What apps do you wish someone would make for you?


This question was originally posted on Quora. I had posted an answer there and then thought of making it a part of my blog as well.

What apps do you wish someone would make for you?

While framing the answer I felt this is potential of a great design discussion and it was opening gates to many ideas with with great flow charts. In order to not let is explode I tried to keep my answer brief and if anyone interested I am all sport for a discussion upon it further.

Seriously! with so many apps in market, it has become an Amazon like jungle with many trees and fruits, where we know(or at-least have a hunch) the fruit exists, but challenge is how to find the one you are looking for. And most importantly here fruit is something you can hypothesize and most probably it would already exist quite closer to your imagination. But how do I reach to it? Suppose I found a fruit which appears like the one I was thinking off, I don’t know it for sure unless I taste it, and worse is, when I taste it I realize naah! not what I wanted. And now should I re-imagine a different fruit or try a different similar looking fruit? OMG! thinking about apps appear pretty complex now.

Breaking into sub-problems:

The way I would further break the problem in following sub-problems:

1. When would I know I might need a app? (or) How would I know what I am thinking can be helped by an app?

2. If I am sure of what I am thinking then how would I create a proper search string to find them(app)?

3. How would I be sure that the search string I have created is exactly how the app publisher would have kept it in the tags to be searched?

4. When I am give 1000+ choices how would I find the one without trying them one by one?

5. Because I don’t know which all apps exist and I won’t know there might exist an app for the problem I am thinking. Hence I might not go and search for it. And just live with all that comes to be from recommendations.

One potential solution to address above sub-problems:

I guess we should use something like AlterEgoAlterEgo is a device in evolution, which is growing the capability of reading our thoughts. Now modify it a bit for our use case. Let’s feed this(thought) to an AI system which breaks the need into “app capabilities”, I am looking for and makes the search for me. But this search will be more like “machine searching machine” and I hope better chances of mutual understanding here<wink>. Sounds crazy! but if you try to design, it would make sense. Now question is search where? We have all systems designed to be searched by Humans. Great! lets make that too.

A google like search for machines: While publishing an app, it would be tested by AI bots and their capabilities would be fed to a Database before they are uploaded to any app store. There will be a many to many relationships between apps and their capabilities. Database will capture the mapping of capability and corresponding apps.

There you go:

You think something -> AlterEgo Like Deice reads it feeds it to machine learning engine-> This Engine translates what yo need to capabilities and -> Google for machines gets the app(s) for you, which has highest rank in the capabilities score.

I guess this is what I would want as an app to do for me. My search app. I am not sure if this is the future of Google Assistant


What should be colour choices for my app and website: color Marketing and Psyche


I have spent time wondering this question and thought maybe you too. Then I hit search and found, there is so much to understand and so much to know about colors other than of course liking them. For an instance, while I was writing this article I felt as if I am promoting or branding some colors (I am not). Trust me(or not and/or verify), if you go ahead and spend some time on colors research on it’s uses, it’s history and most importantly trends, you will be amazed to find out, how we are genetically programmed in so many years to tend to like some colors in particular, in general. If you dive deeper into the reasons you might feel voilà.

What color to choose for my app??
What color to choose for my app?? [picture courtesy: unsplash.com]

Building the sample space:

Now let’s look at these company logos:

Different company logos.
Different company logos.

If you tell me I am trying to be choosy to present my case, then fine look as these too:

popular share buttons
popular share buttons

Above are worlds popular share buttons inspired from the logos of their representative firms.

Some research and insights:

And now let’s look at these too:

Sky Forest and Sea.
Sky Forest and Sea.

Above are not logos; these are mere screenshots after searching for keywords Sky, Forest and Sea respectively.

Do you see a connection, yet? I am sure you feel something interesting out there or maybe you already know by now. Then let’s delve into something more interesting now.

A picture is worth a thousand words, is not a mere idiom, it is actually a scientific phenomenon. This great article (6 Powerful Psychological Effects That Explain How Our Brains Tick) on our tendencies of liking and disliking suggests that visual sense is strongest guide of our choices in life. And when we like something in appearance rest of our logic goes in attempting to gather more supporting facts and makes an innocent yet biased attempt to convince us for what we are already influenced by. Follow these great talks which suggest how we create reality around a fact:

https://www.ted.com/playlists/384/how_your_brain_constructs_real

Having said all that let’s see what our search trends suggest below is the color search trends in last 15 years worldwide i.e. since 2004. Below bars in chart represent Black, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow search from left to right. Please bear with the fact that the representation of color bars might be misleading and check the color names to map the color bar with actual color it is trying to depict.

