(self-initiated, timeline: after-work hours)
(scale exagerated for maximum effect)
Have an app that can track my washing cycle of the coin-washer/dryer on my block + eliminate need for coins.
Analysis & Goals
As I wash my clothes in a coin laundry myself, the design of this app is ultimately aimed at solving my own struggles with coins, which I know many others go through as well. The existence of some apps that already perform this function in one way or another for all kinds of other coin operated machines, confirms that I'm not alone.
This project is admittedly then a case study where I am both the client and designer. To not completely overthink the process, I kept my requirement fairly simple: eliminate coins, pay via phone and know how much time I have left on the machine's cycle I selected.
Joshua does laundry every weekend morning. As he grabs his laundry basket to head over to the laundromat on his block, he grabs nothing but his keys and phone. Once there, he checks his phone to see which machines are available or about to be done. He loads his clothes into one of them and pays through his phone which now remembers all the machines and their timers allowing him to go back to his apartment and eat breakfast before he needs to head back to put his clothes in a dryer.
One of the driving ideas behind the design was being able to see the status of all machines at once. Having a single machine highlighted on the screen seemed great, but having a general understanding of the status of all machines (in case all were occupied) was a feature that didn't seem to be present on other apps readily availble.
However, at that moment, the issue of the "infinite swipe" appears. To avoid this, an if-then rule would be implemented: if the list exceeds a certain amount of machines, then the list will be converted to a grid, in order to fit more information on a single page and minimize the amount of swiping necessary.
Once a machine is selected, it is highlighted and begins to show the countdown as a "loading" graphic. For machines in use, this graphic showing the time left will appear as well, but the machine's graphic itself will not be highlighted - rather faded out.
Solving problems for oneself can lead to some of the best solutions: afterall a personal struggle can usually make the solution even more obvious. However, working in isolation does provide a certain amount of well.. isolation. This project may have not relied as heavily on exterior input or data, meaning that criticism is to be expected and potential ameliorations can be made.
At the same time, in this project I wanted to explore some (not total) use of neumorphism. While the style can be attractive, its downfalls in usability are obvious. Being able to pair it with flat minimalism and still come up with a product that allows for some spatial reading was the goal. To this extent, I'd argue that neumorphism does merit to be revived further, perhaps just with enough precautions to keep up with WAI's standards, to make beautiful interfaces accessible to all.