Categories
Blog Newsletters

Weekly top 5 #36, Posters, Awkward Gadgets and Calendar

One App for Mac:
Itsycal – Mini Calendar

If you work on a Mac and like me often need access to a calendar then this free and speedy app is perfect for you. It can even link up with your iCal

One Article for 2016
UX Trends to come

A fascinating and insightful read on the shape of things to come in UX for the next year. Highly recommended for anyone working in tech.

One (finished) Kickstarter campaign
LEVIT8, Portable standing desk

This is one sexy looking product for your very own portable standing desks. Sorry I’ve sent this out way too late and it’s not finished, I’m sure you can get it from their website soon

One Research
How We Hold Our Gadgets

A great piece into how our gadgets are designed and how awkward some interactions can be, specially for those silly phablets.

One Good Laugh
Posters for Designers

If you are a designer, you would understand. some might make you want to cry… like I did
 

Progress

[Good] Currently having a break before start of a new journey
[Good] Finally updated my portfolio on my site www.shapes.io
[Bad] Sleeping really badly, waking up at 5am in the morning not being able to sleep is no good for one’s health

Categories
Blog Newsletters

5 Cool Things #11 25th Jan 2015

One idea:
A motivational alarm

What if there’s an app that wakes you up every morning and show you a different motivation quote? Rather boring right? Now, what if the only way for you to shut off the alarm is for you to read out loud the motivational quote? Start your day on a good note maybe? Just an idea….

One (Entertaining) Video:
How the Economic Machine Works

With the help of entertaining and simple animations, billionaire Ray Dalio walks us though how economic works
http://www.businessinsider.com/ray-dalio-economic-presentation-2013-9

One Article on Social Media:
What teens really think about social media

If you are in online media and marketing, you really should read this, it’s a peak into how teens think about YouTube, Google, Reddit and some other SM platforms
https://medium.com/backchannel/what-teens-really-think-about-youtube-google-reddit-and-other-social-media-a7263924a506

One Tool:
PieSlice: How to slice up your startup’s equity

Very helpful tool for co-founders to decide how to chop up their startup equity one step at a time.
http://piechopper.com

One Article on Sleep:
Sleep Deprivation Is Killing You and Your Career

Most of us already know how inadequate sleep is bad for us, I am definitely guilty of this but it’s still incredibly hard to get enough rest.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/12/01/skipping-sleep-is-career-suicide/

Categories
Blog Tools & Services

How was you day? An idea for measuring quality of life


So I am a bit of a weirdo, I’ve long had an interest in keeping records of my training. For over 4 years, it was only my body weight and body fat percentage. But since reading the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss I’ve started recording even more metrics, such as bicep, chest, waist and thigh circumference.
I’ve also been keeping a journal in one form or another for many years, either physical on paper or on various electronic means. I do this, because it helps me organise my mind and allow me to look back upon various stages of my life, hoping I have improved in one form or another with time.

As an idea

I fully appreciate it’s no where as simple, but i do wish there’s a way for me to track various aspect of my life quantitatively such as my training. In my own attempt to fill this gap, I started designing an app “How was your day?” The idea is to allow it’s user platform to measure their days, so if you had a pretty good day at the office and managed to get the majority of the work done you may rate your Happiness level 8. Where as you might rate your HEALTHY LIVING a 3 because you missed your session at the gym but instead had a beer at lunch. The fields itself should be flexible. An athlete might want to track their “Stamina”, “Quality of Rest” and “Concentration”. Where as a new parent might be more interested in tracking their child’s “Appetite”, “Bathroom habits” and “Restlessness”.
The app will also give you reminders when things have not been going well, bad DIET for 5 days in a row, you’ll get a reminder
The purposes are endless. The app will also allow the user to make Notes on each item of their day, limited to 140 characters so that they don’t feel the they don’t feel the pressure to have to write a lot. Here’s a mock up of my idea, check it out using your mobile:

