January 9, 2021No Comments

Activity Journal: wireframe prototyping

Reading time: 4 minutes

I’ve been having a lot of fun building interactive prototypes to resolve workflows in my Activity Journal. Two of my prototypes are guided walkthroughs of the Timer and Journal sections. The third is a heavily-wired simulation of cycling through a set of work sessions and breaks using a working (but truncated) Pomodoro timer.

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January 8, 2021No Comments

Activity Journal: wireframes

Reading time: 3 minutesI recently completed my second round of wireframes for my Activity Journal app.

In the first round, the goal was to take the layout of my Mac prototype and translate it to the iPhone and iPad. This time, I had to expand my scope and resolve everything I could figure out with wireframes so I could move on to high-fidelity designs.

The biggest difference this time was how to organize entries. This organization would determine my layout components and data models. I also had to be able to explain how my new timers work, along with other user settings I needed for an MVP. Finally, I needed to layout mundane stuff like signing up, editing entries, and error states.

Let’s take a look.

 

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October 22, 2020No Comments

Activity Journal: multiplatform wireframes

Reading time: 4 minutesMy Activity Journal app is coming along, albeit slowly. There have been some significant changes behind the scenes which have required some ramp up before I could move forward.

This post is mostly a progress report to talk about changes I made a while ago to the Mac app prototype and to show some initial wireframes for iOS, iPad, and macOS. I also have a Figma prototype I put together to show how the timer screen would work on iPhones.

Let's dig in!

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September 15, 2019No Comments

Activity Journal: user types & timers

Reading time: 5 minutesAn early step in UX design methodology is creating user types or personas for your product. For this exercise, I wanted to explore how OK Roar might serve different user types, specifically the timers.

OK Roar solves a personal problem I have: keeping track of the work I do each day. As a user, I didn’t feel I needed to conduct UX research to develop personas. Instead, I jump-started with user types based on the roles I’ve had in the past.

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September 7, 2019No Comments

Activity Journal v0.2 – alternate prototype

Reading time: 3 minutesIn my last post, I mentioned I had started working on a redesign for my time journal app. My strategy was two-fold: separate the journal into its own window and simplify the entry pane.

I used this opportunity to try out some conventional UX methods, including creating high-fidelity wireframes for the entry window, journal, and preferences. I also spent some time thinking about different User Types and their requirements.

Once the design was complete, I rebuilt the app, started dog-food testing it, and the result was surprising.

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August 23, 2019No Comments

Activity Journal v0.1: a prototype

Reading time: < 1 minute

I’ve been thinking about starting a new project and/or company for the past year. I had an idea gestating for a while and when I learned Startup School was starting, I decided to join up and take the leap.

OK Roar is productivity tracking and management for non-managers. It’s designed to be intuitive and automated, offloading much of the cognitive overhead of self-management:

  • todo lists that break projects into actionable items
  • keeping track of what I’m doing throughout the day
  • setting task for the next day / week
  • assigning tasks to Pomodoro sessions
  • documenting daily, weekly, monthly progress
  • planning and tracking OKRs and integrating them into action items

I started by building a prototype (shown above). It’s a Pomodoro timer for macOS that asked “what did I do?” at the end of each pomo session. By the end of the day, I had a long list that I could copy & paste into my work journal.

I used the prototype for a couple of days and found it to be very rewarding, so that’s good news. I've also discovered a big UX flaw (can't add manual entries) and started on a redesign. There are other core features I'll need like user settings, metrics, and a journal of some kind to keep track of many days of entries. I also want it to start automatically and have smarter work sessions lengths.

More to come... Should be fun!