Dump Cook – Apple TV v.2

2nd iteration of the Apple TV app was based on findings from testing my paper prototype.Because the user only has the remote to interact with the Tv app, it was very helpful for me and the testers to visualize where the focus point was in each view with a coloured sticky note.


dumpCook_AppleTv_PaperPrototype2 dumpCook_AppleTv_PaperPrototype3












Some changes in this 2nd iteration:

  • Made clearer what was in focus
  • Clarified some of the functions by separating it into different views (to view photos inside a recipe, the user now has to click into ‘photos’ before using the left,right to scroll through photos)
  • Added a quick link to the timer directly from Directions view
  • Added new feature of speech to text in Search
  • Sync view informs users how to sync their iPhone app

2nd Marvel Prototype

Thursday Plays: Tab, bill splitting app


Tab is an app for splitting the bill between multiple people. It super easy to use, and not everyone at the table has to have the app for you to be able to include them in the calculations. But if they do have the app, it’s still super easy to share the bill with them.

I have to admit, I rarely use this app because I don’t often go out to eat with large groups of people and it’s easier to guesstimate bills with close friends. But on those special occasions where I’m eating with a group of tech geeks, I like to pull out this app 🙂 It also looks like they just added a feature to pay your share with a linked Venmo account.

tab-mainFrom the main screen, you can add a new bill, join a bill your friend just added, view your history, or go to settings, where you can go show the tutorial, link your Venmo account, or find a lot of ways to review or share their app.




Once you tap New Bill, the camera view comes up to take a picture of the receipt, with pop up alerts to let you know if the photo is unreadable. You can choose the skip the photo and enter the items manually by tapping the button on the top right in the camera view.

tab-newbill1-photo tab-newbill2-loadingtab-newbill3-name







After you enter your name, you come into the bill view. On the top is the ‘share code’ for other Tab users to join so they can help split the bill.








Once all the people have joined, or manually added (bottom right button in the bill view), they go into each person’s tab on the bottom to highlight all the items for that person. You can also change the tip amount that everyone agrees on that will be split into everyone’s totals.








Then each person can see their own total, including tax + tip. There’s also a birthday setting so the birthday person’s total gets divided up by the rest of the party!








Again, I think this is a great app for large groups, especially for birthdays because of the handy birthday feature. They seem to have added all the functions you would need to split a bill with the least amount of inputs. But honestly, the few inputs are still more time consuming than to split a bill between 3-4 people mentally and rounding up.

Dump Cook: Apple TV edition

To translate my app successfully as a companion to my iPhone app, I removed some functionalities like adding recipes sharing, and focused on searching and cooking.

To facilitate a seamless cooking experience, the Apple TV app has a timer that the users can get to from the directions view and main tab bar. Because the TV has a much larger screen, all the directions are written on the same view so users don’t have to use the remote all the time while cooking.

App Map:app map2-04

Marvel Prototype

Dump Cook App

Many Americans do not like to spend a lot of time making food. Adults in the US spends about 30 minutes a day on cooking and clean-up [from cooking].

Dump Cook seeks to help users like myself find super easy recipes that they can cook at home without hassle. This app is for those who hate cooking, but have to save money and eat healthy.

It includes Filters to find easy meals quickly. Users can search by an ingredient they already have, and filter by the number of total ingredients, cooking time, and popularity (how many likes it has).


The Cook Mode makes it easy to follow the step by step instructions with interactive timers.


When adding recipes, the app limits the recipe to 8 ingredients and 5 steps maximum.


Interactive Prototype

Presentation with app map

#Thursdayplays Smart Sleep App Comparisons

I’ve been trying to find an alarm clock app and am using this opportunity to test a few different ‘smart’ alarm clock apps: Sleep Time, Sleep Cycle, and Pillow. All of these apps claim they analyze your sleep states using the phone’s accelerometer (Sleep Time and Pillow can also use the microphone). sleep_apps_comparison-02 The user sets their alarm time, and it wakes them up at the most optimal time (when they are at their lightest sleep) within a 30min window.

The premium prices are all over the place with Sleep Time at $5/month or $30/yr, Sleep Cycle at 0.17/month, and Pillow at $5 with no monthly. 


I tried to highlight some of the key differences in the user experience of their main [free] functions.

Continue reading #Thursdayplays Smart Sleep App Comparisons

Thoughts and Insights from iOS Human Interface Guidelines

Here are some things I didn’t know, and other useful guidelines to always keep in mind:

    1. I had know idea split screen existed for iPads and desktop/laptops! I used to play around with this on PCs many many years ago, but I don’t ever remember it being an advertised feature. I had no idea it was even possible and seems not very intuitive to find out (press and hold green full screen button and then drag it around to highlighted halves). But even so, I was disappointed with this feature for two reasons:
      • It only allows half screens and not quarter screens on desktop
      • You can’t exit out of split screen without toggling into full screen first, and the other half screen automatically becomes full screened. There was just a lot of clicking involved to get to the original windowed state.
    2. Responsive Views – Views should be designed as ‘compact’ and ‘regular’ for both width and height. compact/regular, width/heights should be interchangeable.
      Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 3.44.34 PM
    3. Color Blindness don’t use red and green the only distinguishable features. Use more than 1 way to indicate interactivity other than just color, and look into image-editing software that can help test for color-blindness).
    4. Color Contrast –  I would really like to know what this means:

“Although viewing your app on a device can help you find some of the areas you need to work on, it’s no substitute for a more objective approach that yields reliable results. This approach involves determining the ratio between the luminance values of the foreground and background colors. To get this ratio, use an online contrast ratio calculator or you can perform the calculation yourself using the formula established in the WCAG 2.0 standard. Ideally the color contrast ratio in your app is 4.5:1 or higher.”

  1.  Color Meanings in Different Cultures – keep in mind that color might be interpreted differently by different cultures.
  2. Font Rules
    • Headline and body should be same font size, but headline uses heavier weight.
    • Text in Nav bar is 17pt
    • Never use light or bold font as it is hard to read at small sizes (use regular or medium weight instead)
  3. Support Retina Display – Supply @3x & @2x image assets for best resolution. Never scale images greater than 100%