#OneWeekPM – Product Spec – Messaging Styled Learning App

Product:
Messaging Styled Learning App

Author Name: 
Joshua Ooi

Team Members: 
TBC

Summary/Background: 
There is little differentiation between Learning Management System (LMS) providers. At the end of the day, it’s a storage space for learning content. The main problem we are facing is that employees don’t use the LMS on their own. Lots of companies talk about building a culture of self-learning in their employees, and providing them with the tools to self learn, but when an employee gets caught up in their day-to-day activities, most times, learning is not at the top of their mind. However, if employees stopped to think about it, if they learned and became more productive at their work, they would be able to finish up their work faster as they became more efficient.

This app is meant to be an interface to existing Learning Management Systems and provide companies a creative way to deliver learning to their employees. It is not meant to replace any Learning Management System that is currently out there.

The app will connect to an employees calendar and understand contextually where down times/travel times are, and with that knowledge, prompt the employee at the appropriate times to check out a short learning activity (i.e. 5 minute video, short quiz to refresh memory). The app will utilise a familiar messaging interface to minimise resistance to learning and using a new app.

With regular usage of short learning activities which pique the employee’s interest, the hope is for employees to fully utilise the Learning Management System more proactively.

Terminology:
NA

Goals:
The goal is to differentiate PageUp as a technology leader in the HR space through the innovative use of technology

Success Metrics:
Utilisation Rate of the Learning Management System 

  1. Increase in the total number of completed Learning Activities in the organisation
  2. Increase in the total number of active users on the Learning Management System

Target Audience:
Salespeople in the organisation. These people are always on the go and would benefit to use this app in between meetings that they are running to.

Young graduate employees that have just joined the organisation. They will be more technologically savvy and be motivated to complete learning activities as a means to develop themselves for future roles.

Requirements: 

#
User Need
User Story
Launch Phase
1
Salesperson needs to be kept updated of any new sales tactics/research in order to close sales more effectively
As a salesperson, I want to be able to be prompted when I’m travelling with a timely update so that I will be able to receive bite sized learning content which will allow me to close sales more effectively
MVP

Designs:
Please view designs at this link: https://invis.io/HM75VZPA2

Legal:
NA

Launch/Roll-Out Plan & Timeline:
Roll out the MVP to the salespeople in the organisation to allow testing to begin in 12 weeks and collect feedback

Suggested Spotify Settings Change

I recently got myself a pair of spanking new headphones and a home theatre system. With my premium Spotify subscription, I am able to stream music at 320kbps and that makes for a pretty nice listening experience.
Here’s my problem. Streaming high quality music like that consumes quite a bit of data. On my limited cellular connection, I wouldn’t mind listening to music at a lower quality (data is both limited and EXPENSIVE), however, I don’t mind consuming more data when i’m on a limitless Wifi connection at home.

I’d love to see a simple setting like the one shown below implemented in the Spotify mobile app. That would be pretty useful to me:

Standard Settings Screen on iOS
Standard Settings Screen on iOS

What i’d like to see:

Tap on Selection
Tap on Selection

When I tap on Extreme, a gray box slides out from the right with options for me to pick either Cellular or WiFi.

Wifi selected for Extreme Quality
Wifi selected for Extreme Quality

I then proceed to tap Normal and select Cellular.

Cellular selected for Normal Quality
Cellular selected for Normal Quality

This is what it would look like after setting up.

Selection Complete
Selection Complete

Upon doing some research on the web, it seems that this is also a feature that has requested for in the Spotify forums since 2013! I’m not really sure why it’s taken them so long to implement a small change like this.

Update: On hindsight, after thinking about the suggestion, I realised it didn’t make any sense whatsoever to do it that way. The easiest way I could think of doing it would be like this:

Alternative Implementation

I chose the stars because I thought it would be most familiar to users. Everyone uses on-demand apps nowadays and the stars represent quality or satisfaction.

Silence Notifications with 3D Touch

I hate the seemingly mindless notifications that some apps send to me. For example, just for the simple Qoo10 app (which happens to be one of my go-to shopping apps), I get bombarded with push notifications pretty frequently and it’s really annoying. How many different things can someone actually be interested in?! See example below:
Notification Overload

Now, you might just say, if it bothers you so much, turn it off. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

I have lots of apps on my phone and here’s what it looks like to turn off the notifications:

Scrolling through apps

 

That whole process took more than 10 seconds. Really unnecessary, if you asked me. And that’s because I knew where to look for it, and was just trying to record it under 15 seconds.
With the 3D touch feature built into the new iPhones, this whole scenario could be sorted in less than a couple of seconds.
Mock 3D Touch Menu

 

“The best quick actions anticipate and accelerate a user’s interaction with your app.” – iOS Developer Library
 
Here’s how it could possibly be implemented:
  1. Apple makes it a rule in the developer rulebook to include 2 additional options should they adopt 3D touch in their app
  2. Apple creates a blanket rule that’s been embedded into the 3D touch API
After giving it some thought, I don’t think this could possibly be implemented. Apple is already seen as too controlling of their ecosystem. By including more roadblocks to developers, it would only frustrate them and possibly cause them to move on to develop for other platforms. A rule like this would only prevent developers from reactivating inactive users through push notifications and I don’t think it would be well received.

