This week, Team Cat Scratch finished Chapter Four and worked on content for Chapter Five. Our UI has been added to the app, and even though there are still bugs, readers can now navigate through the book with a scroll bar summoned from the top of the page. It’s for usability, for the readers’ convenience – now they don’t have to furiously tap on the margins in order to move through chapters. (A happy side effect: this has reduced the amount of carpal tunnel amongst developers.)
(Cat Scratch is designed for the Amazon Fire 8.9, but the mini-version for mobile devices is kind of cute.)
Dave Bossert, from Special Projects at WDAS, was able to stop by and give us some good advice. Among the many projects he’s got going, he co-authored the app Disney Animated. It won Apple’s App of the Year in 2013. Going through it, you get an immediate sense of how deliberate the design is, with user experience being a priority. It’s rich with content, and users can summon pictures, videos, etc. to the foreground with a simple tap. Content is interwoven, making exploration easy. This is something that had to be on a tablet.
We were really lucky to have him sit down and give us feedback. His advice was on point – asking for things we’ve already been asked for from our primary demographic (wow moments, pushing interactions farther). Hopefully we can deliver for a climactic moment in Chapter Six.
We also responded to the design flaw in user experience of “I’m clicking and it’s not doing anything”, there are now sounds attached to all our static images, so there is at least one form of feedback. Originally, we thought this sound would be uniform (I imagined something like a “pock” sound, or the click of a typewriter). But Laura went through and found diegetic sound for all of them, which is in line with our design vision of having everything relate back to the story.
Jane Bernstein, our client and story editor, stopped by the ETC on Friday to get the most recent build. She delivered notes on the last half of the story, which I’m implementing. There’s not that much time for more iterations, so the writing is almost solidified. At this point in production, any changes to the writing have to be made with the condition that it won’t effect the structure of the page – an endlessly interesting writing constraint.