Grade 10 Computer Science – Criterion A Reflection

  • Your challenge statement:  In such an interconnected time we live in, apps are an integral part of our lives. Whether it is ordering food, or talking to friends, there is an app for it. My client, Lucas Ning, has contracted me, the sole proprietor and lead designer within my design company, to create a hiking/running tracker app that tracks distance run and the route of running. It would run on an iOS device, which would require the app to be coded in Swift 3, Apple’s programming language. The app would have to have multiple view controllers in order to make some difficulty for the programmer. It would require tapping into the phone’s GPS system in order to achieve this. He would like me to create this app, due to him being an avid runner, but not having a way to show where or how far he ran.

    What do I need to know?

    Response with supporting evidence

    Primary or secondary source

    How can I get users to access my app more?

    All successful apps tap into the human nature of habit by making some part of their app a regular routine for their users – in many cases, this leverages the first element of meeting a need. Successful apps use the habit loop of cue-routine-result. The cue is presented for the user to go into the routine, with an optimum result.


    Does my app have to meet a universal need?

    Most successful apps depend on these universal needs to suceed. A universal need is something that transcends culture, language, location and time. These are things which make us all human beings, like:

    – The need for food and shelter

    – The need for safety and security

    – The need for connection and belonging

    – The need for recognition and appreciation

    – The need for skill mastery, achievement and freedom

    For example, social networking and instant messenger apps are among the most successful category because they fulfill the need for connection and belonging, by providing the service of communication and sharing with others.. Gaming apps help people feel skill mastery and give a sense of achievement. Sharing apps, like AirBnB and Uber, help people to save money and make money, and in doing so help meet their need for financial security and freedom.

    User experience or looks first?

    Put design first. Design is not just about how your app looks, but it’s about how a user will experience the app. Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures best explains it: “Design is a way of making technology useful.” If an app gets the job done, but does not look that nice, it is much better than an app that doesn’t get the job done,but looks nice.

    Should social media be integrated into my app?

    The network effect is the phenomenon where a product becomes more valuable and useful when more people use it. By integrating social media, it motivates users to be more active on the app, as other people can see what they are doing, and thus, will motivate users to use the app more.


    Should I start my app with multiple functionalities?

    A common mistake is to cram too many features into an app. Apps need to do one thing well. Those that focus on a simple concept have more of a chance to succeed. Take Uber for example. If you remove their focus on black service cars in the early days, Uber was primarily about getting your ride faster. Without that focus, Uber wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as it’s grown. Once Uber nailed that one thing, they earned the right to add on extra features, like fare splitting, to make it the service we recognize today.

    Should my app include an instruction manual?

    Apps should not need instruction manuals; instead, the user should be able to use the app without one, if the app is intuitive and user-based. You want to offer users a fantastic experience. Take for instance, Clear app, which entered the hugely competitive market of to-do list apps. Coupling a great concept with fantastic usability is what made it a big hit in the app store.

  • In short. Kepp your app simple. Design it to do one thing well, instead of many things mediocrely. Integrate social media into your app, to keep it interesting, to spark the nature of competition and reward, and to encourage inter-app communication. Meet a universal need, or else, what’s the point in using the app? Finally, put the user first, not the app. Think about how the user will experience the app while designing, and you should have no issues designing an effective interface.
  • How this will impact my design – This will help me design a more effective interface for my client, and will make me make sure that I meet all his needs for this running app.  By analysing a range of apps, I have gained considerable knowledge on the creation and design of very successful apps, and hope to integrate those features into my design. In addition to this, the apps I analysed were varied in terms of functionality and design, and I hope to integrate features such as social media inter-app communication, which was prevalent within the apps I studied.

One thought on “Grade 10 Computer Science – Criterion A Reflection

  1. Hi Cartman!

    I like how much detail you went into on this post. It shows that you have a good understanding of your app and what you plan to do.
    I wish that you had written in the first person, which would have made it easier to understand.
    What if your app was capable of storing your past runs so that you can track your progress?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.