Week 3: Putting the “Pro” in Prototyping

Check out our group’s foremost proofs of concept for Vested — soon to be the world’s premier social-financial hybrid application!

Early Imaginings

After much debate last week over which application idea to pursue (including ideas for a collaboration community application, a pet shelter application, and a parking application), our team decided to pursue development for a virtual coin jar application, entitled “Vested”. Many of our initial conceptualizations for pages within the application included signup/login functionality, a visual interactive element to track the progress of investments in each jar, and a means by which to add jars with an attached location, grouping of friends, and goal amount.

Prototype by Eunice Kim

One of our members, Eunice Kim, went for more of a minimalistic design for her prototype. The flat design is a concept that is gaining popularity nowadays, which is where this was inspired from.

The pages consist of a loading screen, a rough draft of the home page, viewing a jar, and editing a jar.

Prototype by Kellie Higa

Another of our members also took a somewhat minimalist approach with her design while incorporating icons to promote ease of recognition throughout the app.

Trying to imagine a flow for how users would accomplish each of the app’s functions gave insight as to where users would look for certain functions and where we should make them available without overcrowding.

Our First Test Drive

Koalafied team member Kellie Higa gives a rundown of her prototype to Lumos team members

For the first time since the formation of our group, our team split apart to evaluate and receive feedback from other teams regarding our individual prototypes. While some of our members prepared single page wireframe-like prototypes capable of being traced through sequentially, others created unique screens on index cards with post-it add-ons for expandable menus and keyboards. Other teams, like Lumos and Git Rekt likewise showcased prototypes for a decision-making app and a recipe app, respectively.

Team Git Rekt showcases one member’s prototype for their app “Cook Nook”

Polishing our Product

Following the consolidation of the feedback we received for our individual prototypes, our team members split into two camps in order to brainstorm dual approaches to a reenergized variant of our application.

Our first team took a skeuomorphic approach to the application, visualizing a realistic shelf environment for visual jars. When discussing amongst ourselves and with other groups, enthusiasm was expressed regarding the aesthetic of the jar icons and their customizability. Reservations were simultaneously held with the small size of the icons and the ease with which a user could maneuver through them as well as with the disorganized display of information.

Prototype A: Our skeuomorphic approach

Our second team took a minimalist approach in visualizing our application, showcasing all of a user’s jars through a clean list interface and progress towards a jar’s end goal through a pie chart. Some debate was had over the most intuitive means by which to implement “add money” and “view jar” functionality from the home screen, including swiping a jar left or right or double tapping it.

Prototype B: Our minimalist approach
The Koalafied Team reviewing user feedback to decide the design of our wire frame prototype

Ultimately, we agreed to merge the two styles into our finalized prototype, where we retained the use of icons over a list to display our jars but applied the flat design art style of our minimalist approach.

Stay tuned for next week, where we finalize our concept art and check in with our final portfolio progress!