First Launch Experience

The Color debacle continues. This weekend I tweeted that their homepage was badly written, a post that prompted a reply from the founder. Hopefully they will be able to fix that soon since it’s not exactly a good first impression. Today though, I want to talk about another aspect of the app that didn’t quite work out : the experience you get the first time you launch the app.

The problem Color has is that the first time you launch it you get an empty page. The app presents you with photos taken by people around you and chances are there will be none when you first launch it unless the app becomes very popular. This is clearly a flaw in their product and the UX designer or the interaction designer should have thought of that.

When you design an app it’s important to think not only of the best-case scenario (for Color it’s when there’s a ton of interesting content around you) but also what happens in the worst case scenario. By not thinking about this, the team made a critical error. It meant very negative press by tech enthusiasts and pundits who used it on day one, it gave early adopters a bad experience and the end result is terrible ratings in iTunes and the product became the joke on Twitter.

It also doesn’t help that you can’t use or do anything before you give the app your name and take your photo, but the kicker is when their founder gave an interview saying:

Photo sharing is not our mission. We think it’s cool and we think it’s fun, but we’re a data mining company

So not only is the first-time use of your app terrible, but you don’t even care. Well, I guess that make it Ok.

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