using constraints. This is useful as it ensures that the Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 16.46.10layout of the text/images is clearly structured. The constraints mean that no matter what device and whether it is held vertically/horizontally, the layout will remain consistent and adjust accordingly. Having an app that is clearly structured and laid out is important as it makes the users experience more satisfying.

– Using an array of strings. This is important as usingScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 16.50.49 arrays help to save time when programming. It means the text can be altered easily and the app will run through the array of facts. If the app consisted of Magna Carta facts, then this feature will be required.

– Using swipe left/right gestures. This is important as usersScreen Shot 2015-02-21 at 17.13.23 expect an contemporary app to have common gestures. It enhances the app and makes it easier for users to quickly swipe through the various facts.

Here is the code for the app:

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 17.00.18
Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 16.57.04Overall, I am pleased with my facts app and how it turned out. I like how the text is clear and easy for users to read and I think this is extremely important. I also like the clear layout, and think using constraints is essential in order to make an app look visually appealing. Next time, I would possibly make the font size of the facts slightly smaller, as well as experimenting with different colours behind the title. From this, I feel that it is essential to go on to explore more gestures, such as pinch, rotate, tap and pan etc. These will all help to enhance the users experience and make the app more contemporary.