New App - Loud Words
Anxiety the App
Throughout my life, I’ve battled anxiety. The underlying cause will stay with me (unless you’re a good friend, then you already know what it is). I was the tall(ish) kid hiding in the back of the class, hoping the teacher would not pick me to speak up or answer a question. I was the teenager that made presentations ultra awkward. I am the guy who will silently listen to you talk at a party because he doesn’t want to cause more anxiety to himself by letting his thoughts spill out of his mouth.
Normally, I’m not shy or quiet. I have too many thoughts in my head, and when I’m comfortable, they will exit at speeds unknown to many. Unfortunately, it is very hard for me to reach this comfort level. Anxiety always holds me back. And I want to find out why.
I recently read this article on Lifehacker and aim to create this app in my own way. I want to keep track of my moods, the triggers, and see if I, or rather the app, can find out patterns.
I will post status updates about the design and development of this app here in this blog. I hope to share the app with everyone (for free of course) soon enough.
Blinky a Visual Metronome
Since I described my process in detail for my second app Diss, I should talk more about my first app, Blinky a Visual Metronome.
I created Blinky in order to help my (now defunct) dance-punk noise-rock band, Le Panique. We never really cared about tempos or bpms. We just played from our heart and did not care about sticking to a form. Whoowee were we super wrong about that notion. It turns out sticking to a tempo helps not only our great singer perform better, it helps the instrumentalists play much better. We always heard the loud beeping of the traditional metronomes near our practice space (we practiced at Lennon Studios in San Francisco). It sounded annoying and distracting. We did not want to rely on that sound. Since we were a very loud band, we would have to turn up the metronome to a deafening volume, and trust me on this, the metronome’s high pitch is worse for your ear than my distorted bass sounds. So I decided to take another approach to this problem and create a visual metronome; one that would rely solely on visual indicators for the tempo. In one night of coding, I came up with a prototype that would later become Blinky. The crude prototype let you swipe up and down to change the tempo, adjust the tempo precisely by tapping on far left or far right side of the screen, and start the visual metronome by tapping in the middle of the screen. The whole screen would go from black to white to black and so forth until you tapped on the screen again to stop the visual metronome. I uploaded the prototype to my iPad and went to practice the next day with excitement and caution. Once we dimmed the light a bit (come on, we play at bars and clubs where we can barely see each other, dimming the lights will always help you no matter what), we synced up to Blinky faster than we thought possible. After a song or two, we didn’t even have to look at the screen; we could see the blinks in the corners of our eyes. It was a success.
The next step was to make the app more user friendly and redesign it to be much more useful. I decided to get rid of the UINavigationController and UITabBarController in favor of my own menu system (accessible by tapping and holding for about three seconds). I always loved the menus of video games and decided to be inspired by them. I created a simple menu system, where the user can see the tutorial, change settings, and most importantly add and modify presets. See, it was important for the band to not only use the visual metronome, but also keep track of the bpms for all of our songs. That way 1) we had a list of the bpms and 2) we could easily access the presets and not have to change the bpm manually every time.
This app would not have been possible without my awesome bandmates Marlene Melendez and James Parrish. Thank you both for the inspiration and the fun ride we had with Le Panique.
The app can be downloaded here.
Diss Speak Your Mind
Diss is my second iOS app. It was born at a brunch wait, when my sister, a friend and I discovered many societal faux-pas around us. We first wanted to turn our annoyances into a tumblr blog as is the norm nowadays, but I wanted something more out of it. It’s not only us that have something to say, but not out loud. It’s not just us who wanted to express complaints in a comical fashion. Thus Diss was born.
Since Diss is about speaking your mind, saying what you could not say to the person directly, I decided to use a red-ish orange, signifying the passionate thought and the positive spin that I hope every user gives to their thought. We have strict guidelines on what kind of posts are prohibited. We do not tolerate racism and discrimination of any kind. We encourage users to be funny and creative with their posts.
I really enjoy creating memes, so I thought I could create a similar system, but without the reliance of stock images and bad typography (I do not care for Impact). I used League Gothic of League of Moveable Type as the main font of the app. It’s bold, and I believe it speaks to the passionate thoughts of the users. I also realized that League Gothic supports many other languages (especially Turkish since I am a Turk and I want Turks to use this app), which helped with this decision. It of course does not hurt that League Gothic is one of my favorite typefaces.
Even though I did create a tutorial for the app, I feel I should include some instructions to get you started with your own Disses. First tap on the upload icon on the top right. Select your photo, resize the photo to get the perfect zoom, write your text, select the alignment of the text (by tapping left or right side of the screen), position the text however you want it (by dragging the text) and finally tap on the check mark to upload your first Diss.
You can download the app here.
Wow, it has been a while since I posted an update. I guess the work and family turmoil got the best of me. I shall give updates on my work as soon as possible.