Day 13: Finished the design for the first app

It’s been a while since I last shared an update on the three apps in three months challenge. Now that I finished the design for the first app, which I decided to call “Percent Done,” I have something to share.

What is “Percent Done?”

Percent Done is a mobile app that combines time tracking and habit tracking.

A GIF showing Percent Done

I like setting time-based goals for myself every day, such as “write for an hour” or “work on Percent Done for four hours.” I use a time tracking app to see how much time I spend on each task. I only track the time I’m working, if I go to the bathroom, the timer is stopped.

I also like Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” method. In this method, you get a calendar and put a cross on each day that you have done a certain task. These “X”s look like a chain after a while, and this helps you keep at your task as you don’t want to break the chain. For example, Apple Watch shows you how many days you have completed your exercise circle and tells you that you have been keeping at it for x days.

Percent Done is a marriage of these two concepts. It allows you to set goals and track the time you spend on them, as well as how many days in a row you have consistently completed them. For example, you can add a goal that says “write for an hour every day,” and Percent Done will notify you every day to write for an hour. You will be able to tap on this goal and Percent Done will start counting back from one hour. You will also be able to see how many days in a row you have written for an hour.

You can also add one-time goals to Percent Done with or without time tracking, so it is a task management tool as well.

I’m behind schedule

I will have to admit that I’m way behind schedule on the challenge. I should have finished the design by the third day of the challenge. I pegged two days for the design, and it took me around nine days. I spent around 15 hours on the design, so if I really worked hard, it could be done in two days.

I am blaming all this on the fact that I recently received my Breville Barista Express, which is an espresso machine. Those espressos weren’t going to make themselves, so I spent countless hours experimenting with different beans, grind sizes, doses, yields, tamping pressures, extraction times and more. I love the fact that making espresso involves a lot of different parameters you can play with, I really enjoyed my time experimenting (my girlfriend, on the other hand, wasn’t really amused).

Alright, I digress. The real culprit here is my poor performance at prioritizing my tasks and not having the discipline to push through with what I set out to do every day. I think this is one of the toughest things about working independently. There really aren’t any external pressures and motivators, and you are always in a constant fight with all the distractions around you. Hopefully, I’ll be the first one to be helped by this app.

A GIF showing Percent Done

I used the XD UI Kit by UI8 for the design. This was the first time I used a UI kit for designing something, and I will definitely do this again when I’m pressed for time. I like designing things, but I’m not an experienced designer. My time is better spent working on development, marketing and interviewing potential users.

Time to get my hands dirty

The next step is to find some potential users and see what they think about the design prototype. Is it clear what the app does? Does the user need a lot of educating? How interested are they in using this app?

It could be argued that I should have already asked these questions to potential users even before designing anything, but I decided against it because:

  1. It’s so much easier for the user to understand the concept visually.
  2. It only takes a few days to create a basic design, so it’s okay if no one wants this and I wasted 15 hours.
  3. Even if no one uses this, I am mainly developing it for myself anyways.

Would you like to try Percent Done?

You can play with the design prototype and see all the futures here: Percent Done design prototype.

If you are interested in becoming a test user, please contact me at “hi at evrim dot io.”

About Evrim

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Evrim Persembe

Hi, I am a software developer, currently based out of Bahrain. I love creating web and mobile apps that are simple to use and beautiful to look at. You can check out some of the projects I worked on, or hire me to work on your project.