Top color search trends
Top color search trends [Courtesy trends.google.com]
It shows somehow yellow search trend has radically reduced over the years. While other color Black, Red, Blue and Green show a continuous growth in search trends over the year hence their relative popularity has not changed.

How business’s do a psyche mapping when the design something:

Now let’s try to do a psyche mapping of these colors to see what it means in terms impact of these on people and when any particular color should be chosen or rather let’s say appropriateness of the color.

Color inspiration
Color inspiration [Courtesy medium.com]
Now we can relate color sentiments with the brands we had mentioned above. These inferences probably can be used to decide the color when you design your app/website.

Below is another great-find; it shows some brands and the color they choose.

Color Emotion Chart
Color Emotion Chart [Courtesy www.entrepreneur.com]
If you are perplexed upon choosing colors while targeting your app for any gender segment you can be guided by the color trend below.

Color targeting
Color targeting [Courtesy https://blog.kissmetrics.com]
Now last but not the least, this in an aha moment for you. Just scroll over the list in the  below given link. If it is not clear from the thumbnails check their logos by hitting a Google search.

Forbes powerful brands list


How can I get an app made?


This question was posted on Quora: https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-get-an-app-made

Below is my answer:

  1. Easiest(ask someone to do it for you and you watch the show) steps to follow:
    1) Contact a freelancer or firm(e.g. Reformeta Technology Labs (http://reformeta.in) or TapChief (https://www.tapchief.com/)) who can get your app built and tell him/her what you want ask for quotation and once you have plan and price, it should be followed by,
    2) Discussions on possibilities of improvement and ways of cutting down the cost and again followed by,
    3) Updated(more or lesser) cost after incorporating the changes and (this is optional if you choose the suggestions from step 2) and then discuss,
    4) Terms of service in terms of fixing the issues and further enhancements in terms of feature and scalability if you need in future.
    One catch here is usually firms are more stable in terms of their availability and chances of their vanishing away(as that might affect support for your app) is lesser. If you are least interested in wandering into the forest of app making technologies and just want to focus on your app (either for your business or hobby or whatever), you better choose this approach.
    Ease of development (maximum), Cost (depends on who is making and what is the offering), Enhancement and Maintenance (depends on the offering negotiation and freelancer/firm, typically it should be good)
  2. Lesser Easy(use ready to use lego-like tools and build it yourself, more independent than above approach) steps to follow:
    1) Define the problem clearly
    2) Build a sketch known as Wireframing (https://developer.android.com/training/design-navigation/wireframing.html)
    3) register yourself to one of the app making online tools e.g.
    Google App Maker (https://developers.google.com/appmaker/) , App Maker (https://www.appmakr.com)
    4) Follow the steps mentioned by their quick guides, this involves bit of understanding the system and also(important) testing the app.
    Ease of development (pretty easy), Cost (almost zero unless app internally uses some paid services), Enhancement and Maintenance (easy)
  3. Even lesser easy(use app making frameworks, better material designs, involves understanding the system a bit, more control than above steps) steps to follow:
    1) Define the problem clearly
    2) Build a sketch known as Wireframing (https://developer.android.com/training/design-navigation/wireframing.html)
    3) Use a app making platform e.g. Ionic Framework (https://ionicframework.com), PhoneGap (https://phonegap.com) , xamarin (https://www.xamarin.com)
    4) Follow the steps mentioned by their quick guides, this involves bit of understanding the system and also(important) testing the app.
    Ease of development (you need to learn a bit), Cost(depends on offerings of channel of development and/or paid services if app is using), Enhancement and Maintenance (depends on how good you proficient you have become on using the tool)
  4. Least Easy(do what you want, maximum control, you essentially became the one you were talking to in first approach “Easiest”):
    1) Define the problem clearly
    2) Build a sketch known as Wireframing (https://developer.android.com/training/design-navigation/wireframing.html)
    3) You need to decide upon the app backend(e.g. REST based service if necessary, either using Java, nodejs or any other technology) and frontend tool e.g. React, Angular etc
    4) If your app has security feature you also need to see how to engage security e.g. using Java Spring Security
    5) Test the app
    6) This approach shall be used only if you have any combination of reasons below.
    6.1) You do it as you love to do it
    6.2) You think no one can understand your need better than you can so you choose DIY
    6.3) You have time, patience and money(you may need money to buy some tools, services which app making firms and freelancers already have and they share the resource for apps they make for clients and offset the cost, in your case you shall bear it alone exclusively for your app)
    Ease of development (pro mode not easy unless you know programming), Cost(depends on tools and services used during development and paid services if any used by the app), Enhancement and Maintenance (if you know programming its all your game)