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CS1 – Get Help!

September 19, 2011

I found a few issues with the UI design:

I’m not quite sure whether the tabs ‘New Project,Recommendation and Overview’ on the top, are subsets under the profile tab or are separate tabs by themselves. They seem to appear when the user clicks on the statistics tab too. So,if the developers intended them to be separate tabs, they could have followed the same slanted style for them too. If the developers intended them to be subsets of the profile tab, they could have placed it differently. The reason being that, now in the home page the subset tabs are placed in front of the main tabs which might lead to some confusion for the user. The tabs seem to be a bit misleading.

I’m not sure if bringing the user directly to the ‘New Project’ page is the best way to go. The reason being that, I would spend more time tracking the progress of my project than creating a new project. I might only create a new project once in a while, but I might need to continuously monitor the progress of my already created/uncompleted projects. It would be better if I could directly see my ‘Ongoing Projects’ page instead of the ‘New project’ page, as soon as I enter the app.

The check boxes in the ‘New Projects’ page, seem to overlap each other. 1st and 2nd option seem to be contradicting each other whereas the 1st and 3rd option might complement each other. So instead of just directly converting all the check boxes to radio buttons, the developers could think about the contradicting and complementary options and come up with a new layout for that part.Maybe the first 2 options could be radio buttons and the third one a check box, but the check box only gets activated for use when the user clicks the first radio button.

The application name could have been mentioned somewhere in the app. The additional info div on the new project page could have been aligned better.

The red colour used for the buttons seems to jump out at you. They could gone with a colour scheme and button design, more in line with the facebook UI. That might make the facebook users more at ease while using this app. Is the key to a good UI making it more similar to the native platform or is it to make it more attractive by itself ? Though this is debatable, I think that as long as our app resides within another application it is always good to follow the design principles of the parent application.

Somehow the SQL queries seem to be printed in the home page. Maybe it is because the developers were testing the app when the screen shots were taken.

The ‘help initiator’  creates tags for his/her help request.So, it would be better to have a search feature in the Overview page. The reason being that, if I have a skill at my disposal, I could just directly search from my feeds regarding who needs help in that particular field rather than scrolling through pages of unrelated help requests. Maybe the developers could take it to the next level. When I first enter the app, I would enter tags related to me or what I can do ( which can be updated later too). And using this info, maybe the app could pull just the helps that match my user tags, in a separate tab called ‘Related to you’ or something.

In the project page, in the ‘Helpers’ division, the same photos seem to be repeated even though there are more people helping. This might not be a UI error, maybe just a small logical error.

I do like the badge system and the nice names given to different achievers. I think it might spur some competitive spirit among all the users.

These are some of my views after first glance at the screenshots. Maybe the developers could design the app to be more easier for tracking unfinished request rather than creating new help requests, because that is what the users are going to spend more time on. I think maybe that is why the team had to redesign their UI again. Overall, I think the idea seems pretty good though.

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