Here at Lucid. Blog, we frequently discuss the stories behind our apps; the interesting way they came to exist, and the equally interesting organizations responsible for their content. We discuss how we are proud of our unique ability as a company to specialize in the intricate and often sensitive material brought to focus in these apps, and how we will continue to develop our expertise concerning these important issues.
But we mustn’t forget – our applications are only as good as their design, and even the best content in the world requires a structurally sound platform to be shared. To discover more about the technical foundations of our apps, we spoke to our resident designer and in-house app expert, Alberto Gobber. From developing the most efficient user interface, to ensuring a quality user experience, Alberto understands what makes a good app, and more specifically, what exactly makes a Lucid app so unique.
Women, Peace & Security App – PeaceWomen
The Women, Peace & Security app started out as a “digitized” handbook, with a basic (somewhat unappealing) interface – in its defense though, it was one of the pioneering human rights advocacy apps. When we were initially approached by PeaceWomen, the main focus was to expand the app to reach the organization’s client base, specifically targeting civil society members, and to update the UI giving policy makers a faster reference tool. In the end, the app was completely redesigned including: a more visually appealing interface, a simplified and consolidated structure, RSS feeds with the latest blog news, MAPs, E-News and a section for initiatives and events.
The current WPS UI is pretty traditional – with a slide left-to-right index of categories. This gets more detailed the further you dig (max 4 levels down), eventually leading to a reader including the written article/content. There are around 360 “articles“ in the app. To avoid user confusion, basic UI elements and concepts have been applied. These elements include: fixed headers with straightforward navigation buttons, accordions (open/close elements) and tabs for articles, simple touch gestures to help navigation (swipe right, double tap) and color coding for the main categories. The contents of the app are managed through a WordPress based Content Management System (CMS), giving the client the opportunity to edit the app through the back end, and the possibility to see a live dummy on the front end. WPS is quite possibly the most visually appealing app we’ve designed, and the fact it is available in a cross-platform format (various operating systems) is also important factor.
Children and Armed Conflict App – Watchlist
With the CAAC app we completely digitized a 100 plus page handbook on children and armed conflict to create a convenient reference tool for advocacy workers and policy makers. The app consists of over 400 articles, and uses the same UI features as the WPS app – with the addition of filterable lists, found particularly in the “Country Situation” section.
With the latest update of the app, the content was translated into French and Arabic. Because of the right-to-left direction of the text, and the inclusion of English names in-between, the Arabic version of the app was technically the most challenging update yet. The CAAC app is now available in English, French and Arabic.
Women’s Human Rights App – Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) / Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR)
Of all the apps developed by Lucid, the W’sHR app is possibly the most unique. The app does not have a linear structure, but rather connects specific paragraphs from UN body documents with specific keywords. The interface is very straightforward, requiring a maximum of only two clicks to reach the desired content. The keywords are alphabetized, and the documents are divided into nine specific categories – each one including an online resource made available in a downloadable PDF. Like the WPS app, the W’sHR app is controlled by a WordPress based content management system (CMS) made accessible to the client through the back and front end.
Prior to the existence of the W’sHR app, much of this important data could only be accessed by searching through a massive Excel spreadsheet. The significant reduction of database size eliminates duplicates and redundant content, while the new digitized format cuts the users’ search time down to seconds – creating an incredibly fast reference tool.
Visit our website to find out more about our app designs, and make sure to stayed tuned throughout 2016 for new additions to the collection.