An iteration on creating the 

By Tatiana Shulgina

Have you ever thought about traveling with your best friend or family and being able to know exactly where they are at every point in the trip? Look no further. There has been various occasions where people have wasted time just to catch up with others who may be arriving to the destination late or had changed routes and made the trip more complicated for others. What if there was an application to help solve that problem? From iterating over the different possibilities to help tackle this problem, we came up with this solution:

An app for users to keep track of each other where they are in real time.

From doing research, we have found several apps that tackle similar problems. The following are some example apps:
Follow: Drive together — Other users can follow the same route as the leader’s
Roadtrippers — Users can view different destinations along the route and pin them to their map.
inRoute Route Planner — Allows users to choose routes based on their preferences
The following will be our iteration process in creating and improving our product.

from: USAID

Strategies

  • Pair programming
  • Retrospective meetings
  • Wireframes / Design (UI/)
  • User journeys
  • User interviews
By submain.com

Six common issues with pair programming.

and tips for improving

  • Hard to meet up
    Sometimes we have different schedules, and it can be hard to settle on times for meeting up and working on the project together. To make meeting up go smoothly, we both had a common agreement that we would sacrifice time for the meetings and pair programming.
  • One person more technical than the other
    Be patient with people you’re working with. Understand what they are struggling with then demo and explain parts of the code and also always know how to limit the scope down to be something for both to work on.
  • Indecision on idea 
    Try to understand the goals on both sides of the team and write down as many topics as you can. One thing that really helps is to just talk over every possible choice. sometimes just talking can spark up more ideas and I guarantee you, you will get to know a lot about your team member and what both sides are most passionate about.
  • the goals of your partner
    Using a problem tree / Opportunity tree
    Write a decision document listing options with pros and cons
    Go out to mentors or instructors to check further about the idea
  • Indecision on Stack & Tech
    Over scoping is the biggest risk
    Choose the most logical solution based on the people in the room and their technical skills
  • Indecision on design 
    Pick an area owner for UX/UI — A designated lead of design who makes the final calls
  • Lack of accountability & follow through
    Pair programming — One research stated “students that worked in pairs passed 15% more of the instructor’s test cases.” 
    Celebrate wins!
    Plan to share all tasks 50/50
    Set force meetings with an advisor. So you can set aggressive deadlines for yourself.
    Set small and agile goals

Retrospective Meeting Agenda

My team mate and I decided to cover these following points in every meeting:

  • Define done (shipped, finished the code, completed wireframes)
  • Be able to demo the finished task
  • Talk about what went well last week and what went poorly
  • Acknowledge the other and give shoutouts
  • Plan for future improvements
  • Think of the next task and goal to work on

Why Do We Pair Program?

Pair programming can by far help coders learn from each other and think of new concept and ideas along the run. Some coders may think of it as a waste of time, but it can be a good way to get to know your partner, improve communication, and practice teamwork. By far, pair programming encourages faster learning and up skilling while maintaining fewer coding mistakes.

Retrospective Meetings

November 7
Define Done: 
What went well —Having a really strong idea on what we want to create right at the beginning of the project, we were able to complete most of our wireframes for the app, and implement the core feature of the app, which is a map.
What went poorly — We haven’t got much of the coding part done.
Acknowledgements —We’re very proud of the app logo we created during Mondays class, and the idea we came up with.

November 19
What went well — Had a great coding session with friends and team member. Planned out the entire framework/main features of the blog post, reiterated over the app design, and got set on an app logo.
What went poorly — Should spend more time on coding.
Acknowledgment — We are very proud of the apps theme and icon.

November 26
Define done — We created another blog post in addition to this to focus solely on the product design. 
What went well — The scope and progress of both the blog post are clear and planned out. 
What went poorly — Not working on the technical part of the project.
Acknowledgements — We’ve designed and scoped the blog posts out really well and we are excited to work on the technical side to make the app have more usability.

Design

Check this blog post where we go in depth of how we use color, typography, and information hierarchy to create a great design for our product which can easily be implemented into your own designs too!

tl;dr the color theme we chose for our app was warm and calming which gives a feel of nature. Over the whole project, we used the same font family to maintain simplicity and ease for users. The information hierarchy is also set with the font size and color to set the views.

User Testing

From the designs we created, we were able to conduct user tests. User testing is when you put your prototype in a target users hand and see what they do. This will give insight on how to improve your UI/UX from where users get stuck, where they are confused, and how they follow through on your intended use case.

  • How is it great?
    Gives you a chance to improve the design of your product and the usage
    gives other possible choices for other ways you can implement into your product.
  • How to conduct user tests:
    Ask demographic questions, give context for the test, let users start navigating through the app, and don’t forget to ask follow up questions.

Questions are very important, they allow us to fill in the gap of knowledge. This is why we conducted this question up:

“Are you a person who road travels a lot with friends and family?”

This lead us to letting users know the outline of what the app is about and knowing whether the user fits into our demographic or not.

After we have asked the demographic question, we went in and gave context of how we will be conducting the user test and handed over the computer to test the prototype use of the app. The users would speak out their thoughts the whole time. By the end, we asked some follow up questions such as;

“What are your thoughts about this app?”, “What did you like about it?”, “any feature recommendations?”, “what do you think can be more useful in the app?”.

Then ended it off with a kind thank you.

Thank you for joining us on our journey of creating this product! 
A huge thanks to Rinni Swift for making this project fun. 🎈
All feedback is accepted. 😃 Don’t forget to drop some claps! 👏👏👏



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