Assignment #4-Part 2: Project idea pitch
You've been brainstorming. You've received some feedback. You have hopefully iterated on various ideas. It's time to propose your best idea and convey your concept as best as you can in two pages or less. You may need to combine some of the techniques that have been discussed in class and in the design readings.
If your idea presented at the 1 minute MADness got a positive response and has received a positive response from Stephen, you might continue with it. If your idea has received a lukewarm response, you should come up with a new idea or a radically improved idea.
Your assignment should include the following information for your proposed app:
- Class project category (see the list on the syllabus)
- App name (Max 30 characters, including spaces)
- App description exactly as it would appear on the Play Store (Max 4000 characters, including spaces, usually much less). This description should be something that is appropriate for the app store. It should describe the app succinctly and catch someone's attention. It should clearly get across what is interesting/novel about the app. It should not state that the app is "easy" or "fun" but instead describe behavior that sounds easy or fun. Describe, don't tell. There should be no typos in this description because this reduces your credibility dramatically.
- A slogan or promotional saying that would appear on the Play Store (Max 80 characters, including spaces)
- Who are your target users of the application? (Be specific. For example, "kids" isn't precise enough. A kid aged 4 is very different than a kid aged 6 or 8.)
- Succinctly answer the following questions:
- What problem/task(s) does the application help someone solve?
- What five current apps on the Play Store (or other app stores, such as iTunes) would be your closest competitors?
(you will need to search around and try out apps to figure this out!)
- Why will your app be better than the competitors?
- What is innovative about your app idea? What will be particularly surprising or elegant about the concept?
- What about your app will keep people engaged using it for a long time, even once the novelty wears off? Why will it be addictive?
- What are the top potential weaknesses of your application idea and how will you address them?
- Would you be able to design, build, and test this app before the final project is due for the class?
Next include scans of sketches or storyboards showing your concept in as much detail as you can. Your goal is to succinctly but thoroughly convey how it might work. You should also convey that you have thoughtfully considered the details about how (and why) someone would use it.
- Aim for innovation but also simplicity in design
- Use the unique functionality of mobile devices (and for graduate students, use sensing in a sophisticated way)
- Keep in mind the design principles we've discussed in class and that have been in the readings
- Think through the details of ALL of the screens someone would encounter
- Iterate a few times with friends to try and improve the idea before you turn it in
- Remember that you are proposing to implement what you propose -- keep it ambitious but manageable
- Don't forget that you can use sensors/devices such as the Wockets and the Zephyr heart rate monitor if you wish, even the Pebble smartwatch and possibly Google Glass, if you are feeling extremely ambitious
- If registered for 5520: Propose an idea that uses sensors in an novel and significant way
- Make some of the mistakes made by students in the past (read my prior notes carefully).
- Use a computer to draw designs ... sketch screens by hand, without a ruler
- Propose to reimplement an app that is already on the Play Store (instead propose something new that has a "wow" factor)
- Oversimplify the behavior of your users or underestimate the difficulty of achieving behavior change
- Assume that your users will do things that are not fun or immediately useful for long periods of time
- Assume that your users have a lot of free time and that they will make major changes to their lifestyle just to use your app
- Propose ideas that require a large amount of high-quality content to be generated in order to be interesting (unless you will be able to generate example content to be used to evaluate your project).
Email your assignment with subject line "Assignment 4" to the TA and ...@neu.edu as a PDF file named [YourFirstName][YourLastName].assign4.pdf by the deadline.
This assignment will be graded based on how well you follow the instructions above and how well your idea reflects understanding of the design reading, use of the design strategies, creativity, and inventiveness. We are not looking for pages and pages of material: you have no more than two pages. We are looking for clear descriptions and innovative ideas that will be genuiniely useful to people.
Although it is subject to tweaking, this table will give you a sense of how you will be assigned points and the feedback you will receive on your idea.