Our artist hats are on for the very critical phase of the app, The Design. What is in a Design? You may wonder. Well Design is that finishing touch that appeals to the senses before it can appeal to the intelligence. There is no way to bypass the senses. (I read this in a book and ever since held it close to my heart). So everything relies on the design and the simplicity of the app. Since this app is going to be the first of its kind, we did some research and started thinking about how the app should look and feel. If you notice, the apps that are easy to use and sticks to its core functionality are the ones that flourish. With the mantra, few clicks away, my husband and I started our sketches. He is a better designer than I am, so I didn’t interfere too much in that department. I’ll start with some screens, draw its skeleton and functionality and he’ll fine tune it to have better aesthetics.
We wanted this to be an app where you can only add your friends if they are on your phone book. No social media doesn’t count! Sorry. Only the people who you truly know and are confident enough to either store their number on your phone or vice versa. Hey…if you stored a phone number, so you can dodge their call or text, then user discretion advised! :).
The app should let you search for items others have listed and send them a request. It should allow you to easily take pictures (or pull pics from phone) of the items that you have to spare and save it with some minimum details. It should let you pick whether you’d like to Giveaway, Lend, Rent or Sell this item.
At this juncture, I stopped to wonder, whether I’d really want all the items that I publish to be visible to all my Kettle friends. Probably not. Do I really want my aunt to know that I have listed her Christmas gift, our family famous “Crystal Bowl”, for sale? Yikes…that’ll be an issue that I’ll have to justify and talk over and over, for the next several years to come. I don’t want to hurt her feelings (c’mon don’t give me that stare, I meant at-least directly) and be in that situation. I decided that the app needs have some confined groups. What should I call it? Groups was taken by Facebook, plus by Google…gosh I wish I had come up with this app idea a decade ago. Well…here we are. Then I thought, “Loops” was available, it sounds apt and super cool, so why not? Our confined Kettle groups are going to be called as Loops!
We started with all the screens and then tied the screen flows. After several iterations, a few notebooks and sleepless nights later, we got it to a decent shape. Now the nerdy part begins….Coding! Stay tuned…