About four years back I started off with a motive of becoming a game developer someday. It fascinated me to think that I will build a character that will be controled by a person I would probably never know; that person will be able to transcend into living the life of someone(or something) that exists just in pixels.
Unfortunately those motives didn’t last for long. I diverged into a different track of turning my intentions into building a product that could make people’s lives easier. I joined university to become a 3D game developer but slowly my interest started to fade and venture into graphic design. By the end of third year I started to fall in love with interaction design because of which I am writing this article. Three years of university taught me the first lesson of my life which is applicable to anyone and everyone trying to figure out their lives
Usually what you end up thinking you want to do is never what you end up doing. Interests peak and decline but end of the day you’ll figure out what you want to do.
I am indecisive. From Graphic Design I switched to Multimedia and Video; then I wanted to move to Product Design but it was too late to change my course. I liked the whole concept of building a tangable product but I was already into the digital field so I started learning the values and priciples of what product design is and how similar essence can be applied into digital design. This happened by following a designer who made a difference to the product design world — Dieter Rams.
Dieter Rams had 10 principles. It would be a challenge to blend product design into Digital Design. Here are the 10 principles and steps that went on to build Buno(formally known as Bucket Notes).
1. Good Design Is Innovative
The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
So we built a note-taking app that helps you take notes by just swiping down. Why? Because it’s hard to tap on ‘+’ on top right in an iPhone 6 Plus while you’re in a meeting. Keeping the natural movement of a user’s thumb and ever increasing sizes of new age phones, Buno starts a quick note by swiping down and saves it into our server if you swipe it back down.
2. Good Design Makes a Product Useful
A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
At first, we didn’t think this product would work because it was more of a personal project. Until we saw 2k users downloading our app every week and over 160 reviews on Android Play Store showering us with feedbacks that we solved their issue of not having a clean note-taking app.
3. Good Design Is Aesthetic
The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
4. Good Design Makes A Product Understandable
It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
I am used to keeping boxers and socks in different storage comparments in my wardrobe. So we build those comparments in the app for better organization called Buckets. Essentially you have the ability to create notes in different Buckets (Folders). But these same notes are also accessible in a pre-created folders called All Notes for every single note you’ve stored in different folders and a seperate compartment for notes that haven’t been categorised. Making it a breeze to find any note.
5. Good Design Is Unobtrusive
Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Green is a cute color but not when it comes to note-taking. So we decided on keeping the color palette neutral by using Grey. Pure focus is given on content and images that support it.
6. Good Design Is Honest
It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept
Buno will not ask you to pay to take a simple note neither will it give you the ability to book cabs. It is purely focused on note-taking.
We are on a journey to make Note-Taking Easy, Intuitive and Minimal.
7. Good Design Is Long-lasting
It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years — even in today’s throwaway society.
There is always someone who will make an existing product better by not trying to reinvest the wheel.
8. Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail
Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
Personally, I felt having a note-taking app is of no use if you cannot keep a track of what you are typing. Doesn’t matter if you are a simple note-taker, content writer, aspiring story writer or even a student typing his essay on his way back home. Buno keeps track of every word; real-time.
9. Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly
Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Every future premium user we acquire, Buno will plant a tree on their behalf. As human beings, we consume a lot of natural resources. The least we can do is try to give back.
10. Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible
Less, but better — because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
We have just one goal — Minimal note-taking, no clutter. Here’s a review from Android Play Store.