In brainstorming Cast, there's questions I need to ask and answer.So, I need an outline, as if to constrain my thinking.
Realistically, though, I should go in as many directions as I can before filtering and sorting these ideas, picking only the ones I determine make the most sense for the app. Of course, some of the questions that'll come up might've been partially or fully answered in the "why" essay.
Questions making up my outline
- What am I building? I'm building Cast - a cross-platform app to play podcasts, both of audio and video formats.
- Why? Because I've never been satisfied by anyone ever developed. More on why.
- Why, is there really a pain here? Whew, it's pain enough for me as I'm not getting the best of podcast experience. I haven't the luxury of user research (for now) so I'm assuming I must be one of at least seven million people. Then again, if I'm the only one this works for, I might as well just keep scratching my own itch and enjoying the pleasure of doing so.
- Why not? Because I'll keep paining, except somehow any one of the 15 or so apps on the stores eventually meet my needs and do so simply. I really must emphasize simply! They seem to have agendas of their own.
What features should Cast have out-of-the-box so as to satisfy you?
- Feed (users should hit here first, listing of new episodes from the podcasts they're subscribed to; one-tap on a list should play the episode). Anywhere from here they can always go to see all the podcasts they've subscribed to.
- Playlists (users should be able to immediately access their playlists of podcasts and be able to create new ones (or delete no-longer-needed). Despite a playlist(ing) feature, users should be able to save an episode they like, which would override a setting to delete episode as soon as it is played.
- Find (users can come here to find new podcasts and add a desired one(s) to their Feed.
- You see, besides Settings (not a feature), those three are all a podcast-player app should do. Anything else is extraneous and mostly unneeded. I don't think it's up to the app to "push podcasts on people." As soon as you make people land on a "Discover" page where a million and one podcasts are presented nicely categorized and sorted, which show infinitely as they scroll, and this happens all the time, making them take two/three steps before they can get to their subscribed Feed, you've messed up the experience. Cast must not be that way.
Some business housekeeping
- How might you "drive" adoption of Cast? For now, I do not know. I may just operate with the belief of "build and they'll come".
- How will Cast make money? It might not. It may survive on self-funding or willing donations. I might also have podcasters pay to "boost" their show(s), which ads users could turn off if they make a small contribution of yearly subscription. The idea is to sustain the product, not to commercialize it.
- Will Cast become its own business? Too early to say. But, not likely.
Most desired of Cast
- So simple you can in a few minutes of use know where everything is.
- No clutter - never ever!
- Stupidly usable - be able to get everywhere the app affords you without the slightest of pain.
- Pain privacy, to a fault.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, from business and user experience points of view, these are the questions that'll guide the decisions I make as I start "mapping" Cast. By mapping I mean such activities as produce user flows, journey maps, information architecture, navigation design, preliminary copies, and a suitable brand for the product.
In the next installment in the series, I'll share how I'm tackling these activities.