How was your day? The Mock up

Check it out and let me know what you think? Is it as bad of an idea as I fear?
To give you an idea of  the type of record I keep, here’s a page from my body metric records:

 

Categories
Blog Flash and Flex Mobile App Development

My First App had 524 downloads in 16 days

App ScreenshotI’m pretty happy, the first app I ever developed all by myself has over 500 downloads in just 16 days, with ZERO marketing. This app is the very reason I started this blog, I wanted to keep track of everything I have learnt. Although I have worked on numerous mobile app projects, never have I personally took it from idea all the way through production all by myself. It has been a long and sometimes frustrating journey, but at the end it was worth it. Below is a quick summery of what I have learnt from the launch so far.

The App

My first app is called Hand Massage Acupressure Health, currently only available on Google Play. It is essentially a reference guide to how to use traditional Chinese medical massage techniques called Acupressure to improve health and aid minor alignments such as headaches and sore throats. More information can be found at www.acupressureapp.com.  I’m aiming to complete the iOS version within this month. Since I used Adobe Flex to develop the app, this in theory should be fairly straight forward.
Even though the app is out on the Android market, there are still so many things I would like to do to improve it, but reading the Lean Startup by Eric Ries I really wanted to test the idea of developing a Minimal Viable Product (mvp) and just push it out to the market to test customer responses.
If you are using an Android phone, please download it now and let me know what you think, I would love to have some more feedback.

Get it now at Google Play

Fun and interesting data

I’m strangely fascinated by the data from Google Developers Console. The graph below shows the general active install since it was published. The most surprising thing I’ve learnt from here was most of the downloads were from Android 4.0.x (Ice-Cream Sandwich) devices, I was convinced it would have been 2.3.x (Gingerbread) considering the market share of 57.2% vs 21.8% for 4.0 devices. My only possible answer is those with new devices (with Android 4.0 preinstalled) are more likely to browse Google play for new Apps.


Device DataConsidering the popularity of Android 4.0.x devices, I wasn’t exactly very surprised to the top 3 most popular devices were Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S2 and Samsung Galaxy Note. What I was surprised about is the difference in download  from other systems. I was very surprised there were some interest from Asus Nexus 7 devices. When I designed the app, I was thinking solely for Smartphones and didn’t want to spend too long with adapting the app for tablets. Even after my update on 6th September, I know the app would not look 100% right on Tablets, but at least its more usable. One thing I was hoping the update would address is the high level of uninstall for HTC desire Z devices, I suspect this was due to the poor home screen arrangement for low res screens.
 

What I have learnt

I have learnt so much through out this app, but some of the most important lessons I have learnt are surprisingly not so much regarding the technical side of the project but more things to bear in mind for my next project

1. Do not trust the Flash builder emulator

Things will LOOK and PERFORM very differently. Most importantly in my case was the 3D view for the hand, even with a dual core HTC sensation there were obvious lag during rotation

2. Read the freaking documentation

when I started this app, I was very stupidly unaware that to use a flex app, the user would also need to have Adobe Air installed on their Android devices. I can’t help think maybe the app would do a tiny bit better if they didn’t have to do that much more work.

3. Test early with actual users

Find someone who is roughly your target audience, without explaining what the app does, ask them to have a play around and tell you what they think the app does and how they would the whole experience. This was very valuable!

Search Performance

I was also pretty pumped to realise if you type in “Hand Massage App” into Google Web Search you would get my app on third and if you type in “Hand Massage” into Google Play it would come second! I’m hoping this is Google’s way of saying I’m doing things write.

Next Step

Naturally with this level of interest, I am very excited to carry on developing this app, so my coming steps are as follows:

  1. Develop Chinese Version
  2. Resolve Tablet layout issue
  3. Publish to Amazon Market Place
  4. Publish to Apple App store for iOS devices
  5. Start learning Phone Gap, there will be a post of this very shortly

 
All and all this has been a fun experience, just a shame the app is free. Oh well, another lesson for the next project.