Monthly Archives: July 2015

New Idea Growr update – a new foundation for future updates

After more than a year a new Idea Growr app update is ready!

What’s new:

NewIdeaGrowrOverview_annotations320

New code & new database

As described here, I decided to fully rewrite the code of the app.

The main reasons for the new database being:

  • More scalable
  • Easier to add new features
  • Makes use of a library that’s easier to code for

Features

While my main focus was on the database and code, I wanted to at least give the users one new feature. You can now star an idea and it will be easier to find it in the list of ideas.

Different use of colours

Three reasons I changed the way colours are used:

  • The old orange didn’t have enough contrast when used with small text on white
  • Making the first steps towards Material Design guidelines, it advices the use of a bright accent colour.
  • I expect to add features like audio and images. This means that my earlier logic of ‘notes are orange’ and ‘ideas are blue’ can no longer be applied. Also because I can imagine in the future that images can be used for both an idea and a note.

The main difference is that now orange is the accent color used to highlight important elements in the layout. Overall I believe I didn’t move away too far from the feeling the app used to have. So I hope users will find the update a refreshment and not too drastic.

Layout

Moving towards a Material Design I made some changes to the layout. The most changes can be found in the idea overview, shown at the top.

Also the all ideas layout has changed a bit. The sorting icons (last created, last edited, alphabet) are now more easy on the eye.

NewIdeaGrowrSort_320

I’m aware that these icons don’t quite speak for themselves. But they are for ‘power users’ that will find out by themselves (I hope).

In the future, I want to add more ways to sort like based on number of notes, starred, what question sets are used. I’ll probably make us of a drop down then and get rid of these icons.

Copy & translations

Not much changed, but I now made sure that all languages are fully translated. And by translated I mean Google Translation translated. I also cleaned up the strings.xml files that hold all the texts. This should make it much easier to maintain the texts in the future.

If you see text that is wrongly translated, let me know and I can improve the translation with the following update.

Staged roll out

I’m pushing out the update today with a staged roll out. Only 5% of users will be able to do the update. This way I can see if I missed any bugs.

 

 

 

 

 

My article on UX tools seems to resonate

Juliushuijnk.nl vs Medium article(s)

In case you where wondering why I wrote an article on Medium and it’s not over here. This site is for everything about me and my projects. The posts are often written and directly put online.

For my work at Jungle Minds, I write articles that are intended for a professional audience. While there is a grey area in between, it’s the difference between posts and articles. Either way, the article I wrote as gotten quite some views and tweets.

I figured that writing about those statistics is more something for over here on my own juliushuijnk.nl.

Growth in views, reads, recommendations

Medium gives you a nice panel that shows you how your article is doing:

MediumPanel

I wanted to track things a little bit closer, so I created a google spreadsheet and made updates by hand. This way, I was able to create this graph:

GraphMediumAttention

The recommendations in a separate graph:

MediumRecommendations

What kick-started the numbers

I posted the link on a number of websites: Reddit, slashdot, hackernews, a number of google plus communities and linkedin.

Also I posted a link in a relevant channel at a  slack  community for UX’ers. I didn’t do Facebook, because I don’t have a presence over there.

The reason for this uptake

RedditWebDesign

My first post on Reddit was at /r/userexperience/ I figured later on that perhaps there was a bigger subreddit where my article could still be relevant for. I submitted the link to /r/web_design/ and that resulted in the uptick you see in the graph.

Since there is a community revolt going on at the moment on Reddit, my link is no longer accessible. Still, it was up long enough.

The rest is non-self-promoted growth

After that the rest of the growth is outside of me trying to promote the article. It has gotten quite some retweets for instance:

Also the link has been included in the webdesignernews.com newsletter. This is obviously related to the number of upvotes the article is getting on their site:

webdesignernewsUxTool

I did not post that link, but as you can see on the screenshot, I couldn’t resist upvoting my own article..

Lessons learned

Nope, it’s not that type of post. There are no deep lessons on how you should do marketing or promote yourself.  If you want a formula, it’s something like:

  1. Write an article that resonates
  2. Submit links to the websites you visit
  3. Have some luck

Since tracking stats like these is my gamification weak-spot I thought I might as well share it with all of you.

Unless my medium article about the need for a true UX tool gains a ridiculous amount of extra attention, my next post will be about how I’m working on implementing material design for my Idea Growr app.

* And yet again Julius is pressing the refresh button on his browser *

Number of views is no up to 4.228, 1.886 read, 73 recs.