Paul Rada
Mindchat App
Create one-click messages, tasks, and reminders for yourself.
Download Mindchat
Year: 2017
Status: In Production
Platforms: iOS
Designers: Paul Rada
In 2017 I often found myself texting my partner some unrelated item, usually followed by "reminder, ignore." This was my favorite method for never missing a task, as I would always chat with her again and see the reminder. I didn't do it for everything (wasn't that kind of partner), just the tiny little details, the items so trivial to not merit creating a new list in a task manager and organizing it in priority with all my other tasks. Organizing these trivial tasks would be overkill.

After clearly annoying my partner enough and missing many emails to myself I realized how much I wanted to formalize the conversation with myself. So I made an app for it. Turns out many of my friends liked to do the same.

MVP discoveries
At first, the prototype couldn't be more simple. Create a task or a note in the same conversation screen. No need to create a new list to store and organize, just open it, type, and save.
Version 1
A lot of users found the simplicity useful, but even though the utility was there, the concept did not explain itself clearly enough.

"It's not what it is, but why I'm using it." Answering that question is a fundamental task to any user-centered designer. Mindchat was so simple, it was actually difficult for some people to know why they would use it just by looking at it. After a bit of user testing, I found that adding a screen to the beginning that showed and triggered the two possible actions was enough to get the point across. That and a simple delete, and editing on hold allowed the app to fit the simplest part of the use-case; a quick way to write a note.

But, It's not a reminder if you forget to open the app. Different than my partner's conversation stream, or my email inbox, it was missing the second factor, an assurance that I would look at it.

Version 2: Reminders
When adding reminders I wanted to continue the ethos of quick actions and not get mired with lengthy options, at least not if you didn't need them. The app was meant for small tasks, setting when it should remind you should be fast enough for the action to be worth it.

Remind me: Today, Tomorrow, In a Week. Or you could always set a day. This part was less encouraged but necessary. Users could now open the app, write the task, send, and if wanted, tell it—quickly—when to remind you. From my research, these trivial tasks lacked the urgency to need an exact day. They needed the equivalent of saying "sometime soon" for an interface.

Thus, we have the messenger for myself. A simple reminder that takes less time than it would to text a friend.

The Tech
I programmed Mindchat using React-Native, Redux, and iOS's local storage.