media cleanse - an app to track apps
Obsessed Over Phones and Media
Defining the problem: We are a generation of active smartphone users obsessed over media. Although there are many benefits to being on media and social media (being able to connect with others far away, keeping in touch with family and relatives), there are also many costs to the overuse of media. Real social interactions are taken for granted; people spend more time on their phones than with each other, and people are not able to effectively communicate in person because of social awkwardness. 

media cleanse is an application that can track a user's usage of social media in hopes to try and deter the usage of social media apps when the user finds that he or she is spending an excessive amount of time on social media. 
How Much Time Do We Spend on Social Media?
 
Initial Research: I created a Google Form Survey to get an idea of what users thought of their own social media usage. 
The majority of people who answered spend at lesat 3 hours on social media applications or websites. 
Ranging from 1 being not important to 5 being very important, using social media daily. A majority of people who answered placed high importance on their use of social media.
 
I wanted to see if people have looked for applications that will help stop their use of social media. It looks like over a majority of people do not use such applications or do not know of the existence of such applications. 
A majority of users say that the are obsessed with social media
How can media cleanse help?
Brainstorming: I wanted to create an app that would track how many hours of social media usage a user has accumulted throughout the day. I also had the idea of opening up the application to moer than just social media but just media in general since there are users who spend a lot of time on their phones watching videos, listening to music, etc. Here are some ideas I brainstormed after coming up with this idea: 
Ideas:
- The mobile app would be running in the background collecting statistics
- There would be no log in so it would not be similar to other social or media apps
- User can set limits on how much media they are using per day; app also has suggested hours 
- Banners and alerts for when you are using too much media or are nearing your set limit
- (Optional) GPS tracking: if app sense that you are in a cafe or restaurant, it will prompt a message to remind you to interact with whoever or with or take some time to go for a media cleanse
- (Optional) Deactivate all social or media apps if exceeed limit
- Kid Friendly Version: set parental controls 
- Desktop App version: syncs with mobile app to keep track of social or media websites
First Steps
Low-Fidelity Prototyping: I sketched out two sreens of what the app would consist of: a main screen with  most of the statistics and a screen to set your preferences. 
First Round of User Testing
After pitching some of these ideas to potential users who were interested in the product, they gave me some advice on how to improve the product. 
 
Some feature suggestions included:
- GPS tracking may be feature bloat. The pop up prompt might actually prompt the user to open up their phone and use it instead of putting it down.
- Desktop version would be useful but may be difficult to develop at first. It would be more helpful to first develop the mobile version and seeing the successes of the mobile version before creating a desktop version.
- Kid Friendly Version: This app should just be catered towards one type of audience - teenagers to adults that feel they spend too much time on social media. Parental controls may be feature bloat.
 
Some design suggestions included:
- Instead of having to write the name of the app, just the icon would suffice.
- Using a side bar chart instead of just numbers next to the social media icon to have less numbers and more visualization to compare how many hours you spend on each application.
- Getting rid of "Other Stats" because this may be too much of a features. Too many stats could lead to users being hooked on their statistics or they would be confused by the amount of information they are receiving and how to use that to limit their usage 
Second Time Around
High-Fidelity Prototyping: After hearing from users what they would change about the app, I created a high-fidelity prototype of the layout and features of the app.
Some critiques from the first round of prototyping:
- good clean layout that is easy to follow and use
- people liked that it was kept simple to not distract from the main use of the app
- the "limits" section could be combined with the first circle
- should design a notifications screen to get a preview of what that looks like
Third Time's the Charm
Thrid round of user feedback / Second Round of Prototyping
 
After hearing more feedback, I decided to create a second prototype. I combined the "limits" tracker with the first circle. I also made the banner and alert notifications to show how it would appear as on the actual phone. Also, under the "Settings" section, the "Notifications" are supposed to show on a different screen and then it has switches as to what notifications you would like to turn on and off. On the actual "Setting" screen, the Notifications section is just a drop down. I didn't not have time to create separate screens for each of the settings. 
 
Final Product:
Reflection
This was my first ever design project. I was suprised how much I learned from the {design.} decal. I really enjoyed going through the design process by mysef to really test how much I have learned this semester and put it to use. Now more about the app...
 
Pluses
- Clean, simple layout, easy to use
- Aesthetically pleasing 
- Learned a lot about app layout and iOS design since I am not an Apple user
 
Deltas
- Not sure if just a banner or alert notification will actual work for users
- Some settings are not clearly defined or may be feature bloat 
 
I believe that this app will be able to raise awareness in users on how often they are using media on their phones instead of real-world interactions. A daily media cleanse, just to step away from being on your phone all day, can definitely be beneficial mentally, psychologically, and socially. 
media cleanse - an app to track apps
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media cleanse - an app to track apps

Final project for my first every design class. I created an app that tracks how much media you are using a day. It allows you to set limits to yo Read More
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