Friday, May 2, 2014

Making History in Appmaker

In my previous post, I wrote about my user interface explorations in Appmaker. As I mentioned, those explorations lead me to start thinking a bit about potential features for the tool. One feature that I took a bit of a deep dive on is the concept of a recording your history while you are in the process of designing the app. The big problem/opportunity here is that a lot of time when you have tools like the goggles, thimble, appmaker or popcorn that are designed to encourage learning engagement, you have people create these one off pages, videos or apps in such a way that they have a kind of rough product, and little - to - nothing to help showcase the process. That's what I am noodling on. 

My thesis: 
Appmaker history will enable users to raise the value of their (collaborative) making process and learn from their design choices by integrating annotation into a users “save” workflow.

Here's the userflow:

1. A maker does something in appmaker, like add a button.

2. The maker saves their work

 3. A timestamped modal appears, and that allows the user to Name the milestone moment and annotate it with comments.

 4. The maker is then given the option to watch a screencast of the moment, share it or take a look at their history tab.

5. If they choose screencast, they can watch a video replay of all of their actions contained in their history.

6. At any time in the maker's design process, they can now go to their history tab and see all of their saved version with annotations. They can also revert to this period in their making.

This is exciting to me because it rethinks the hierarchy of the end product. After designing, a user now has two bi-products: the app and the process by which the app was made. This is particularly useful for collaborative making and if you wanted to share or learn from others who shared.