Recollect, Tasks made simple

For the Fall 2017 school year, I’ve been tasked with designing and developing my very own app. Although the code is still in development, I explain my ideation and goals for this project on this page.

Preface

I first envisioned of Recollect during a conversation I had with my roommate. After realizing it was too difficult to keep track of each other's schedules, we thought: Wouldn't it be great to see each other's tasks in real time? We imagined it would be great to know what one another was doing, to make sure we were productive, and to make sure things got done. However, the problem was we were out of sync.

For myself, I kept all my daily tasks logged onto Momentum, the Google Chrome extension, and my Apple calendar. My roommate, on the other hand, kept important school deadlines on his Google Calendar, but otherwise kept no record at all.

If everything was kept under a unified system, it would have been much easier to be able to track each other's tasks. That way, we would always be on the same page in terms of what needs to be done, and what has not been completed yet. It was this thought process that became the foundations and ideology behind Recollect.


So, What can it do?

Fundamentally, Recollect is the Venmo of tasks. Users, integrated from Facebook, would be able to send reminders and tasks to friends, in which the receiving friend would then clear them upon completion. As for account creation, I found Facebook integration to be the best way to tackle the sign up process.

Facebook is a great login platform for users for several reasons:

  • Information such as Names, Birthdays, Profile Images, and Emails are easily accessible

  • It does not require a user to create a new account using their email, username, or phone number

  • Friends relationships are easier to manage, since they are already linked within the Facebook environment

  • The number of people with Facebook accounts is a keeps everything centralized and unified within Facebook

  • Messenger Bots can also be developed to enhance functionality

After login, you would be able to access your withstanding friend list and even create special groups within the app. Just like the Messenger app, special priorities would be placed on your favorite friends, just to make things even easier. 

Reasons why platforms such as Venmo and Tinder are so popular are largely due to the ease of setup. All it takes is one tap of a login button, and you're ready to go. The simplicity of this process inspired me to do incorporate the same concept into Recollect.


The Main Page

Recollect is really about simplicity, removing anything unnecessary that cramps the workspace. The screen should only show what is essential; it should not have anything that does not pertain to the task at hand (no pun intended). 

In light of this, the home view contains only the absolute essentials: A calendar and a list of tasks for the selected day. Months would be changeable thought left and right swipes. Specific days would be selectable by clicking on the corresponding day you want to find more about. I believe that this minimalistic approach is the best way to show this information.

In the Tasks panel below, the following information is displayed:

  • Task Subject

  • Assigner, (can be yourself)

  • Short Note

  • Time to be completed

These would then be expandable upon clicking on the specific task. 

Highlights and drop shadows of the vibrant orange theme is weaved throughout the canvas as well.

All in all, I designed Recollect as a deviation from the tendency to over saturate the screen space. This philosophy should be a standard within any design or concept. 


Tasks

New Tasks

When creating new tasks, users are brought to the New Task screen. Here, attributes such as Date, Time, and Recipients are ergonomically placed for a streamlined process. After the date and time are set, the top window will close, similar to opening a folder, looking through its contents, and then closing the folder.

As you can see, here the user would to able to:

  • Set Dates & Times

  • Manage Recipients

  • Write a Title and Subject

  • Enable Location-smart access

Location-aware tasks give both the sender and recipient control over where the task is going to be held. Furthermore, notifications can be sent when a certain user is present the location. This way, both the host and the attendee can see who is physically present. Doing so allows for group events or meet-ups to be properly organized. 

TAskS

In the next Task Panel, I've used Movies as an example. Because the event is happening at night, it is shown in a dark theme. 

The user is able to see a variety of different elements in the Task Panel:

  • People that have been assigned this task

  • Where it is occurring

  • When it is taking place

  • Weather forecasts at that time (driven from Facebook)


Functionality

Accessing the app externally would also incorporate some cool features. 

Using the iPhone's 3D touch, users can quickly jump to:

  • Settings

  • Today's Tasks

  • Friends

  • New Task

In the iOS notifications panel, alerts about upcoming tasks and finished tasks by friends are shown. These notifications will be 3D Touch enabled as well.

Moving forward

Part of Recollect's future success would ride on its ability to integrate new technologies, especially with emerging functionalities that hardware companies continuously push out. I envision that Recollect would be able to become an app outside of its own native smartphone environment. 

The dream would be for Recollect to be accessible across many platforms, regardless of people preference's for a Mac or PC, iOS or Android. Recollect is about bringing people together, and it should reflect this very principle.

My idea for this app goes beyond just chores and tasks. It could be extended to large events, get-togethers, and even digital meetings. Recollect would be the centerpiece for this kind of information and all of it would be accessible by those who choose to use it. 


Review

In the long run a calendar problem will continue to exist, and I foresee Recollect as the solution. For the longest time, data has been out of sync, people on different pages, and platforms losing its ability to stay under one roof. I can see, in the long future, a multifaceted solution to these issues, but for now, we must make do with what we have. 

Thanks for reading!

September, 2016