- iPhone Dev - Running/Hiking tags: - 321Run - GUI - interface design Going deeper over UI refinements in 1.2 | Cactus

Going deeper over UI refinements in 1.2

Creating a great product when you're not a great interface designer takes a lot of work, sweat, experiments. And I'm not a great UI designer, sorry. So I am able to talk frankly about making mistakes in UI and how you need to rethink the graphic interface over and over and over. 321run is the app I am personally spending the most time on, trying to get to a point where everything just falls in place and users know by instinct how it works what it does etc. So I'm going to talk about the things I have tried to perfect in the latest update of 321run. But I will also talk about the 0.9 version (or was it 0.5?). Because here are some leftover screenshots of what it looked like back then: beurk beurk
again Horrible uh? Well, it was good enough to start with, to show how things were going to be organized, to explain to graphic designers what the goal and the user stories were for this app. But nobody would have seriously considered buying this app if I'd left it like that, would they? So I worked with a graphic designer. It's been a discussion more than only an outsourcing of the design process: explaining what was most important on that screen, having someone put the eye and the finger were things were not working or not understandable. And also adding some icing on the cake. But the icing was just the last part. What's been important was to say "On the record screen, there are two important informations : what you want to do (start/stop recording), and how far you've been." It's because and thanks to that kind of discussion that the record screen is now much better. Screenshot 2009.05.24
12.17.28.jpg Is it nice enough? Well, nice it is, much nicer, but it's not nice enough. For example look at the instant speed. How useful is it? First of all, the 321run app is made to run, so there's actually little chance you will be able to read it. Second point: I know what it is, because I made it, but anybody looking at it should be clueless. Also, it gives your instant speed based on a movement of several meters in several seconds. Given the accuracy of GPS, this instant speed is kind of useless. So, le'ts get rid of that. Also, what's that black text over the button? Can you read it? I can, but barely. OK, so let's put some color so we get a quick visual feedback on GPS strength. And now, here is the latest look of that same record screen. IMG_0616.PNG It is not a wow! I hear from your mouth, and I didn't expect it. But you can see the effort, the time being spent on improving the UI. I hope to continue working on that screen so that it's even better in next versions, clear, easy to use and informative...

The settings are in the settings app

A choice I have made early on in the app was to create a tab for settings and allow the settings to be available at all times. I came to that decision after using a lot the app, debugging it. And there was this idea of tweeting my runs each time, even when I ran 120m (what a pollution of my twitter account). I really thought it needed to be here. Then I started to have afterthoughts. The first breach came when I made 321Run Lite, the version with trainings but without GPS for iPod Touch users and iPhone 2G users. The settings were so little, I decided I couldn't keep them in their tab: the screen was almost empty. So I moved them to the general Settings App. I then made a free version of 321run, and tried again to use the same Settings app. And then I realized that I didn't need to have the Settings of the app inside the app itself. For example, I change from miles to kilometers, well, once a ... once. What use is there to change it more often? And what about my twitter account? Do I really need to change it every time I run? And the settings app provides a clean interface: IMG_0649.PNG That's it for the most visible UI refinements and cleanup. I will continuously work on small improvements like these, and will try to think of bigger overhauls too with other people. I also intend to fully use the interaction that the iPhone provides to make the GUI less 'in the midlle of your face' with buttons etc, providing features with the most simple and easy to use solutions. Now if Apple's AppStore could only review this update and publish it, it's been three weeks now :-(

Publié le 5 Sep 2009
Écrit par Cyril