My experience using Sensor Tower for App Store Optimisation (Tutate)

The development for @tutateapp started about a year ago in March 2014. After a whole year of development, we were ready to take it and share what we had worked on with the world. Being the primary person responsible for growth, it was a little unnerving because while I had experienced previously in app development, it was mainly in product management.

I took it upon myself to figure out exactly how to get the app in front of the targeted audience of parents.

Instead of the traditional way to reach out to them, I realised that there would be a select group of tech-savvy parents that scour the web for the newest apps to use in their kids development.

As I read about different ways to get the app noticed, it became apparent that App Store Discovery was broken (Link, link, link) and a whole slew of companies were trying to create solutions to this problem.

Out of the many that I saw, I chose to check out Sensor Tower primarily because of the simple blog posts that documented the various steps to get started.

“When you’re at a loss at where to start, just pick something to do it. The rest will fall into place”

I went ahead and started with this blog post: Link

I made a list of possible keywords that I thought parents would search for and made a simple excel spreadsheet with all the data that was given:

Pretty nifty to know what kind of traffic and how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword

The process of brainstorming and documenting the keywords was a little tedious as I was using an Excel spreadsheet like the one shown below.

There may have been an easier way. I just didn’t take the time to find out. After documenting a list of almost 100 keywords, it was just a matter of sorting them to identify which keywords had the highest traffic.

I proceeded to input the chosen keywords into iTunes Connect and hit the Submit button. Now the long process of waiting for review began.

It took us 3 tries to get the app approved but when it did, I’m glad to say that we managed to rank highly for the keywords that were selected!

I think our simple and clean logo makes us stand out from the rest. What do you think?

Hopefully, this first step of optimising keywords in the App Store will lead to a higher number of downloads. Will update more on my learnings as time progresses.

If you’re a parent who is reading this, go ahead and download it and share with me what you think. We have a decent selection of Singapore assessment books and are working very hard to bring you more every day.

bit.ly/downloadTutate

What I think would be cool Apple Watch apps

I recently read @andrewchen’s blog post about “The race for Apple Watch’s killer app”. He talks about the Law of Shitty Clickthroughs (TL;DR: Over time, all marketing strategies result in shitty clickthrough rates.) and how the emergence of the new Apple Watch platform will open up new opportunities for developers/startups to experiment and come up with cool stuff.

This got me thinking.

What apps would I want to see on the Apple Watch?

I believe technology retards our social skills. Phone calls got reduced to texts, which got reduced to 140 characters, which then got reduced to disappearing photos!

I’m hoping the Apple Watch could be the tool that improves it. Not the other way around. Here’s how I see it being done. (p.s.: Both these apps are meant to be companion apps and not standalone apps)

App #1:

An app that allows both parent and child to interact with a fun game at the same time. This could be a companion app to a Side-scrolling runner game like the one below

I’d like to see the companion app being used as an input device to control the character in the side-scrolling game.

Parent with Apple Watch sits opposite from child who has an iPad. Child narrates the scenario and tells parent to “jump!”, “slide!”, “run faster!” and the parent swipes the corresponding input on the Apple Watch screen to make the character move.

I think that could be a fun little app that builds not only the child’s communication skills but also the bond between parent and child. Picturing that scenario with the parent and child just puts a smile on my face.

App #2:

An app that allows parent and child to pretend to be spies!

Hear me out. I’d like to see an app that allows a parent to narrate something into the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch app then converts that narration into Morse code that blinks on the screen.

 

Something like this but on the front of the screen

And the child would use an iPad camera to receive the light input, and see what the corresponding message would be. How cool would it be to play spies in a huge house with the lights turned off? Pretty cool, I’d say!

It would be a cool little intro to Morse code for the child and it’s something the parent could use as an opportunity for a bonding moment.

We’ve all got to learn morse code!

These are just 2 ideas that I thought a cool Apple Watch app could do. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think. If you’re hard at work, racing the clock to get an Apple Watch app out at the launch, I’d love to hear about that too!

Good luck!