ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

ToMetric – UX oriented unit converter for Windows Phone

5/13/2011 2:43:47 PM

screenshot1screenshot2screenshot4screenshot3

I’ve released a new little app for Windows Phone. What it does is converts various values in US units into metric values understood by the rest of the world (well, almost).

Why another unit converter?

There are lots of unit converters in the marketplace already. Most of them convert from/to more unit types than my app does. The problem with all of  them is in the user experience. Here are some of the screenshots taken at random from the list linked above.

99f9ccf0-c605-4d9a-816d-442b912988c7cb932775-b245-466c-8604-6f565c7c4e63de274983-2dbe-467b-8309-9c026d26e09d0fea7896-28f5-4c84-9e30-9474b2f77a49

Most of them (all?) have slightly different UIs but follow the same flow: select type/category of units (length, weight, etc.), select “from” units in that category, select “to” units in that category, enter value … profit. Some go a little bit further and don’t ask you for the “to” units but convert the value to all possible units in that category.

Really? Do you really care that 5 oz. is 1.417×10^(-4) t.? Or do you like navigating through menus, making 7 taps just to find out how many is that in grams (the most logical metric equivalent for that value)? And if you are, say, European, how often do you want to convert something from metric units as opposed to to metric?

Honestly looking the results up on Wolfram Alpha would take less time than using an app like that. And I thought the selling point of native apps was user experience.

So that, combined with the fact that I had the core functionality already developed for this web app/IE accelerator (yes, talk about power of Silverlight on the phone and .NET code reuse), led to the creation of this simple app that let’s you do the trick up to 10 times faster than most of the advanced unit converters in the market.

And when it can’t help you it let’s you quickly look up the answer on the internet.

And yes, it’s one way only. And it’s on purpose. Another app for my American friends is coming.

Check out this video comparing how most of the conventional unit converters work with ToMetric

Like this? Download ToMetric for Windows Phone. It’s free.

Tags: ,

blog comments powered by Disqus
Copyright © 2003 - 2018 Alan Mendelevich
Powered by BlogEngine.NET 2.5.0.6