Calendist

List style application for iOS

Calendist is a simple calendar app for iOS that focuses on nothing but necessity. The app offers a clean list-style interface with no additional bloat. Current calendar apps provide an unecessary amount of features— some of which we never use. Why add more to our already busy schedules?

The Problem and Background

The idea stemmed from the frustration of managing an unecessary amount of features within popular calendar apps. Apps such as Google Calendar prompt the user with numerous inputs for granular details such start time, end time, location, guests, and conferencing when simply just adding an event to the calendar. This raised the question, "what happened to the simplicity of a good old fashioned paper calendar?" It had the freshness of a clean slate, yet the flexibility to input anything. I wanted to solve the problem of busy calendar apps, by applying the traits of the paper calendar to technology.

Popular calendar app interfaces when adding a new event.
Desktop vs. Mobile

When thinking through how and when the user adds to a calendar, it became obvious almost immediately that this initially needed to be a mobile app. The ability of having your entire year in your pocket was too convincing. However, this choice came with a few hurdles. The small screen real estate raised a few challenges such as potenially having to limit the user to specific character counts, or only displaying a few days on the screen at once. This requiring some brainstorming around the interface and layout of the app.

Wireframes and Layout

When thinking through a calendar layout, you quickly land upon the idea of a table. Cells are dates, columns are days of the week, rows are the week in the month. Seems simple enough, and common enough for a user to understand quickly. However, this approach isn't best for a mobile device. Even on desktop, the real estate for content within each date is limited. This just wouldn't be possible without hindering the user experience.

Therefore, the thought of a list occured to me. A list would allow for unlimited vertical space for text within each day, and the user experience would only require scrolling– one of the most common, if not the most common user action nowadays. With this, the list approach seemed like the way to go with one potential area of concern. If a user wanted to navigate months into the future, it may require too much scrolling, and would take too long. This demanded a navigation treatment.

Right off the bat, an easy solution for navigation is search. Search would certainly add value to the user, allowing them to jump to specific events or filter to a certain type of event, but it's definitely not the best experience for browsing. The navigation needed to allow the user to browse, yet jump between months quickly. With those needs, the clear choice was a scroll bar similar to that in the iOS contacts app. This would provide the user with quick access to each month within the year at the tap or slide of a finger.

Wireframes for the default view and search view.
Final Design

The final design did not require much polish. The goal of this app was to keep the experience of adding events to your calendar straightforward and simple. Because of this, the interface was built using standard iOS components and colors. You can not get much more simple than providing the user with visual and interface design that's seamless with the operating system itself.

The default interface will open on the current day, but will still allow the user to scroll into the past.
The search interface will adjust as the user types, allowing them to filter on the fly.
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