A blog post by Citrus Suite’s Creative Director, Steve Donovan.
Over the past couple of weeks Chris (AKA Chris Morland, Citrus Suite, Managing Director) and I have been out and about, either presenting at, or taking part in events around the city.
A theme which has been popping up time and time again is collaboration and what collaboration means to us at Citrus Suite. But what does collaboration actually mean for an app development company?
We come up with brand new ideas for some clients and other clients have clear objectives for their apps. We use our expertise to make these ideas a reality. We shape these apps, producing consistently great results (please see our award winning portfolio!). Ultimately, the intention of the final app is to give ‘added value’ to organisation or customers.
That’s just one form of collaboration that we’re used to. But on our latest app we were given the chance to practice another form of collaboration – one which we talk about all the time.
First, a bit of background info. Although we are the app dev company who do the creative book apps – Wreck This App, Chopsticks, Pocket Scavenger and Colouring for Grown Ups etc.; over the last few years we’ve been working with various health agencies to create apps for carer’s of people with ALS and young people with ADHD to name but two.
Our current project sees us working with Denise, Jill and Lisa (from Innovate Dementia) and our design team to create a new app for people living with dementia. What’s so different about that? The design team itself is made up of people living with dementia and their carers.
So where do you start designing an app with service users? By listening and understanding. Take all your preconceived ideas of design, that you’ve learnt from working for 20 plus years in the creative industry, and chuck it out the window. Start from scratch. Before you can contemplate ‘the design’ you need an understanding of the end user.
There is a lot of opening yourself up to understand what our team live with on a daily basis, asking questions like; “So what do you guys think of this?” and “What would make it better?” Or even, on a bad design day; “So what do you guys think would make it usable?” It’s not as cut and dry as ‘this is the way this is, this is how that works”. It’s so much more meaningful and relevant than that. It’s a true collaboration.
Working with the design team, our target audience, to create an app that makes a positive and meaningful impact to their lives has been a truly delightful and enlightening experience. It’s made us question what we know about design and made us think about the user experience from a different perspective. It’s humbling to think that an app created to aid and support people living with dementia has been created by people living with dementia.
We’re just coming to the end of the first design period and we’re starting to head towards the first real usable version of the app. I’m looking forward to our team getting their hands on the app and seeing what they’ve created coming to life. It’s still just the start of a long collaborative process, but their input and knowledge is vital for us along every step of the way.
To read the first blog post about the project please click here
ABOUT CITRUS SUITE
Citrus Suite is a creative design studio producing award winning mobile apps for globally known clients. We are making an impact, having seen THREE apps reach number one in various App Store charts (including US and UK).
We’re seriously good. But don’t just take our word for it, people seem to like the apps we’ve produced: ‘App of the Year 2012’ from Apps Magazine; ‘Best Gamification’ award win for an mHealth app commissioned by a major pharmaceutical firm; ‘The Drum Marketing Awards 2013‘ development duties on winning app; ‘Best App‘ at Digital Book Awards 2014 (in the category ‘Adult Non-Fiction’).
Further Citrus Suite news below.
Tags: apps, citrus, collaboration, dementia, digital health, Liverpool Mobile App Designers Smartphone Tablets iPhone iPad Android PC Mac Web UK App Development Application Design Service, m-health, mobile health, ReMindMemorySuite