An App for Creatives

Eclipse is a collaboration between myself and fellow industrial design student Monika Danh. We were inspired by complaints about not knowing what to draw and decided to take on this passion project. Our goal was to create an easy-access app that would help overcome creative block when sitting down to sketch for practice. 

Special thanks to Advanced Design Sketching for helping this concept become a reality.

The Intended Users

Together we considered who could benefit from our concept. We wanted to try and identify a broad range of users to decide if we would have to narrow down our user base or if we could attempt to reach a wide audience.

Designers

Visual communication is necessary for designers of all kinds, as their profession is based around aesthetics and visual cues.

Artists

Artists may need a creative spark to help inspire their future projects or even help them come up with subjects for practice. 

Creative Thinkers

Visual communication is a useful skill in most professions and everyday life. This skill isn't something that is necessarily nourished if you are not in a creative field.

Our App Canvas

After a lot of discussion we came up with this app canvas to collect our thoughts about our project. Below was the original plan we referenced when we started developing our wire frames.

E C L I P S E

Target

Artists

Designers

Casual Users

Characteristics

• generates drawing prompts
• sleek minimal UI (focus on the actual function)
• challenges you creatively, pushes user's boundries
• creates reference for artists
• usable anywhere (offline)
• good practice tool

Success Factors

challenging • very open-ended • simple

Concept

An app that generates simple, minimalistic drawing prompts. The app also keeps track of user's drawings and yet-to-be-drawn prompts.

Core Functions

Generates Prompts

Keeps track of drawings

Discovery

• sell to friends and peers
• social media advertising (Instagram)
• discovery on app store
• forums (e.g. reddit)
• portfolios

Discards

• inspiration sites such as pintrest
• the need for coming up with prompts yourself

Vision

• not only designers using this (creativity more common) - open ended
• app on market in a year
• social networking integration/sister app within 2 years

Problem

It's difficult to come up with drawing prompts on your own. There are prompt generators, but they can be too specific. 

Ideations

After the initial conception of our idea, we began to do rough sketches on how the app would work and what the experience of the app would be. We started designing in a vacuum, without taking any limitations into account, in order to generate as many ideas as we could.

1/2

To begin the actual creation of our app, we started by wireframing using little handmade cards. In the collection of cards above we were initially thinking of trying to incorporate a social system with user accounts. We decided against including this because it took away from the immediacy and simplicity of the prompt generation.

We made a concept design in Photoshop to emulate exactly how we wanted the design to look through its main functions. Our final design deviated from our original concept; we ended up leaving out certain features due to either technical limitations or design changes.

Prototyping

Below is our first working prototype of how the words would generate. We used this prototype to conduct user testing and evaluate word combinations. Although I did not have any coding experience prior to this project, I was responsible for all the scripting of our prototypes and the current build we have released on the app stores. I taught myself how to write C# to utilize Unity and HTML and Javascript for our web platform. Feel free to interact with the prototype!

Progressions

Since our first HTML prototype we went through multiple iterations before we came out with the release version of the app. Since release we have also done a handful of further iterations testing different features that we may wish to include in the future. We have also experimented with different layout schemes, style sets, and ways to utilize other design challenges with our app.

Learning C#

Learning C#

Fulfilling our design

Fulfilling our design

Programming a save feature

Programming a save feature

Small touch-ups

Small touch-ups

Programming a timer

Programming a timer

Polishing

Polishing

Release build

Release build

Our Promo

How are People using Eclipse?

Instagram has played a major role in the success and awareness of Eclipse. We thought that the best way to both promote the app and showcase the creativity of our users was through the already massive Instagram sketching community. On our page we feature posts that have either tagged us in a post or used our hashtag #eclipsesketch. Because of our Instagram involvement, we have received engagement from across the globe. Below is a direct look into our account's most recent posts.

My partner in crime, Monika Danh. See her work here.

A perpetual project

We plan to continue to update the app with new features based on what feedback we get from our users. Our contact with our user base and fellow sketching project Advanced Design Sketching has allowed us to gain valuable feedback on what users may want. Below are some of our wireframes for new features we plan to include in the future. If you would like to try our app you can download it for free from google play and the app store or go to www.eclipsesketch.ca. 

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Adam Smith © 2019