Android Development, Concept
2015 – 2016
What was Karlmax’s role in the project?
We worked on the concept with the contractor and other agencies on the concept, and then developed the Android app as starting point for the project.
Why do the users need the app?
Because they want to both follow their favourite author’s new stories “Snipsl for Snipsl” and discover new authors too.
What can the app do?
Snipsl is an innovative E-reader app that brings readers and authors closer together. Texts are published in small snippets—each day a new short “Snipsl”. The user can subscribe to his or her favourite stories and be informed every time a new snippet is published. Interactive elements such as questionnaires on the text or messages from the author to his or her readers emphasise the personalised character of the app. And an extensive commentary function where both reader and author can comment provides the finishing touch.
Snipsl was developed as a greenfield project. Together with the client and the design agency Die Krieger des Lichts (“The Warriors of Light”) we started with an intensive workshop with the idea of a “Snipsl-by-Snipsl” reading experience as starting point. We walked out of the workshop with both concept and functionality agreed. And we worked Snipsl-for-Snipsl too: we used countless Post-its to hang on to feature ideas and user stories and then to toss, sort and develop them—until the multitude of Snipsls were slowly reduced to just one. After just two days the concept was so well defined that we could start with the development phase.
It was everything that went along with the Snipsl app that presented us with the biggest challenge. Ultimately readers needed to be activated. To achieve this, authors could send messages between individual chapters and questionnaires could be presented with a visual evaluation.
How did we proceed?
First we developed a prototype which contained all the most important components: reader mode with attendant navigation capability, as well as the commentary function with individual animations and transitions. Following positive tests, we implemented the logic of the app, set upon the framework of the prototype: from login and user management, through onboarding animation with parallax effect, to individual animations for switching between various “books”.
After that we had the so-called “stream” for each individual book. Within these streams, we set up questionnaires, Snipsls and messages in such a way that the reader wasn’t just looking over the writer’s shoulder, but was actually there during the thought process.
Behind the scenes or: How we exposed the secret romantics in our ranks
The content of the app – i.e. the authors’ texts – weren’t available (or even finished) at the beginning of the project. When the app was at a basic point of technical readiness, we needed to test it – for which we would need some finalised content. Initially, Snipsl consisted mainly of romance novels. A number of our testers hadn’t had any experience with this particular genre of book before the testing phase. But they start to enjoy reading it and hey, ultimately even Tolstois “War and Peace” is just an epical soap-opera.