Foundbite allows users to share experiences in a whole new way

Continuing our Windows Phone design consultation series, next up is James Mundy, the London-based creator of the new app Foundbite, a Windows Phone exclusive app for the next three months that combines photos with ambient sounds to capture the real atmosphere of a place, event or experience. You can then upload that "Foundbite" - a picture combined with audio - to a map and share your moment with other people using the app all over the world.

The app is based on an idea that James came up with a couple of years ago after winning a competition run by Nokia. James received support from AppCampus in the creation of Foundbite, and while developing the app he used both Location and Imaging APIs from Nokia.

James recently met with Dave Crawford, design lead at Microsoft, to get advice about how he can improve his app.

Check out this video to see the design consultation between Dave and James:


"James has a really great app in Foundbite. It is very unique, and certainly not something I’ve seen before," says Dave. "It is very well designed and sticking to the Windows Phone principles - and not just the principles but the best practices that we advocate on our team."

Ensure consistent user behaviors

Dave likes the big images that are shown in Foundbite, and also the fact that user details are displayed below the pictures. But at the same time, he had a number of suggestions for James to build on the progress he has already made.

In the case of Foundbite, the biggest challenge is to figure out the ‘tap’ gesture on the images, so as to ensure consistency with the expected behaviors from people using the app, such as whether it is to play and pause a specific Foundbite, or if it is intended to expand to the full screen. Dave suggested testing this feature with the users to see what will work best.  

Design takeaways and suggestions

  • Ease new users into the Foundbite concept with an introductory page on starting the app to better explain what a Foundbite is, and how to create your own collection.
  • Use evocative language to get the user’s attention, so rather than just saying "Take a picture" the app might display "Capture a moment."
  • Use appropriate icons that best fit the action the user will be doing. There is a toolkit available online for developers to use that includes iconography.
  • Consider your interactions.  In this case, adjusting the image carousel in the app from free scrolling to snapping lets users focus on the images instead of the movement.

Design resources you can use with your apps

Are you ready to take your Windows Phone app to the next level? Guidance for designing great apps is available in the Windows Phone Dev Center within their Design Library. You can also find sources of inspiration in our Design Gallery.

And now that Nokia has released the Lumia 1520 and 1320, you may want to review our design considerations that help you to optimise your apps for large screen Windows Phone devices.

The Windows Phone Toolkit that Dave mentioned in the video is available from Codeplex.com.

If you need User Testing of your app, that is also available as a reward from DVLUP through Usertesting.com.

Finally, you can improve the user experience of your Windows Phone app, too. Design consultations are available as rewards from our DVLUP program, including an introductory one-hour consultation with the experts from Toledo Design.