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August 21, 2017

Email Responses

To gain some knowledge into how volunteers are recruited for charities and the methods which they use to market their charities I emailed charities both locally based in Lincoln and world-wide charities in order to gain a better understanding on how charities work.

The email compromised of a brief of the app I am proposing and questions around their volunteering recruitment process, raising awareness methods, websites they use and finally whether they would consider using Spare a deed app.

The responses I received were overwhelming, they included websites which many charities use to recruit volunteers, the most popular being https://do-it.org/ which provide volunteering opportunities in your area and provides a well detailed overview of what the jobs consist of, number of positions available, hours of availability, location, application process etc. I found the website very useful and the easy usability of the site makes it obvious why this is the most popular site used for volunteering recruitment.

What I found interesting from the responses is that none of the charities know of or use any mobile applications which can recruit volunteers for them. Many charities said they would definitely use such an application and some said that this app based recruitment is a process which they are looking into expanding to. The feedback also included that this process of recruitment could also open up new windows of opportunity to recruit people with less time: ‘We would probably gain different types of volunteers, e.g. people who are younger or who have less time to volunteer. Having the opportunity to offer one-off things to do would be good as this is a market of people that we don’t necessarily reach at the moment.’

The email responses clearly show a gap in the market for this type of application with feedback including ‘I like the sound of the app you are developing, especially the idea that you can advertise both formal volunteering opportunities and also one-off good deeds as well.’. Age UK also wrote at the end of their email ‘I hope that this is helpful.  Could you let us know if and when an app becomes available/is in progress please?  I am happy to help you to fine tune the app if you wish’ which highlights that charities would be open to using and subscribing to the app once developed therefore creating the need for the gap in the market.

 

Filed by Rebecca Stocks at August 21st, 2017 under Uncategorized
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August 5, 2017

Spare a deed

spare a deed logo

An app that shows volunteer opportunities in the community in which you are situated. The app will encourage users to commit good deeds throughout the day, this should inspire individuals to not only take part in volunteer opportunities but also treat their neighbour and stranger with more consideration than before.

The concept of this app is to create a friendlier community and World.

The first idea sprung from an app named Good Deeds, the app is very simple and suggests a new good deed the user can commit each day for example: ‘Drop off combs, toothbrushes, and toothpaste at a shelter or a soup kitchen, 22 July’. You are able to share this deed idea with your friends via social media, however it only allows you to share the suggestion rather than share the users experience of doing the deed. How I would improve on this idea would be to allow users to share their experience with the app and good deed which they have undertaken with other users of the app and their friends and family. The use of sharing is not to brag about undertaking a good deed but to encourage others to do the same and to share how they felt about the experience of selflessly helping others. The idea is to encourage people to think about others, individuals can get wrapped up in their own life that they can forget about the less fortunate and how a little part of their time can result in something big for someone else.

Looking at volunteering statistics in the UK, 14.2 million formally volunteered at least once a month in 2014/15. Formal volunteering constitutes as volunteering undertaken through a group, club or organisation. Informal volunteering constitutes as unpaid help to other people for example friends r neighbours. This figure averages out that 26 per cent of people in England participated in formal volunteering at least once a month and 35 per cent of people in England participated in informal volunteering at least once a month. Although this percentage may seem a reasonable amount of people volunteering I think the app can boost these figures to 50% of both formal and informal volunteering as we can increase the awareness of volunteering opportunities, with ease of access and encourage users to participate more regularly.

Filed by Rebecca Stocks at August 5th, 2017 under Uncategorized
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July 24, 2017

Project 3 brief

An idea that has sparked my interest when thinking about technology and app development is the idea of communities. There are numerous online communities which revolve around the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common;  so that people of similar interests can share opinions, skills, facts, etc. of their niche abilities with others alike. Community apps can also exist in forms of social media platforms with a concentration on a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common; social media platforms can allow users to share social experiences with their followers whether they be local or  at a distance.

The idea of a community is quite nostalgic, for British people it can bring about a sense of connecting with your neighbour however nowadays the sense of physical community is non-existent with   ‘51 per cent of those with neighbours admit they don’t know their first names’ (http://www.independent.co.uk/property/most-people-don-t-know-their-neighbours-first-names-8878913.html) . With the development of technologies the younger generation tend to socialise more over social media rather than going to a neighbours to socialise ‘the research suggests that younger people are “significantly more isolated” from those they share a street or building with, they are also more likely to have used social networking sites and search engines to find information about their neighbours’ (http://www.independent.co.uk/property/most-people-don-t-know-their-neighbours-first-names-8878913.html) these findings suggest that rather than getting to know your neighbours in person you judge them from their online identity, never getting to know the physical being.

