LINKS

This link below is to a prototype of the wireframes

Link to wireframes – early version of website 

This is a link to a prototype of the website using the final designs:

Link to prototype of website

These prototypes of the website have been created using Adobe XD

 

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Learning Curve

Learning Curve 

The areas listed below are only a few of the areas I feel my skills and knowledge have increased with this project:   

Adobe XD Experience Design

I have continued to learn new techniques and options within Adobe XD which has helped me develop this project. The ability to create a prototyple on such a large App allowed more effective user testing on mobile devices as if live which was beneficial to the project.

Design

The need for thorough and up to date research on design was highlighted with this project and is something I am more aware of now as I feel this slowed the progress of the project down in the early stages.

Apps and App development

Not having any previous experience of App design or App development this was a big learning curve for me.

I feel all of the above areas are transferable skills which I can used in different areas of my work in the future.

Evaluation and Future Considerations

This was a project I was excited about undertaking I felt it was big but I didn’t realise just how big it would become and due to this had to split the project into Phases to break it down.

These are the Phases below I divided the project into:

Phase 1 (I have worked on this phase in my blog and documentation) 

  • Research
  • Discovery
  • Design

Phase 2 

  • Design iPad, desktop, mobile optimised site – with option to download app
  • Look for investors – funding
  • App development
  • Develop iPad, desktop, mobile optimised site

Phase 3 

  • Marketing promotion – keep people using it – advertising
  • “Saw this and thought of you” – make social
  • Offer services:
  • Training for retailers – social media + app
  • Offer development – individual retailer websites
  • Maintenance/updates based on feedback

 

The concept came from looking to solve a problem we don’t necessarily know we have. It was good to explore this with the idea of helping local rural retailers initially too. We all live busy lives and I felt this reflected how consumers purchase goods but needed to research this thoroughly before beginning any designs. My research did prove this with consumers not wanting to waste precious time wandering around endless aisles in stores they want things quickly and conveniently.

I found the actual design process challenging at first having to revisit my designs as my first designs looked dated and not engaging; this slowed the project down however I feel more confident now in this area and will thoroughly research current design trends before commencing with any design work in the future. Adobe XD Experience Design aided the project greatly allowing me to create all my wireframes, designs and latterly prototypes. I felt this was an efficient and effective way to develop my ideas and effective user testing.

The integration of Apple’s notification area and GEO location technology I believe will work well with the app informing consumers of offers in there local area this demonstrates the ability to include evolving and changes in technology into the designs – the user can turn off if preferred.

After examining how users use mobile technology in my research it became clear that an app would be the preferred route and not a website. This was a major change in direction for me as I have never designed for had any involvement with app development before. I had to make the decision at this point to go down the app development route and not the website route for the project to be commercially viable. It also made me readdress my personal aims I had setout in the project proposal.

As my ideas developed throughout the project. Through my research I found there are other apps which are similar to this concept my SWOT analysis looked at identifying differences and I feel strengthened the case for this apps development.

Through my marketing research I feel marketing will have a huge impact if this app were to be developed and released onto the market. Both online and offline marketing would allow it to connect with large numbers of potential users. Through research I have become more aware of the large number of social media users and ways to connect with them.

As my final project evolved it became clear time constraints would restrict its development further. While this project is classed as Phase 1 and is conceptual potentially moving to Phase 2 and onto Phase 3 funding permitting could create an app offering a better, aimed, efficient and convenient local shopping experience. Improving users lives aiding them to shop wherever and whenever they choose.

Learning Curve

Adobe XD

I have enjoyed learning Adobe XD and learning how I can integrate this into other areas of the Adobe Design Suite. I had never done the majority of my design work for a project Adobe XD before and found it interesting doing this with the ability to quickly create prototypes it made demonstrating the website to my client more professional.

 Local Development – XAMPP

This was a total new area to me and it was interesting to develop my knowledge in this area, it was challenging with the initial problems I experience but through research managed to overcome these.

 Zurb Foundation and Atom (Code Editor)

Using both Zurb Foundation and Atom I was able to develop my coding skills and learn new aspects of code especially PHP. Learning and using GitHub too has allowed me to store snippets of my code has given me a central strorage area for me to refer to when I need them in the future.

WordPress – Development of theme

This was challenging for me as WordPress is quite complex but I feel once I had started working through the process of converting the static website it became clearer and is something I want to continue you with outside of the Degree Course.

Theses are only some of the skills I have identified above I have learnt and expanded over the last year I have learnt many more including working with a client which I imagine will be different on every project.

The majority of the skills I have learnt on this project are all-transferable and I plan to develop these further outside of the Degree Course through further study. The design and web industry is constantly developing and evolving; the skills I have learnt throughout this project are immense and have given me an excellent grounding to develop further in the future when working in industry.

Evaluation and Future Considerations

I feel this project was a huge learning curve for me which I have enjoyed working on. Developing a full static website via Zurb Foundation and code expanded my knowledge of code especially HTML and CSS which is an area I plan to continue to learn after leaving the course. I feel fortunate that throughout this project communication with my client has always been good. My client responded quickly when I asked for any information for the or for her thoughts on the designs. She did not already have a website which I feel but had clear ideas of what she wanted from the website which helped; she listened to my ideas on being more social via social media and LinkedIn and feels this is an area she would like to develop. It will give my client a ‘brand’ identity as I discussed with her however she felt at this point she did not want a logo this is an area I plan to discuss further and demonstrate the positives of to my client before dismissing it.

The actual design process took longer than anticipated although I had many ideas some from my research and some from my client herself I found it challenging with earlier designs not reflecting the essence of my clients work. This is clear now looking back at the final designs and comparing them against the first and early designs for the site.

On reflection I did not manage to complete all the areas I hoped to achieve before the end of the course but feel the knowledge I have learnt will allow me to continue with this. Although communication with my client was good she did request many changes throughout the project some I could include others I was unable to but discussed why with her and we came to other conclusions; this did slow the progress of the project down.

The transferring of the static version of the website again took longer than anticipated WordPress is a complex platform to learn including more PHP code which was challenging. I feel now I have a good grasp of this as I began to develop the WordPress theme but time constraints meant the template will be completed after the Degree Course has finished. I could have chosen other CMS options for example CushyCMS but felt WordPress offered more options for my client with the addition of plugins and analytics. I do plan to continue with the development of the website and WordPress template as my client will use this when it is finished. As a professional and under future considerations this project for my client is not yet complete and my work reflects my reputation in the industry. I plan to continue to develop and complete the website and thorough user testing and hand over a live website to my client remembering the website still belongs to me as the developer until I hand it over to my client and it is released.

Deliverables

Wanted to Achieve and Deliver 

  • Create a static responsive version of the website and increase my knowledge of code
  • Create a WordPress Template
  • Live website with WordPress as the CMS
  • Client asked for a fun not corporate website

Actually Achieved and Delivered 

  • Local static version of website
  • Creation of WordPress Template – in progress

Still to Do 

  • Finish creating WordPress template locally
  • User testing
  • Transfer WordPress Template and files to live version of site on GoDaddy platform
  • User testing
  • Give client access to website and CMS – (this still belongs to me as the developer until handed over to client)