Blueshire Services Ltd

The Solihull Center App

 

 

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction - Defining The Design

2. Design Solution

3. Offers

4. Events

5. Getting Here

6. Find Stores - Mell Square

7. Find Stores - Touchwood

8. Find Stores - High Street

9. Store Screens

10. The Menu Options

11. Misc.

Appendix A - Technical Information

 

1. Introduction - Defining The Design

 

The Solihull Center at Solihull grew in the post war period with the addition of the Mell Square shopping center and more recently in 2001 with the addition of the Touchwood shopping mall. The SolihullCenter app is designed with the intention of extending the experience of those intending to shop at Solihull Center. It is designed for Android based smart phones.

 

2. Design Solution

 

The adaption that has been utilised is the use of a view pager. This allows a number of pages to be set side by side with each page occupying the screen display until the user swipes the screen from left to right or right to left. This will result in the next screen on the left or right as the case may be from being scrolled replacing the existing screen. The six pages that make up the view pager are displayed in the diagram below.

 

 

Each of the six pages has buttons that allow the user to drill down to obtain further infomation on the specific subject of the page header.

 

The six pages include information on the six main areas that the app provides information for the users benefit. These six areas are as follows:-

To assist the user in navigating the view pager a group of six radio buttons is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Each is highlighted when the specific page is displayed thereby allowing the user to immediately identify which page is being displayed. For instance when the the second page is being displayed the second radio button is highlighted.

 

In addition at the side of the six radio button group there are arrow icons that if present indicates if one can swipe for an additional screen on both the left and right side.

 

 

3. Offers

 

The "Offers" screen includes one option entitled "View All Offers" which when touched displays all of the the current offers in a scrollable screen display as shown on Screen 2 below. Touching any of the displayed offers results in details of the specific offer being displayed on its own screen as shown in Screen 3 below.

 

 

Pressing the return key will result in the previous screen to return. Alternatively touching the Home key will result in the Offers entry screen being displayed.

 

4. Events

 

The Events screen includes just the one option entitled "View All Events" which when touched displays all of the current events in a scrollable screen display as shown below in Screen 2. Touching any of the displayed offers results in details of the specific offer being displayed in its own screen as shown in Screen 3 below.

 

 

Pressing the return key will result in the previous screen to return. Alternatively touching the Home key will result in the Offers entry screen being displayed.

 

 

5. Getting Here

 

The "Getting Here" screen has two options each of which can be actioned by touching the option. The first option "Car Park Information gives the user a screen with general information on the car parking options together with other options on how to get to Touchwood.This option is shown as screen 2 below.

The second option "Car Park Map" gives the user a screen displaying a map of Solihull town centre together with the location of all the town centre car parks. This is shown as screen 3 below.

 

 

On touching any of the car park markers on the screen a dialog will be displayed showing the front of the specific car park. In addition the marker that has been pressed will change from orange color to purple. On entering the "View Details" button as shown on screen 4 above, the full car park information will be displayed as shown in screen 5 below.

 

6. Find Stores - Mell Square

 

The "Find Stores" has two options, the first option "Shopping" results in the Touchwood shoping complex map being displayed with marker icons for each shop being displayed. The second option "Dine and Relax" also displays the Touchwood shopping complex but with the dining places shown as markers being displayed on the map.

 

 

In each instance touching the marker icon opens up a dialogue box that is described in Section 9, Store Screens, detailed below.

 

7. Find Stores - Touchwood

 

The "Touchwood" screen has three options. The, "View All Opening Times" results in a screen that gives details on the opening times for the shops and restaurants within the Touchwood shopping mall. This is shown as Screen 2 below.

 

The second option, "Shopping" when touched, will result in the stylised map of the Touchwood mall being displayed. This will contain marker icons for each of the retail outlets. The third option, "Dine and Relax" will display the same map but with the eating establishments marked by the icon.

 

 

In each instance touching the marker icon opens up a dialogue box that is described in Section 9, Store Screens, detailed below.

 

8. Find Stores - High Street

 

The High Street option is identical to the Mell Square option. It has two options to choose from, Shopping and Dine & Relax. Both options display the High Street map. On the first the shops are displayed and on the second the Cafe's and Restaurants.

 

 

In each instance touching the marker icon opens up a dialogue box that is described in Section 9, Store Screens, detailed below.

 

9. Store Screens

 

The first of the Store screens is the dialogue box shown as Screen 1 below. This displays the store name as the header and then a photo of the store below. There are two buttons in the dialogue box, the first, Return, returns the user back to the map closing the dialogue display. The second, View Details, displays the main store display screens which are shown in Screen 2 to 4. below.

 

 

At the top of the Store Screen is the page number together with the total number of pages. This can vary from store to store and is dependent on the individual store. There are two types of pages. The standard page shown above as Screen 2 and Screen 3 consists of some text followed by an image.

 

The second type is the same as the first type but with additional digital links. Here the following links can be found:-

 

Located above the digital links section is the store phone number. Touching the button with the phone icon will call the number. Below that is a checkbox with Display Name. If the box is checked then the name of the store will be displayed on the map. This could be useful if the user wants to highlight a specific store/cafe.

 

10. The Menu Options

 

In addition to the main screen options the app includes a menu option. This is displayed when the menu icon is touched. The menu icon is displayed in the top right hand corner and consists of three dots placed vertical one above the other.

 

 

 

The menu has two formats. The first shown as screen 1 above displays all the screen options and the hierarchy below. This allows the direct movement between screens bypassing the intermediate screens. The second format occurs on the map screens and is shown on screen 2 above. The menu for these screens display the description of the markers displayed on the map. In the example above this is the map of the shops and the menu gives a list of all the shop names. In the case of the dining page it displays the names of all the eating locations. The car park map menu displays the names of the car parks.

 

One point of interest, on each of the menu's for the map screens, at the bottom of the menu after all of the icon entries is an additional entry, "Reset Screen". This will reset the screen parameters to their default values. The default values are zero zoom and the top left of the map positioned at the top left of the screen display.

 

In addition to the main menu all of the screens below the top layer have the "Home" option icon displayed on the top bar and touching this takes the user to the top layer, the specific screen will depend on where they are currently located. It will be the screen at the highest level from their current position.

 

 

11. Misc.

 

Under the main menu is the section "Misc" which has the following four entries :-

 

 

The first menu item, "Fetch New Offers" accesses the server and will update the offers with new offers or if previous offers are no longer valid will remove them. There is no screen display for this option but it will update the log file.

 

The second menu item, "Display Log" will display the event log. Screen 1 above gives a display of the screen log. It displays the entries in a scrollable format with the most recent at the top.

 

The third option "Clear Log" clears down the log table removing all the entries. There is no screen display for this option.

 

The fourth and final option "Version Info" displays a dialogue as shown in Screen 2 above which displays the Version No. and assosciated infomation.

 

 

Appendix A - Technical Information

Solihull Center has been developed in Android Java and requires a minimum of Android api of 14. This is Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.