My Sketch App – Redesign and Development

For this project I chose to redesign the app ‘My Sketch’ which is compatible with the iPhone , iPad and iPod touch. I have used this app on many occasions before and liked how it transformed my photographs to sketches. When using the app I always thought the colour scheme unimpressive, uninspiring and relished this opportunity to redesign it. Whilst the current app is easy to use and interpret and has good reviews I feel the ranking of images and colour revamp will transform and improve it.

The current app logo suggests ‘pencil sketching’ but with no connection to images. I feel the female image used on the logo is too individualist suggesting usage by a particular demographic. When designing the new logo my aim was to make it immediately recognisable while suggesting what the app actually does and make it non gender or demographic specific.

The functionality of the app is good allowing users to overlay sketch filters onto their images. I do feel one of the areas which comes across negatively is the use of colour. The current colour scheme consists of pastel colours and browns.   Pastel colours are thought calming and soothing. Brown suggests dependability and reliability and can be considered dull and inexpensive; either or a combination of these colours does not suggest creativity or inspiration which the app itself implies.

With the new app designs I was aware of the need to be specific, aware of exactly what was being offered to users, as the space is more restrictive than a desktop. Also with app design user gestures and thumb placement has to be taken into account as gestures make up the human interface for controlling the app. This was an area I considered when redesigning the placement of call to action buttons and menus.

These are areas not mentioned above which I took into account in the redesign:

  • Usability – needs to be usable.
  • Easy to understand –so users can instinctively use the app.
  • Effective, reliable – needs to be effective and reliable.
  • Loads quickly – should load quickly taking into account minimising of code and size of images, major factor in SEO ranking.

In the current app Christmas filters are shown all year round as the initial filters to select from which I feel devalues it. In the new design users can like a filter, which is indicated with a yellow heart. Filters are ranked and shown on the lower area of the screen; ranking is firstly by your ‘liked’ filters and secondly by the most popular.

Instagram uses a similar filter function so users could already be familiar with this funcitionality, which promotes a good user experience. The fact users can instinctively know how to operate the app promotes usability.

My new designs have a more simplistic colour scheme incorporating yellow, which is a vibrant colour and is used to draw your eye to specific areas of the screen and call to action butons. Yellow is thought a warm, happy and exciting colour which suggests creativity and the promotion of vivacity and liveliness both I believe making the app more appealing and engaging.

The new minimalist colour scheme and ranking of filters enables users to focus more on their images allowing them to more effectively and quickly use the app. I feel the new design is more inspiring and engaging making it more current whilst offering an overall better user experience. The app could be developed in the future to allow images to be shared i.e. social media. I found that visual content is more likely to be shared on social media than other type of content, images can speak a thousand words. Facebook posts with images have been found to have more engagement than without images.

The app itself is quite simplistic with the aim to transform images and photography I feel I have been able to enhance it through the colour scheme and ranking of images whilst still keeping the functionality simple and easy to understand.

Instagram Tested New Black and White Design For it’s App

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Instagram have recently been reported as testing a new black and white design.  The new design strips out the colour of the app’s interface replacing it with black, white and various shades of grey.

The icons along the bottom of the display have been given a subtle makeover, too, suggesting the team is moving toward rolling out subtle changes to its cross-platform app.

By going monochromatic, it suggests the designers are looking to fade the interface further into the background, giving all the attention to the images and removing any potential for color clashes.

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Changes and Functionality in New Designs

Changes I would implement to the current designs are shown below in proposed new design layout of the main screen.

  • Simplify the colour scheme and user interface which is is reported as a trend for 2016 (BuildFire, 2016)
  • Display more sketch style options across bottom area of the screen allowing users to like there favourites.
  • Order user liked sketch styles first and most popular sketch styles secondly (this will reorder and rank lower the christmas sketch styles which currently always appear first regardless of the time of year!).
  • Keep the menu and functionality the same across the top of the screen as this is minimal, simple and easy to understand.

Original and current main screen design (the Christmas sketch styles always appear as the first option)

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Proposed new main screen design

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Starbucks – App Colour Scheme

Starbuck’s app below is clear with a simple colour scheme using black and grey with green and gold as accentuating colours, used primarily for call to action buttons.

Starbucks app achieves the major objective of branding through mobile storytelling (BuildFire, 2016)

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Colour Schemes

I felt a simplistic colour scheme would work as it is suggested as a trend in 2016 and also so the focus is more on the imagery and photographs than the functionality and background areas.

These were my initial two colour schemes below.  Whilst keeping the scheme simple I want to use a more vibrant colour for the call to action buttons which would be used in small areas of the screen and will not affect the imagery.  By using a bright colour here it will draw the users eye to that area of the screen.

Colour scheme 1

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Colour scheme 2

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Colour scheme 3 and final colour scheme

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