Posts

Steam Desktop UI needs to get its priorities right.

Image
The landing page of Steam's desktop application sends you straight to Steam's store, which is a mess of buttons, options and images, which is quite the turn off. As I frequently use the application to access my games on Steam, it always irks me to have to go through this page.

Users don't buy games on a daily basis, so it doesn't make sense that Steam's landing page should be it's store. It almost seems as though it was a design decision aimed purely at earning more money instead of improving the user's experience.

In addition, the page itself seems to be extremely choppy, likely due to the large number of images / videos it needs to process.
In fact, it does remind me a little of yahoo's landing page, albeit worse - a classic example of having too many things going on on a single screen. Which reminds me of a talk I attended before on UI/UX a while back, the speaker (Su Yuen) mentioned that for each screen on the application, choose only 3 main action…

Choosing frameworks and managing expectations

Assignment 3 was another rush for time :(

We laid out quite a large set of functionalities that originally planned to implement from the start, but ended up cutting so many features in the interest of time. Even with that, our time was mostly spent on getting functionality up before being able to refine the smaller details (which, after the UX reviews last night, got me thinking about).

One thing that i've learnt through this is: given we have a limited amount of time, we should always be realistic about what we could handle. Choose one good feature and implement it really well. One thing that i feel unfortunate about is that, I feel that the above really only applies depending on the idea of the app (and the context that it is in). Trying to think of an idea for an app is excruciating, and trying to find a niche in the market that your app bases its idea on is even more so. I feel that while the app that we decide to build should definitely work towards a something that different…

Thoughts on Mendeley

The presentation on Mendeley was well executed and I feel that the presentation, as a whole, leaned towards the good aspects of the app.

Firstly, they emphasized mainly on how Mendeley facilitates online research collaboration between peers. They juxtaposed Mendeley and other collaborative apps such as Google Drive, bringing across how Mendeley takes things a step higher to provide better functionalities to the user in terms of collaboration. I would say that this is the main crux (or selling point) of the app, and they did a good job in convincing us on how Mendeley is clearly superior on this front.

Secondly, they talked about how there is a lack of real time syncing for the app, as compared to other traditional cloud services which does this for us normally. It was emphasized that real time syncing has become a default expectation for users nowadays and hence should not be missing from its implementation. I feel that this is quite significant, but not mainly because it has become a…

Inner workings of a team

The past week was just a mad rush to get the app up from scratch. Not having the experience in the framework we used made it worse. Each of our team members were tasked to do very different/separate features, and i was tasked with the back-end and eventually bringing them all together. It's definitely not something i've done before - firstly, building something up from scratch, and secondly, having to coordinate with others to piece all the parts together. While not executed perfectly, I'm quite happy that we managed to get things up and running (even though it might still be rather minimal).
The SCRUM talk was quite interesting and gave me a fresh perspective towards how a team should work. This workflow seems to tie in very well with agile software development in terms of setting defining specific milestones for releases - building the app up bit by bit and slowly evolving it. While we have tried using scrum in our workflow, i can't say we have gotten very much into …

What i hope to learn in CS3216

Firstly, i would like to develop an application that would be beneficial to society. Along the way, i would like to learn the thought processes behind designing such a product – from the underlying code, to considering the UI/UX designs and intentions, and finally down to the marketing side of the product itself. This module strikes me as a wholesome package that gets one considering all fronts of the product itself, and i would like to gain the experience as well as knowledge in these fields.