Category Archives: ECHO Team Updater Web App

This project is an updater app designed to give play by play updates for ECHO team in the quarterly game of Humans Vs. Zombies Tag.

IA and OmniGraffle

I downloaded the trial version of OmniGraffle to try it out, and so far I’ve liked using it. It’s work very well for what I have been doing, which is this:

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Figure 1. Proposed navigation for the new version of the ECHO Updater App.

I’ve been doing some Information Architecture lately, both for my classes at UW, and for my ECHO Updater project. I’ve been working off and on when I have the time to create a new version of the Updater App. Right now I am planning everything out and creating my specs.

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Updater App Post-Use Reflection

It’s now several weeks since the week-long Human’s Vs. Zombies tag game, and now I am reporting how my app was used by my team members. This is form my perspective, as a user of my own app.

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The number one thing I noticed was that some people were more into updating it than others. For example, I know some people where even updating stats for their friends who never did any updating at all.

Secondly, team members who were not playing where still included. I felt like this was a bit clutter-y.

Recommendations for improvements include:

  • A way to integrate check-in should be integrating in the second release.
  • An automatic resent could be included.
  • This thing is not secure at all. Any sensible developer would add more checks to the input fields.
  • More CSS and Javascript driven styles for better clarity of reading.

Anyway, there were a bunch of good things that I noticed. First, people actually used it! That is just too cool for an aspiring UX designer. 🙂 One user was even promoting it’s use, and referencing too it during our game. Also, it’s open nature allowed players to update for their friends, which helped keep the stats current.

Updater Web App 1.0 is ready for it’s first quarter of Zombie Tag

Define being “finished” with a project…

But, as for the Updater App, it’s ready for it’s first quarter of use. In case you haven’t seen earlier posts, this web app is for members of ECHO Team, a group of University of Washington Humans vs. Zombies Tag enthusiasts. This app will allow team members to quickly update their game status in one central location.

The app basically has two pages. The first page (figure 1) is the main game page. This page is generated by php, and pulls information from .txt files and displays it in a table.

Figure 1. Main page

Figure 1. Main page

The second page (figure 2) has an HTML form for submitting updates. These updates are sent off as a post.

Figure 2: "updater" page

Figure 2: “updater” page

In addition to these two pages, there is a third php file and a javascript file. The third php file takes posts from the updater page and processes them into .txt files. The javascript file just adds some nice touches to the updater page. For example, the “time of death” part of the form remains hidden until the “Died” radio is clicked.

Technically there is also a CSS file, but most of the styling you see in figures 1 and 2 comes from the overall ECHO site style sheets.

Improvements that I would like to see happen include security procedures (right now there is no login system, and it’s pretty much assumed that people will submit nice things in the form), and more interactive javascript elements (such as graphs and different color codes for dead vs alive on the main page). That will be Updater App 1.2.

ECHO Team Updater App

Recently I’ve been working on a web project that I am calling the “ECHO Team Updater App.”

At the University of Washington, there is a giant, week-long game of Humans vs. Zombies tag. A few friends of mine are enthusiastic players of this game, and together we have a small attach squad called ECHO Team. Our team captain, who also happens to be a fellow programer, created a website for ECHO team. This website (being run by very geeky humans vs. zombies tag enthusiasts) soon acquired more and more features, including my Updater App.

The idea behind the ECHO Team Updater App is to create a system where ECHO team members can quickly update their status in the game (such as being killed by a zombie). Right now, ECHO team members receive these  kinds of updates and news through texting the team captain, who then texts all the members in a group text. If there was a communal system that each member could access quickly and easily, updates would be faster. Also, the app would display status in a centralized way, so current member status would be more visible.

So far the Updater project is just a web app, but I hope to expanding to mobile devises.

Here is a screen shot of it so far:

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The ECHO Team Updater App is scheduled for release on the web by next Fall quarter.