I want to merge these two characteristics together to bring about a modern community which allows neighbours to connect once again through the use of technology. The predominant markets which feel nostalgia about a neighbourly community is with the older generation therefore my target market is those aged 60+ however is available for all ages to use. As discussed in my previous project, loneliness is a rising issue within the elderly and this is an issue I want to address and attempt to aid with the development of this app.

 

I will go on to review possible influences and market research surrounding this idea…

Filed by Rebecca Stocks at July 24th, 2017 under Uncategorized
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May 8, 2017

Developments in UI Kit

fonts copy

Beginning with fonts, I want to use Sans Serif fonts as the spacing between letters is more beneficial for an older demographic therefore I have assigned fonts to page titles, headings, paragraph text and smaller text to create a consistent  style for the designs.

sign in pages 2

 

 

I have redesigned the sign up pages, reducing items per working page to one task per page therefore to not overload the user and taking each element step by step to introduce them to the interface. Everything which is clickable is assigned an emboss and shadow affect to create a three-dimensional appearance and therefore create a visual cue to elements which are clickable. I have also given the option of creating an accoutn using their national insurance number to generate their information as this may be more accessible for an older demographic who may not own an email address. For users who want to create an account from scratch and do not hold an email account I have added the option of creating an email address where users will be directed to Gmail in order to create an email address for their account. I have also placed a confirmation page at the end, this is to reassure the user that they have completed this task correctly and gain confidence in their interaction with the interface and therefore reduce any anxiety or apprehension they may have.

tickets

 

For interfaces which may require booking events and acquiring tickets I have created a ticket page, this resembles a real life ticket which would be given at cinemas/parking tickets to resemble something they may recognise, making use of real object-like interface. The ticket will only include vital information so not to clutter the page and a bar-code to gain access to the event.

calendar

 

I have began a calendar page where reminders for events can be placed, I have avoided using the word notification as the users may not understand this term therefore reminder fits well. The buttons are spaced 2cm apart so to avoid accidentally clicking the incorrect date. I have also made each square 5.50cm x 5.50cm, this is larger than what is recommended however the larger the surface area of the target the more likely the user is to click the correct date and since the designs are to fit an IPad Pro size tablet I feel as though the sizes are appropriate for the market.

 

 

Filed by Rebecca Stocks at May 8th, 2017 under Uncategorized
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April 22, 2017

UI Kit Start up Pages

screenshot

Using colours from my colour palette I created sign in and create account pages, a feature which is common in most app start ups. I kept the pages simple with big, clear sections available to read and write in. I could have fitted all of the sections on one page and just had the audience scroll down to complete the sign up section however I kept the pages minimal so to not confuse or overload the target market and instead use ‘Next’ buttons using skeuomorphic designs highlighting the depth in the flat object to signify the fact that this is a button as ‘Understanding, and accessing, what is clickable can be problematic for some elderly users’ (https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-age-literature/#intro) therefore I want to make this obvious.

The theme which i am revolving my UI kit around is Autumn, the colours which are appropriate for my target market revolve around warm Autumn colours therefore this is featured in the theme of my designs.

Although seniors do not use social media as much as the younger generation they are still a prominent target market ‘Today 46% of online seniors (representing 27% of the total older adult population) use social networking sites such as Facebook,’ (http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/) which is why I have offered a sign in through Facebook section to appeal to this part of the audience which can use this section.

I have added the option of adding a photograph of the user as this makes the connection with the app and others more personal and make the users feel safer about connecting with other members over the app. I have made this section optional as I do not want to assume that the user obtains digital images of themselves as they may not have any or only physical photographs of themselves, this section can be added later if needed.

Keeping the background colours plain so not to distract the user: ‘Patterned wallpapers may be very attractive or attention-getting, but they provide an additional distraction that can be difficult to ignore. Text placed over even a light or subtly patterned background may prove troublesome, especially for someone with reduced visual acuity.’ I have placed a patterned banner to add some detail to the pages however am thinking about replacing this with a simple Text siting which page they are currently on therefore not distracting the user with useless images and reminding them of the app they are on and the page they are on and why they are on this page.

Filed by Rebecca Stocks at April 22nd, 2017 under Uncategorized
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