Tuesday, 29 August 2017

This week, we had Prof Damith and TA Su Yuen for our lesson. Prof Damith taught us how we can prepare for our presentations next week (the app seminar), while TA Su Yuen taught us what to consider when building our product.

Prof Damith mentioned a couple of acronyms. PUMA, WIIFY, and so on. However, the only things I can remember right now are do-believe-know, WIIFY, benefits instead of features, and finishing strong. Prof Damith used Apple's product launches as a case study. The launches often involve telling the users what they can do with Apple's products (watch videos for long hours, for example), instead of overly technical descriptions that are measured by bits or bytes. I guess this means that people are unable to translate the features into benefits in such a short time.

For do-believe-know, Prof Damith mentioned lectures as an example of "know". It is thus crucial that our presentations motivate people to do something about the apps we are presenting. Doing that would also catch the audience's attention, as they will need to listen to know what to do.

Finally, the most important point of Prof Damith's presentation, in my opinion, is WIIFY. I always switch off when I feel like there's "nothing in it for me", so I understand how important it is to hang that bait in front of the audience.

The only problem is, the only reason why people should listen to us in the app seminar would be the 1/9 chance of them having to critique us.

TA Su Yuen discussed about things to consider when designing an app, and, of course, how important designing is. She proposed several versions of mock-ups, which I think is agreeable. However, I feel that designing in digital form is really not my cup of tea. Plus I will end up spending more time learning about the prototyping software itself too. I usually stop and move on to programming after drawing a few versions of pen and paper designs.

Su Yuen also discussed about empathizing with the user. Her talk really came in too late. Would have been nice if she came to speak on our very first lesson. All these design thinking skills, we always "learn" and then forget to put them to real practice.

In my opinion, the most important thing I learnt from Su Yuen today was the number 3. The maximum of 3 things to do per screen. I was using oBike phone app (without unlocking anything of course) for the very first time today. There were so many tiny buttons that do pretty important things. There was a "!" button that was for reporting faulty bikes. However, "!" also means "info". And that was just the beginning of some huge confusion with the oBike UI...

I look forward to building minimalistic but powerful apps in this module.

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