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Bad UI is Bad UX

Over the past 3 weeks, I have been working on Project SmartCart. The section that I’m working on is creating an Android App that assists the every need of the shopper. The app is the torso of the project. Then comes the shopping cart, the barcode scanner (disaster), and the square (difficulty).

By the end of week 2, most functionalities are done. This includes implementing the backend database, adding items, recommendations, finding items, coupons. I was feeling good, but not really. When I used the app, it felt like shit. More descriptively, it felt like an app from the 90’s. It mainly looked bad.

The perfectionists/professionals of UX said that UX is not UI. But when you have terrible UI, you have terrible UX. When testing my app, I didn’t mind the hassel of typing in pseudo barcodes like “111111”. (That will be fixed when I get the barcode scanner, I believe.) But the solid color edges, the sharp corners, the lack of transition, and fades, the solid background.

I know nothing about UI. This is my first app, but I can’t allow it to look like the remains of some previous century.

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Introducing Project SmartCart

It is Week 3 of 6, that I’m in China, spending my winter break working on my project. On Day 4 of the week, I finally got back to working. I opened up eclipse early this morning but didn’t eventually get to work till noon (…slacker). For the first 3 days of the week, which included the final day of 2012 and the 2 followed that, I spent at home, sick (… my excuse). I’m still sitting here with a box of Chinese Kleenex, but I’m getting better =)

So I think it’s time to finally introduce “Project SmartCart”. Even though the idea has been around since Summer 2012, while shopping at Shaw’s, I am still having trouble figuring out where to start talking about it… So here’s my attempt at a pitch:

The shopping experience at supermarkets and wholesale stores are far from seamless — we search through the unorganized aisles for groceries and then face long aggravating checkout lines. We are bringing technology to the ordinary shopping cart, presenting… SmartCart. SmartCart solves all the above problems and more. It tracks all items in the cart, let you search items in the store, gives recommendations for products, allows instant checkout, and much more. SmartCart will become the shopping experience of tomorrow!

If you are from the NE part of America, you might think of Stop&Shop. This is better than that. Just imagine being able to swipe your credit card on your shopping cart and leave.

Currently I’m working on this project for Techfair, a place where students show case their project and startups come to recruit. This project isn’t technically very challenging on a demo-scale, which is why i’m working mostly alone with the support my of friends on different subjects.

I’m just glad that I’m back to work. More on SmartCart as I make progress.