Ēdn SmallGarden At Apple And West Elm

1 month ago
Ēdn SmallGarden At Apple And West Elm Image

We are thrilled for our partners at ēdn, as their SmallGarden is now available to buy online at Apple and West Elm! The SmallGarden is expertly engineered and beautifully designed with advanced LED lights and WiFi enabled processors that make growing fully automated. Combined with the ēdn app, you can seamlessly manage the lighting schedule, see garden alerts, and get detailed guidance on the growth of your plants to help you go from planting to harvest and beyond.

The handcrafted gardens use responsibly-sourced bent wood and anodized aluminum to create their garden boxes. The result is a product design that complements both nature and the room it’s in. ēdn provides a wide range of dirt-free SeedPods that easily drop into place. Users can grow gardens that prove useful with herbs and vegetables, or go a more decorative route with flowers and foliage. The easy and intuitive app helps users to monitor water, light and temperature, guiding the user through the growing process from start to finish.

We enjoyed working with ēdn on the app to leverage technology for a fun and automated home gardening experience. Most recently, a new version of the iOS app was released, complete with HomeKit support for an even more integrated product experience. An Android app will also be available soon. We believe that app development done well results in products that delight users and deliver real value, and that’s never been more true than with ēdn. 

Congratulations again to the team at ēdn! We are excited about their success and the future of their product. If you have an app idea that you’d like to explore, please contact us. We’d love to use our experience to help your idea grow.

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Designing for Accessibility: A Case Study in Digital Product Development

Boulder CO—Good Nutrition Inc. & InspiringApps Partnership Creates an Accessible Meal-Planning App Meal-planning apps present unique accessibility challenges for users with disabilities. Ensuring apps are designed with accessibility in mind is not only the ethical and legal responsibility of brands—it also makes good business sense. “Accessibility has a clear ROI. With accessible apps, you attract a larger user base.” —CLARA BEAR, IOS ENGINEER, INSPIRINGAPPS The Good Nutrition Ideas app, My Meals, My Way, stands out in the saturated market of food and calorie tracking by focusing on enabling users to become their own nutritionists. Applying a science-backed, fun “plug and play” approach, it offers personalized meal planning for individual health management. Client Background The client, Good Nutrition Ideas, is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting healthy lifestyles. Their mission is to empower people with disabilities and older adults with nutritional support needs. The mobile app My Meals, My Way was created in collaboration with InspiringApps to aid in this mission, streamlining meal planning and responding directly to diverse and complex dietary needs. Project Goals & Challenges The primary objective of this project was to create a digital platform that makes meal planning accessible to everyone, including users with disabilities. Embracing WCAG, W3C, and Apple Accessibility for Developers, the team followed a strict and comprehensive list of standards, which included the POUR principles: Perceivable: Information is presented in multiple ways (for example, text descriptions for images, captions, good color contrast). Operable: Users can navigate and interact with the app using various methods (e.g., clear structure, descriptive links, and keyboard accessibility). Understandable: The app’s interface and content are easy to comprehend (in other words, clear instructions, consistent design, and plain language). Robust: It is compatible with various assistive technologies and user needs (e.g., descriptive metadata and accessibility testing). A key challenge involved structuring the founders’ extensive knowledge of food types and meal portions into a back-end data system that could be translated into a clear and accessible UI for users with assistive technologies. Design & Development Process The InspiringApps team—comprised of development, design, and project management professionals—worked hand-in-hand with Good Nutrition Ideas to bring the My Meals, My Way app to life. The success of our development process was driven by weekly check-ins with the client from start to completion, with design and development teams working closely together. The team used wireframes early on and conducted regular accessibility audits of the codebase and user interface, using cutting-edge Apple tools to ensure a comprehensive, efficient, and repeatable testing process. The app’s development was characterized by its iterative nature, allowing for ongoing improvements. Key questions were addressed throughout, such as the design and development approach stressing a user-focused methodology and regular pivot points to integrate feedback, including accessibility feedback. Inclusive Design Features The app development and design were driven by a commitment to both accessibility and user feedback. Inclusive features include: Custom Profiles: Users can create profiles unique to their dietary and eating needs, which adds a sense of personalization. Animated Tutorial Videos: Embedded videos guide users through using parts of the app. They include AI-generated voiceovers and captions for added accessibility. Dynamic Type: Compatible fonts and scalable UI elements give users the ability to set preferred reading sizes. Text Descriptions & Captions: All images include text descriptions for users with visual impairments, while closed captions and transcripts accompany video content. High Color Contrast: Additional tones have been added for higher color contrast, in case a user has that accessibility setting turned on their native phone. Operable Navigation: The app features a clear structure with headings and descriptive links and is fully navigable via keyboard inputs. Intuitive User Experience: The app is crafted to be understandable, with clear directions, consistent design, and plain language throughout the platform. “The content presented in the app is highly dependent on the user’s unique profile and needs, and there are clear actions that are suggested based on the time of day. I also implemented animated tutorials that guide the user on how to use certain parts of the app. So the storytelling piece is brought into that as well.”—BECCA COLLINS, UI/UX DESIGNER, INSPIRINGAPPS Rigorous Accessibility Testing To ensure the app’s accessibility for all users, the team employed a comprehensive testing approach that combined automated tools, accessibility audits, user feedback, and quality assurance (QA) across multiple platforms and teams. Results & Impact Empowering users to take control of their dietary needs, My Meals, My Way concentrates on nurturing self-sufficiency in nutrition and fostering support systems by enabling users to effortlessly share their dietary plans with caregivers, enhancing compliance and enjoyment of meals. Currently available for iOS and iPad devices, My Meals, My Way extends its reach with a free month trial, encouraging users to experience comprehensive support for healthy living first-hand. “Working with the InspiringApps team of designers and developers was an excellent first app experience for us. They were already familiar with accessibility issues in apps and app development, and they continued to learn and deliver on this app directed at people with disabilities. We anticipate working with them again, which is the best recommendation there is!”—GOOD NUTRITION, INC. The app’s development was partly supported by a notable grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), underscoring its commitment to accessibility and empowerment for individuals with disabilities. Get the App Improve your health and quality of life by simplifying healthy, balanced eating with My Meals, My Way. Download My Meals, My Way here, on the App Store.

