08 Design: Coding: Criterion A
Task A1: Explain the problem
What apps do you use? Most apps can be grouped into one of four categories: gaming, social, media, or general. Some apps blur the boundaries such as YouTube could be considered a media app because of the video and music content, where as it could also be considered social because of the comments and chat capabilities.
Spend a few minutes brainstorming all the different apps you use and can think of, and what purposes they solve. What do successful apps have in common?
Consider the key question: What market opportunities exist for new apps?
Some other questions that may help you in coming up with an answer to the key question are:
- What does it mean for something to be “marketable?”
- What does it mean for something to have niche market appeal vs broad market appeal?
- How is the idea of “viability” related to being “marketable”?
- How do the circumstances of the producer affect the viability of a product? (for instance, compare the contrasting requirements of a part time developer who writes apps as a hobby / in their spare time, against that of a large software business? )
- What benefits and disadvantages exist for targeting a broad market vs a niche market? (think about the differing levels of competition vs the size of the different markets)
- What problems are still yet to be solved by an app?
- What are some marketable opportunities you see in the broad market place?
- What are some marketable opportunities you see in a niche market place? (what is the niche?)
Spend a few minutes researching into these issues and be able to explain your thoughts.
Complete section A1 of your Design Journal. Be sure to write complete paragraphs for each question and include your reference website addresses.
Task A2: Plan your research
You are going to research into at least 3 different existing apps and their marketability.
Do some preliminary research to decide which apps you are going to study, then brain storm questions you want to answer about each one.
Remember: Variety in the types of apps you study is important. You may only study one “mass market / broad appeal / zero cost / funded through advertising” app; no more than one “social media” app; no more than one “game” app.
We will brain storm in class different questions that might be relevant for certain apps. The following are also some suggestions to help you get started:
- What does the app “do”?
- How was the app made?
- What programming language?
- What technology do customers need to run it?
- What technology was used to create it?
- How does the app look?
- How do customers interact with the app?
- Is it visually appealing?
- Is it engaging?
- Does the app use audio features?
- Does the app use motion sensitive features?
- Game design
- If it is a game, what are the main “characters” of the app?
- What personality and story has been given to them?
- Why has the developer made these decisions?
- Who is the target market for the app?
- Why was this market targeted?
- What is the feasibility of the app?
- How long would it take to build this kind of app?
- How much would it cost to build this kind of app?
Complete section A2 of your Design Journal. To adequately address strand A2 you should:
- Identify research questions for further investigation. (Don’t create questions based on things you already know the answers to!)
- Prioritise your research questions using some form of scale to indicate those that are crucially important compared to those that are optional/nice-to-have in order to solve your problem.
- Justify each of your research questions by providing a rational for it’s inclusion and the level of priority you assigned.
Task A3: Analyse existing products
For each app you identified in A2, conduct the research you planned.
Begin with the question you gave priority 1, move on to the question you gave priority 2 etc. Keep researching until you have used up the allotted class time. Ensure you include the reference information. Be sure to include pictures / diagrams / links to videos as well.
Some videos I think are really interesting and would make great research for your Criterion A:
- Watch Juice it or lose it - a talk by Martin Jonasson & Petri Purho
- Watch How the inventor of Mario designs a game
To adequately address strand A3 you should:
- Ideally investigate at least 3 existing products for inspiration
- Identify and discuss the strengths of each product
- Identify and discuss the weaknesses of each product
- Identify and discuss what ideas you can take from each product.
- Include referencing/bibliography for your research
Task A4: Design brief
Now that you have completed your research, part A4 is about you summarising what you have learnt and offering an analysis of the information.
To adequately address strand A4 you should:
- Summarise the problem you are solving from A1 (only a couple of lines).
- Summarise what you learnt from your research in A3
- Based on what you have learnt, what guidance/advice would you recommend to any one else attempting to solve the problem you will seek to solve.
Complete the section A4 in your Design Journal.