Team Cowboy becomes Game Plan

I’ve been slowly plugging away on nailing down the UX of the Team Cowboy App. I spoke with a UX professional about it and got some valuable feedback about simplifying and following Apple’s conventions. I’ve moved on from paper wireframing and have started building the digital wireframes in Illustrator. Here are some of the paper prototypes:

Paper_prototype1

Paper_prototype2

I am showing 3 task flows. 1) RSVPing Yes to a game and marking that you’re bringing a sub, 2) Marking yourself as an available sub for a game & posting a day/time subbing availability, and 3) Manager responding to that sub who marked themselves as available for the game in Task 2.

Along with the wireframe building I have started to work on the look and feel of the App. I started sketching logo ideas and realized I didn’t like the name Team Cowboy. I made the executive decision to call the app something different. I toyed with the name “Roundup”, as in “we need to round up more players”, but people thought there was too strong an association with the weed killer Roundup. So we brainstormed as a group and came up with “Game Plan”. So the new name for my app is Game Plan. Here are some of the logo sketches I did:

TC_logos1

TC_logos2

TC_logos3

I haven’t picked a final yet and will probably keep working on the logo for a little bit longer.

Here’s just a screen grab of the digital wireframes so you can see where those are at:

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 10.12.02 AM

Next steps: Finish the wireframes, make a prototype, test it, and refine some of the screens with the UI skins. Finish the logo and style board! Go, go, go!

Team Cowboy App

It’s my very last quarter at SCCA, and that’s a pretty crazy thing to think about. I can’t believe how far we’ve all come, and I can’t believe it happened so fast. We’re already two weeks into the quarter, which means I only have 45 more days of class with my wonderful classmates that have become like family. *Tear* It’s going to be weird when I no longer get to hang out with my favorite people every day.

That being said, there’s still work to be done! Like my special topics project-the Team Cowboy app redesign. What’s Team Cowboy you ask? Team Cowboy is an existing website, mobile site, and app for Apple, Windows, and Android phones that helps coordinate and organize recreational sports teams. I personally use this website with all of my soccer teams and was interested in working on an app that I felt would actually be of help to real people.

I’ve done a lot of research so far to prepare me to tackle the redesign of the app. The research includes: an online survey, personal interviews with 2 people, email interviews with 2 people, an analysis of the features of the current website, mobile website, and app, and research on other existing competitor apps.

Here’s my current website/app audit:

UserResearch_1

UserResearch_2

UserResearch_3

Here’s some competitor research on the top 3 competitors:

UserResearch_6

UserResearch_5

UserResearch_4

And here’s the user personas I created based off of the survey info and interviews I conducted:

UserPersonas1

UserPersonas2

UserPersonas3

Next steps are to finish the Customer Journey Map that I’ve started working on, finish the paper wireframes that I’m working on and test those to see where the holes are. Once I’ve tested them, I will create digital wireframes and do a simple prototype in Invision. Next steps are testing prototype, iterating, and then starting the branding so that I can skin the app and make a complex prototype. A real client project has me a little behind schedule (already, I know…) but I’m hoping to make a lot of progress this weekend and this coming week.

Pace Magazine: The evolution continues

I’ve been working away on the home page of Pace, trying to get all the content needed to fill a very content-heavy home page. Much of the content in the print version of the magazine wasn’t actually anything I could use in the digital version. Small soundbite type info didn’t really fit in the web format, and I needed fresh content as well. So I’ve been spending quite a bit of time trying to cultivate content that fits the concept of Pace.

Now that I’ve finally figured out all the content, I’ve finished the structure of the home page (well, 85% of it…) and I’ve started working on styling it (the fun part!). I forgot how much I like designing in the browser! Here are some screen shots of various type treatments I’ve been messing around with.

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Once I’m done with the home page, I’ll start embarking on the article templates! Woo hoo!

Pace Magazine Digital Format

Pace is coming along! I’ve actually started building the site, the link for it is www.whoisemilyford.com/pace, in case you want to follow along! I got my Typekit fonts to work, which was pretty exciting. I also got the php loop to work in more advanced ways than I did with Trek, so that was super exciting. I’m trying to finish up the home page structure today and then start working on the templates for the articles. At this point I will probably only do 3 article templates.

The plan for the rest of the quarter is to finish the website and then mock up the app and marathon series collateral so that I have that as well for my portfolio.

