1. Identify a problem and design an App Solution that would solve it

We identified a common problem. Many people have two phones. If the battery runs out on one of your phones, it’d be good to have the calls forwarded to your other device. However, the problem is that the battery is dead, so you can’t activate call forwarding. It’s too late.

Has this happened to you? Then you will love this app. (Available on Google Play for Android phones only. iOS – iPhoneiPad will be coming soon.)

Proposed Solution:

Design an app to automatically activate a Call Forwarding service when it reaches a low battery level.

Research the idea: 

We conducted research to identify any similar apps on Google Play. This not only gave us information on the market saturation; it also helped us find problems that need to be solved before releasing the iOS version.

A simple Google search can be very useful and is always a good start. Sometimes old information remains on the internet, and you can see whether people have discussed the topic in the past. If your idea is trying to solve a common problem, you will see a lot of business websites and adverts trying to sell a similar or different product that matches the search criteria. In most cases, new and existing apps are actively being promoted, and it makes it a relatively easy task to find apps.

Tip:

use different keywords for your search. The more you try, the more chance you will not miss any information.

Findings: We identified two apps that do similar things. However, we saw tremendous potential to improve usability (UI/UX). Sometimes you don’t need to have a unique idea – you just need it to be more user-friendly. In most cases, if the user does not immediately understand how to use/set-up an app then they are likely to forget about it.

Our core expertise lies in creating engaging, complex apps that are intuitive for the user to navigate and understand from the first use. Therefore, the decision to go ahead was made.

Note:  This app has been created with the intention to be distributed free of charge.

2. Planning your Mobile Phone Application (whether it is for iPhone, iPad or Android)

Simple hand-drawn sketches are an excellent start, especially if you are not confident using various software to create sketcheswireframes, and prototypes. To draw a screen you can simply trace around the shape of your phone on paper. We have done this here to illustrate the process. There is a variety of free software and templates you can find on the internet to assist in this task, from simple to more complex wireframes.

See sketches:
 These are very basic and amateur hand-drawn illustrations, but it is still enough to explain the initial thoughts and direction on the experience the customer will have (UI/UX).

Identify key functionality of the project:
 This app concept is based around activating a function based on the level of battery charge. We decided to take an area of the app that needs to be operated with fingers to show the battery and also the current status of the phone’s battery. The initial thought was to set up a single moving element; however, while brainstorming, it was decided to add a notification that will also be automatically activated when a particular level of battery charge reached. So, on the sketch, you can see those elements in the top half of the picture.

We always seek to make mobile apps simpler and more intuitive for the user, so we decided to design this app so it can be set up once and remain functional running in the background. The only time the user will need to remember it is even there is when they want to change the level of the battery, replace the phone number where the calls are forwarded, or edit the notification message. 

When the battery charged over a set level, it will automatically disable the Call Forwarding service.

Next two subsequent elements:

To create an area where the notification message and phone number can be entered and where the calls get diverted. We also decided to add some flexibility by giving the user the ability to enable or disable any of the key functions (activation of the notification message and call forwarding function).

Add a description to key areas:

Two main arrows: red primary function = call forwarding; and blue = warning. For instance:

  • Set red and blue arrows on the level that you want the features to be activated.
  • Add a phone number where the calls will be forwarded to and a message that will pop up on the screen.
  • The arrows should be able to be switched on/off – these are located under the battery

2.1 Now, you should have enough information to pass it onto the designer to make initial sketches.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start with the planning stage. At IPS we only expect clients to do the first part, and even then we are always happy to help with advice specific to your project. There is no benefit in going to any developer if you don’t have confidence in the project. A greater degree of certainty can be obtained when you study your idea and trying to establish market viability.

Note:
 the more home preparation you do, the more accurate our estimate will be, which ultimately results in more savings for you. At IPS, we can agree on the fixed price for a project (if this is the client’s preference) only after the planning process is done. Continue reading to see the planning process unfold.

Working on details:
 Once we’ve passed the original sketches onto our designers, they can do some quick sketches and continue discussing the detailed execution of the app.