Home Screen

Everyone needs a home

a geek trapped in a cool guy's body presents an article by Jason Kemp 2016-07-12

Yesterday’s post ended in a tailspin of questions about Kapowski’s potential users when they entered progress. Stream of conscious writing with no editing doesn’t make for a clear message. So, let’s go back to the home screen.

All mobile apps have a screen that’s central to the experience of using the app. This screen’s importance cannot be overstated. It’s often the first screen users see every time they open the app. This screen should make it obvious what one can do with the app and how they can do it. Think through the apps you use, most of them probably show a list of stuff: any social media app, any video streaming app, communication app; it’s all just lists, man, jeez.

What will that look like in Kapowski?

The goal of the app is to make it easy to record your weigh-in day every week or so, when trying to transform your body. Kapowski will keep those weigh-ins (i.e. photos) for easy reference. That’s the app.

Should that be the home screen? Would someone be interested in a list of photos and measurements, with a + button in the corner to add a new one? Yuck.

We can do better.

Let’s think about our user. Let’s be our user. Fat loss, weight loss , dieting; whatever you call it, it’s effing hard. You’re fighting behaviours ingrained over a lifetime. It requires retraining habits, making conscious choices, at least initially.

Kalowski’s part is measuring the outcome of that hard work.

There will be times when we will falter, when we think it’s too hard. Invest enough time in Kapowski, though, and it can show you progress, at a glance. Open the app, see your progress.

I got this. I’ve come so far. Look at me 3 months ago. Look at me last Saturday. Why slide back to that before?

You put the bag of chips back. You check-in with your body; you’re not really hungry, just bored. You do something about your boredom instead.

The inspiration for Kapowski was the before and after comparison photo.

Let’s make that the home screen.

The home screen has a side-by-side comparison of your first photo and your last photo. If we let the user take more than one perspective (we probably should, if they want it), then we’ll have to get fancy about showing that comparison. Let’s note that, and move on. We can work on that later in the process.

The photos are central and should take the majority of the space. We should also have a text summary of weight or inches lost, perhaps doing the math for people, but also showing the actual numbers.

Tapping on any part of the left takes you to the before weigh-in; likewise, on the right, to the latest weigh-in.

We’ll also need a way to add a new weigh-in and to change settings.

There’s still the matter of that list of weigh-ins. Our home screen will have a way to get there. We can show the list of weigh-ins in a much better format than a list. We’ll come back to that screen later.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel better. It’s clear to me what goes on the home screen. There’s the matter of layout, which we’ll come to shortly. But, to end this post…

The last two posts have been a tad more precise in the language I’m using to refer to ideas we’re attempting to model in code. Yesterday I used progress as a noun to refer to the set of photos and measurements. Today I used weigh-in. I’m trying them out .

Once my fingers hit the keyboard for writing code, those names will be very important. But precise names for things really help with communication even before coding starts. There’s a saying in our craft: “There are two hard problems in computer science: cache invalidation and naming things.” Weigh-in just popped into my head today. Right now it’s my preference.

One name is certain, however: everyone needs a home.