Whilst it would be super awesome to get stuck straight into learning the code and getting all, well, code-y, there’s a few other things I want to think about before I get motoring with it all. I’ll still be starting off in the background, but I think there’re some more important things to consider.
I was taking a look at ‘Digital Storytelling’ by Carolyn Handler Millar, and thinking about the structure of the app. I won’t be thinking too deeply about branching and options at this stage, as I still have a long way to go, but just getting a general overview is important.
One thing that became very clear as I was thinking about this was that although my project invites for reflection and self-development there’s actually very little engagement or potential for user-retention. At its primary level, the app is just a resource with a bit you can write in and a bit you can get social with. Not really the grand plan I had in mind.
By looking into gamification, I wondered about how users could interact more with the work and what they can do as part of the app that would be both entertaining and reflective – in essence, receiving a kind of reward for working through the app.
Puzzles? Mini-games? None of that seemed right.
The answer, I think, lies in Collectable Items.
So, at the primary level, the app will be what I described here. But at a secondary level, users would be able to collect items from the texts that they’ve read (either in The Library or The Lecture) which they could use to create their own narrative. That way, users would be able to process the information they have received in a way that is personal to them.
There’s further scope for this too, although I won’t go into that now. This project already seems to be taking on a life of its own, and I don’t even know if any of this is feasible.
After that, a lot of what I’ve been thinking about is the tiny details that come much later in the process. My mind tends to work at a million miles and hour when I’m excited about a project, so the possibilities just keep stretching out before me. I’m going to reign it in, now, and start focusing on the step-by-step process of building this app.