After getting initial thoughts down, my next step was to determine how to build on those initial thoughts in the form of a research plan and overall design plan. To do this, I turned to the book Universal Methods of Design, which contains 100 design methods to help you at all stages of the product lifecycle. I picked the methods I felt would best help me answer the questions from my initial brainstorming. Here are the methods I chose and why:
I want to see what other productivity apps already exist to see if there is anything that can inspire me, and also how I can differentiate myself.
I am curious to see what thoughts and feelings I associate with productivity, to work out any underlying themes that may lead to new features or initial persona thoughts.
Mental Model Diagram:
To help triangulate themes along with the mind-mapping, as well as working through some early details of features. What attitudes do others have about productivity? Finding these attitudes will help with the creation of personas in addition to discovering which features will be most important.
Will help me keep end-users in mind and what they consider important, not just what I consider important. Will also help me narrow down features and tasks.
How do people currently think about tasks, and what would a logical flow be?
In what situations do these tasks and features make sense? What is the use case?
Visual / rough outline of scenarios: circumstance, action, result. Where are the decision points for each scenario?
What is the in-depth flow of these tasks? This would be a good way to outline before actually sketching the interface.
First draft of screens, rough layout.
Second draft of screens; more detailed content with annotations.
Prototypes / Parallel Prototypes:
Third draft of screens, try out multiple competing ideas at once.
How user-friendly is this? Does it fail any tests?
View a more finished product, as well as how the tasks fit together and transition between themselves. I plan to incorporate motion graphics here.
Usability Testing and Usability Report:
Does wording, features, and flow make sense? Are the features desirable? I plan to find end-users to test during this stage.
Look and feel of the final product, as well as final interaction design.
Development and Testing of code:
**Depending on how hard the features are to code by myself. I plan to learn as I go.