Writeaday Writeaday is a fun, visual journaling Android app designed and developed in conjunction with talented coder, Eddie Lee. This app was designed to be a dead-simple, blazingly fast note-taking/journaling tool for those looking to record and reflect upon their daily thoughts.
Conceptualization Although countless journaling and note-taking tools already exist on the market, we found that there was something fundamentally lacking in current product offerings. From the outset, we asked ourselves this very generic but important question: How do we get people to want to keep a journal? Many journaling apps exist within the paradigm of what we are accustomed to in the real world; essentially an empty notebook with lined pages that we continue to fill. We would be foolish to simply think within the bounds of our physical reality. The powers of a digital interface should be harnessed to offer something even greater than what can exist in our physical world.
Challenge We broke down our challenge trying to address two aspects within inspiring a user to want to use a journaling app: 1. Getting people to write entries today 2. Getting people to write day-to-day The best way to get people started on a long term habit is not to think about how many times they’ll have to do it in the future, but instead focus on right now. We get people to write everyday by helping people to focus on solely today, one day and one step at a time. Hence it is imperative that creating entries be fun, quick and easy. At times I would run into the problem of wanting to jot down several different ideas, but the entry creating process is so obfuscated that I end up forgetting what I wanted to record in the first place.
Daily View To solve this, I sought to have each day represented by the entire screen- no more and no less and no scrolling. With no entries input, the whole screen is essentially a giant “+” icon, directing users to add something, anything. Once an entry is made, that entry takes up half of the screen, and the “+” icon takes up the other half. Upon making a second entry, the “+” shrinks to 1/3 of the screen, so on and so forth. As this happens, a gradient begins to appear, and the more entries there are, the smoother the gradient becomes. This simple visual feedback not only makes creating entries extremely quick, but it also rewards the behavior, as their action engenders a pleasing visual treat.
Month View In order to get people to input entries consistently, on a day-to-day basis, we thought it best to simply design the ability to look back at the user’s past behavior in an easy manner. We believe that the ability to see how consistently you’ve been writing entries allows users to understand and utilize this information to improve their frequency of use (if their entry quanity is abysmal), or to exemplify and reward consistency (if their entry is quanity is high).
Infinity View The final perk of the app is the infinity view; an overview of all the entries every created on Writeaday. Users who have consistently created entries in high quantity end up seeing a colorful and continous rainbow gradient, whereas a user that has inconsistent and sparse entries would see a disjointed and sporadic gradient. An ideal user could look back at the memories and thoughts they had, complemented by a steady rainbow to represent their steady journaling.
Outcome Since launching Writeaday, it has received nearly 3000 reviews with an overall Google Play Store rating of 4.4. Writeaday was also featured in PhoneDog’s Top 10 Android apps of February 2017. A majority of reviews rave about the app’s uncanny ability to help them journal more often. Besides allowing people to keep a more consistent journal, I was elated to read that people found the app help them actually feel and live better. People would write to us and in the reviews that Writeaday helped them to express themselves more easily, and let off steam. Some went so far as to share deeply personal anecdotes of how Writeaday helped them cope with depression. When I was designing this app, I merely wanted to provide a useful tool to people. I never could have imagined the positive impact such a tool could have in the well-being of the lives of users. Writeaday helped remind me of just how powerful thoughtful design can be, and why I continue to create these tools and experiences,