Special Topics Winter Quarter-Week 4

Well, as usual, I’m a little behind! Have been doing some extra freelance to make up for my denied school loans and it’s been eating up more time than I’d like it to. As far as Pace goes, I realized last week that I needed to find free web versions of the typefaces I used for the print magazine. Searching for similar typefaces took while but I have narrowed it down, and am using Typekit instead of Google fonts, which is a new and tricky experiment! Hopefully I don’t encounter too many snafus along the way. I did more competitor research, because I’m still having a hard time nailing down exactly what the digital edition of Pace should look like, and what kind of tools it should feature (and I can feasibly build!). Still working on figuring out the home page. Once that’s solved, doing templates for the other types of content will be much easier. The home page is always a beast for me.

Also this week, I met for coffee with a friend of my brother (both are designers in the real world), and she had lots of good insights on graduating and working in the real world. She works in print at a big Seattle company and assured me there are still plenty of print jobs out there. It was comforting to hear and it sounded like she has a great job, and has never had a hard time finding great places to work. I got to hear about a typical day and week for her. She said she works in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop equally, and those are her main tools. Also exciting for me, as those are programs I am most comfortable in. She advised me to start thinking about my portfolio now and try to get stuff out there asap. She had several interviews in late winter/early spring of her senior year, and was able to get the job she wanted right when school was over. All in all, it was great to talk to someone out there, working in the real world, and get some encouragement and inspiration.

Special Topics Winter Quarter: Week 3

Oops, I’m a little behind on blogging! I spent quite a bit of time last week working on researching competitive magazine websites. I’ve been working on the wireframes for the home page, but am still figuring it out. There is so much content to deal with! I really want to create the best experience for the Pace reader, but I also want to create a website that is different enough from my other digital magazine, Trek. I am trying to find a good layout for the home page that allows the reader to have access to the newest articles up front, but also allows them to easily access any of the content. I tried looking for new ways to create an interesting sticky header, but I still think the animated header theme from Codrops is still my favorite. I’m going to try and manipulate it better than I did with Trek though.

So far I have set up the Pace wordpress site (www.whoisemilyford.com/pace), have installed my theme (animated header with gridism as the base framework), created a home page template, and have installed all the main plugins I will be using. I may end up using a slider plugin, but I want to research a little more on the best one to use. I’m working on finishing up my wireframes and plan to start coding this week!

Pace Magazine evolves. Again.

After extensive research about digital magazines and the process of making a magazine app, I’ve decided to go back to my original idea of building the Pace digital experience as a website. Most of the software out there to make magazine apps is expensive, or iffy on what kind of prototype you can make for free. I also thought about what format Pace would benefit from, and decided that content really is king for Pace. Women reading Pace want information, quickly, and concisely. They may not care about a fancy video intro to a training plan, they want the plan. A website gives them the ability to reach more interactive content if they so choose, but also lets them get to information they want easily and quickly.

I also started thinking about how Pace could benefit from other brand touchpoints. If I can get it together and build this website at a timely pace, I’d like to include a Pace training app that would have social interaction and reward points for training that would give discounts to registration for the Pace marathon/half marathon series. The series would include 6 major cities a year to start; LA, Seattle, NYC, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco.

That’s where I’m at at the moment. Working on figuring out content so that I can finish the wireframing that I’ve started.

Winter Quarter 2015 Special Topics-PACE magazine digital format

EF_FINAL_Pace_cover_web

I’ve decided I’m going to create the digital version of PACE print magazine for my winter quarter special topics. I thought a lot about what to do this quarter and went back and forth with many ideas. After talking to a handful of classmates, I decided expanding PACE to have a digital component would be a strong portfolio piece. It will show brand extension and my abilities to take something static and create interaction. I am pretty excited about this project and hope it turns out as well as the original PACE. I haven’t decided what platform I’ll be using to build the PACE digital version but that will be the task for week 1. Figure out what makes the most sense based on software cost and the actual content of the magazine and direction PACE would take with their specific content. Since I’m not 100% sure how I’m building this yet, the timeline is a little rough.

 

Week 1: Research competitors to see what other sports/fitness magazines are doing with their digital editions. Research digital magazine app building software to see what the pros and cons are of each one. Pick a platform and start watching/reading tutorials. Start putting in print magazine content and make sure the platform will work.

Week 2: Go through existing content and identify where interaction can be utilized. Figure out what extra content may be needed there and what holes exist. Brainstorm what new content could be added and start collecting new content. Start contacting photogs about potential photoshoots/video sessions if necessary for new content.

Week 3: Start layout of magazine in platform. Start working on photoshoots/videos if they are needed for new content.

Week 4: Production of magazine. Photoshoots/videos if necessary.

Week 5: Production of magazine, User testing?

Week 6: Production of magazine

Week 7: Production of magazine, User testing?

Week 8: Production of magazine

Week 9: Finish magazine

Week 10: Tweak and troubleshoot any last issues

Week 11: Present final magazine to class