Writing A "Generally" Useful App (Day Lineup/Total Dayify)

Although not the most famous application, it solves a low-level problem and it really emphasizes on creating something that you would use. Solving a problem for yourself in a shared environment indicates that people inside that environment will likely also be reciprocating towards that solution. For me, it was a two-year-old issue of being unmotivated, and assigned work creeping up when days whoosh past and result in the eventual realisation that there’s only a few days left until some major event is due.

It started simply with Googling.

Google search result for days till date

Oh, my 9-day live-data experiment is due in 8 days. Cool. From one day’s lapse in brain judgement, this issue arises quickly.

So, the first implementation of this idea of counting down to events was a small local website I made for myself. I’d hard-code in these eventual days and starts, and I quickly did the math to get the right days and percentages to build up the view that would eventually be turned into a distributable app, Day Lineup.

Before this, I had never created a Chrome Application, and I must tell you this was a great journey for me (which eventually lead to a partnership with another business - I got a free jacket!). Chrome applications are very integratable, but the encouragement came from the realisation that 100% of the people in my shared environment use Chromebooks, and they were my real audience that I wanted to test on first.

One girl in my class noted “make an app” since I was posting these day-countdowns on my Snapchat story, which got the attention of a few individuals. So, in a weekend, I put myself to build this “app” through chrome because of the nature of the shared environment. With 70% of the internet using Chrome, as well as a general shared environment of anyone wanting to track their assignments, birthdays, events, long-term goals, and etc, I didn’t realise that my shared environment would span beyond school.

So, after doing some design and changing the app a few times, I came up with this design:

Day Lineup, Total Dayify

Which, has some rather interesting pieces inside of it. But nonetheless.

The main features I love most about this implementation is it’s sarcasm, and inherent discoupling compared to traditional assisting applications provided in school systems. One example of a different approach to designing a helpful application for students is SEQTA, a full-stack system for teachers and students. Although this application is insanely useful, it’s barebones and philosophy aren’t exciting and at times not consistent.

With DL, I spent a good amount of time on the system which moves the screen as if you were swiping in a direction to give the user a sense of direction for where their “other” lists are. You can see this here: link to video.

In comparison, SEQTA has the main functionality of binding teacher-to-student integration to create the ability to share timetables, message, release grades and reports though the real glue that excites people to use the application isn’t there yet. Here are a couple of examples:

SEQTA Image One SEQTA Image Two

I’m in no way saying my application is perfectly addictive (not my goal), but I give it pride on consistency in design, relaxed design style, and core ease of use. It seemed to gel well with students it encountered in a way that they decided to share it and give well-received testimonials. In a way, it’s urban to modern school culture.

This was just a brief article on how I decided to develop a Chrome application which assists in the lineup and how the ideas I employed and manifested help to give vision for a future of school-and-work branded applications that help instill efficiency in the users.

If you’re interested in checking it out with the design principles I explained in this article, check it out for Chrome browsers here.

Written on October 7, 2019