Design Assignment Week 1:


Hot (and not) critical analysis of mobile health apps


Due Thu May 12, beginning of class


Select two high-quality apps from the iPhone or Android Market that help people with weight loss and/or getting more exercise.


Put some careful thought and research into the selection of the apps. Do a search for quality applications in health in various media, and review the apps that are top ranked in this category in the app stores. Search some reputable online sources for data on innovative health applications. I want you to pick applications that are innovative in some way ... either because they use new phone functionality, or they are particularly good, easy-to-use, or popular, or because they take an approach that is very different from competitor apps.


Critically evaluate the two apps, ideally by running them on actual phones but via demos on websites or whatever other material you can find if you do not have a phone or a friend with a phone. You can also try apps out after class on Wednesday on Android phones.

For each app, create a one-page write-up that includes the following:   

  1. Your name and the name of the app evaluated.
  2. A summary paragraph that identifies key features of the app.
  3. A paragraph or bullet list describing what makes this app better than competitors. Why did you select it?  
  4. A list of positive characteristics (e.g. high-quality graphics, fun, indispensable tool). Try to be as precise as possible about what makes it good. For example, don’t just say it is addictive; try to explain why it is addictive. Don’t just say that it “looks professional.” Explain what makes it look that way.
  5. A list of negative characteristics (e.g. force close, slow, confusing menu titles). What could be done better? Be detailed
  6. A paragraph identifying the target audience for the app. Who might use this?
  7. A paragraph discussing whether you think the app is commercially viable, including the expected market for the app and the estimated number of paid downloads or estimated number of impressions/clicks per month the app might obtain if ad-based. Include your math and assumptions made (you might look in for help - in particular, look at page 6).  


In addition to bringing a hardcopy to class, send an email of the PDF to Name the file in this format: [your last name].pdf.