1 month ago

AI Artificial Intelligence

Apple’s WWDC 2024: The Sky’s the Limit With a Beyond-Mobile Future

Image Source: Apple WWDC 2024 Keynote Future-worthy or failing to meet the moment? Rocked by copyright and labor issues with generative AI, many, especially creatives, are wary of big tech. However, Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote aimed to address these concerns head-on, introducing a suite of AI-powered features designed to enhance user experience while prioritizing privacy and security.  Was it a cringe-worthy attempt to jump on the AI bandwagon, or did Apple manage to provide a template for the responsible integration of AI into our daily lives? Let’s take a closer look. Apple’s Personal Intelligence One of the most significant announcements at Apple’s WWDC keynote was the introduction of “Apple Intelligence,“ a suite of AI-powered features designed to enhance the user experience across Apple’s ecosystem. This marks a significant step forward in AI integration, as Apple aims to create a more intuitive and personalized experience while prioritizing user privacy. “Apple’s continued innovation in AI and user experience is setting the stage for the future of enterprise marketing.” —STEPHANIE MIKULS, DIRECTOR OF BRAND MARKETING, INSPIRINGAPPS Enhanced Siri Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, has undergone a major upgrade with the introduction of Apple Intelligence. Users will be able to communicate with Siri in whatever way feels most natural, whether through voice commands or typing. Siri’s capabilities have been expanded thanks to its extensive product knowledge and the new App Intents API for developers. This API enables Siri to take actions across various apps, making it a more versatile and powerful tool for users.  For example, users can ask Siri to perform specific tasks within third-party apps, such as “Order my usual pizza from my favorite restaurant app.“ System-Wide Writing Tools Another significant component of Apple Intelligence is the introduction of system-wide writing tools powered by AI. These tools offer a range of features designed to make the writing process more efficient and enjoyable, including the ability to rewrite, proofread, and summarize text. One of the features is the “Rewrite“ tool, which suggests alternative ways to phrase sentences or paragraphs. The tool offers multiple suggestions, allowing users to choose the one that best fits their intended tone and message. The “Proofread“ tool helps users identify and correct grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and stylistic inconsistencies. And finally, the “Summarize“ tool can condense long passages of text into concise summaries, making it easier for users to quickly grasp the main points of an article or document. Image Generation Apple Intelligence also introduces new possibilities for image generation and manipulation. Genmoji, in particular, allows users to create custom emoji characters based on their own appearance and style. By leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms, Genmoji can generate many emoji variations that capture the user’s likeness and personality. Image Playground is a more extensive tool that enables users to create and edit images using natural language phrases. Users can describe the image they want to create, and Image Playground will generate a corresponding visual based on that description. In addition to these creative tools, Apple Intelligence includes the Clean Up tool in the Photos app. This feature uses AI to analyze and edit images based on natural language phrases. For example, users can ask the Clean Up tool to “Remove the background“ or “Make the colors more vibrant,“ and the AI will automatically apply the requested changes. Privacy & Security While the AI features introduced are impressive, Apple has made it clear that they are built on a foundation of privacy and security. On-device processing means that most AI tasks are performed locally on the user’s device rather than being sent to the cloud for processing. This approach minimizes the personal data that leaves the device, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches. Private Cloud Compute is a privacy-preserving technology that allows certain AI tasks to be performed in the cloud without compromising user privacy. When data is sent to the cloud for processing, it is encrypted and anonymized, ensuring it cannot be linked back to individual users. This enables Apple to leverage the power of cloud computing for more complex AI tasks while still maintaining a high level of privacy protection. By prioritizing privacy and security, Apple sets a strong example for the industry and demonstrates that AI can be implemented responsibly and trustworthy. This commitment to user privacy will likely be a key differentiator for Apple as more consumers become aware of the importance of protecting their personal data. “I’m glad to see Apple’s privacy-centric generative AI strategy. They favor on-device processing when possible, share limited context data with their own servers without storing it after processing, and require an explicit opt-in from users before sharing it with third parties.”—BRAD WEBER, CEO, INSPIRINGAPPS The Power of Integration Another potential strength of Apple’s approach to AI is the company’s tight integration. Apple emphasized the importance of empowering developers to create intelligent, AI-driven apps that integrate deeply with the Apple ecosystem. “Apple’s bolstered app suite may soon replace tools with a small moat. So I can access my iPhone and its apps from my Mac. These ‘beyond mobile’ applications are enticing for users and a call to action for digital product owners—we can leverage the Apple Intelligence framework to make our products seamless in the AI future. It’s time to get started now!” —KRISTIN MOLINA, MARKETING MANAGER, INSPIRINGAPPS At InspiringApps, we believe that the responsible integration of AI into digital products is essential for creating user-centric experiences that drive business success. If you want to learn more about how AI can benefit your business, we invite you to contact InspiringApps for a personalized consultation. Together, we can build a future where AI and human creativity work hand-in-hand to create products and experiences that inspire, educate, and delight.

1 month ago

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