When brainstorming different app ideas, my brother started to lament about a problem he was having in his service organization, sursum corda. At his school in California, more and more students don’t have a facebook, and it leaves a trail of chaos in the school group. His organization uses 5 plus apps to communicate with one another, so I decided to design an app that encompasses the necessary functionality for school group communication.
Highlights, is a group communication app with key filtering and highlighting features. The home page consists of highlighted material from the group messages. Instead of scrolling through pages of messages, the important material is the first thing the user sees when opening the app.
When considering user research I first try to predict pitfalls and user pain points, based on previous ideas or conversations. I based these questions based on my brother's initial frustrations with app communications. My user pool was from his school where this was a common issue amongst organizations.
When designing apps I like to sketch out the screens initially, which helps me plan and question a lot of what I'm already designing in my head. Sometimes here I figure through some of my user research visually and really try to incorporate as much user feedback in detail as possible in the app.
I try to keep my wireframes simple but still convey my designs and information architecture. In these wireframes, I made sure that the placement of these items are still inherent to android devices, so the user "doesn't have to think."
The messaging page is modeled after existing messaging apps, but has key features based on my user research. The filters allow for easy access to important information, even within the message itself. When writing something, options for event creation, announcements and highlighting all exist quickly and efficiently in the writing field.
I also got a lot of user feedback about the importance of reactions in group messaging. With so many people in a group message, it’s much easier to simply react to a message rather than every person in the group giving their two cents. I designed the reactions to function the same way as iMessage.
The last key feature in messaging is the AI-component. When people respond to a message forming a new recognizable group, the app will suggest to form a new group message, so that the entire group doesn’t have to listen to the chat of a few people. With various carpools and different events in these organizations, this is an important tool.
The contacts page has the group members and roles listed. The members photos are from their instagrams to ensure everyone easily has a profile picture, and each profile has an option for emailing, messaging, phone and instagram. The feed has this member’s highlighted posts.
The entirety of highlights is designed to optimize group communication and filter important information while still maintaining the causality of the much-desired messaging format.