Ideation Part 1

Now that you have a more solid idea of your app concept, and you've hopefully done a good amount of competitor research for homework, it's time to turn your energy towards the ideation phase. As you may remember from the beginning of the semester, the very first part of the ideation phase is:

Functionality Prioritization

Discuss with your teammate (or cogitate on your own) about ideas for the app. What are all the things you think the app could do, given your concept? Once you have a big enough list, now is the time to prioritize. What are the Must Have features, without which the app isn't really what you say it is? What are the Nice to Have features – cool, but not totally necessary? What are features that are interesting, but distracting to the overall purpose of the app? 

Assemble these into a formalized and prioritized list. For example, if my app is designed around food delivery, here is a random and incomplete list of features: 

  • allows user to order food from outside establishments and have it delivered anywhere within a range
  • identifies user's location
  • immediately suggests nearby food establishments – in a map view
  • shopping cart view, separated by different establishments
  • allows for up-to-date viewing of open restaurants within a selectable radius
  • allows user to browse by type of food, like 'Chinese' or 'Gluten-free friendly,' etc
  • lets user to connect with other people in her social media accounts and send them credits and/or food
  • let's user rate both food and delivery service
  • lets users donate food to shelters/people in need, all around the world
  • let's anyone with app deliver food to other users requesting food
  • allows for payment directly on app
  • track order progress

And here is an incomplete, prioritized list of features:

Must have:
  • suggest nearby food establishments – in a map or list view
  • shopping cart view, separated by different establishments
  • allows user to order food from outside establishments and have it delivered anywhere within a range
  • identifies user's location
  • allows user to browse by type of food, like 'Chinese' or 'Gluten-free friendly,' etc
  • allows for payment directly on app
  • let's user rate both food and delivery service
  • track order progress
Nice to Have:
  • immediately suggests nearby food establishments – in a map view
  • lets user to connect with other people in her social media accounts and send them credits and/or food
  • lets users donate food to shelters/people in need, either locally, or all around the world with global NGO partners
  • allows for payment directly on app

And finally, a listed features that is likely to cause more problems than solve them:

Nice but Nope:
  • let's anyone with app deliver food to other users requesting food (too much liability, no vetting of delivery persons, high probability of theft/fraud, etc.) 

User Task Models

Task models are "logical descriptions of the activities to be performed in reaching user's goals1." So, for example, say you have this food delivery app. What possible workflows exist for the app? The short answer: someone opens the app and orders some food to her house. But that’s not the only workflow. Create some user task models to tease out as many possible workflows that you can think of. For example, here are some for a food delivery app:

  1. User opens the app, browses for nearby, open restaurants and orders some food to her apartment, exits app.
  2. User opens app, browses for open restaurants in her area that partner with the app company, and then selects a few to be included in her list of ‘Favorites,’ then exits app.
  3. User opens app to send food credits to her friend, also connected through the app.
  4. User opens app, browses by type of food (eg Chinese), is presented with restaurants in her area serving that kind of food, and orders food from the best reviewed restaurant, then exits app.
  5. User opens app, browses by type of food (eg Chinese), is presented with restaurants in her area serving that kind of food, and orders food from the least expensive, then exits app.
  6. User open app and reviews the service she just got, adding reviews for both the food and the delivery person.

Given all the features functionality you outlined above, try to come up with as many task models for your app that you can.