When we first had the idea to develop FAMnerd, one of the first things we did was to see if someone had already developed a FAM iPhone app.
They had. I was bummed.
But after we took a closer look at the apps available, we realized we didn’t like any of them. The point of having a FAM app on your iPhone was to make charting easier, not to make it more cumbersome and less useful.
Here are some of the things we didn’t like about the other FAM iPhone apps, and why we created FAMnerd the way we did.
- Using a calendar view to display FAM information. A calendar view serves absolutely no purpose in FAM. All of the signs you record in FAM exist to be put into a chart format, so you can see the big picture of fertility changes over time. A calendar doesn’t help with this at all.
- When you use calendar view you’re forced to squeeze a pile of information onto a teeny tiny date on a calendar. The app developers had to create a legend of colors and shapes to represent detailed FAM information on the calendar, but if you don’t know what each color or shape represents, you’re out of luck. Icons used in FAM charting should be intuitive; you shouldn’t need a legend.
- The interface for entering FAM information didn’t make any sense. Why use a touchpad to enter in 9-7-.-3 when you can use a scrollwheel to quickly choose your temperature? We wanted to use existing iPhone interfaces so you wouldn’t have to learn anything new to use FAMnerd.
- One app forced us to create a password that we would have to enter every single time we opened the app. We understand that some people will want a password to protect their intimate fertility data, but not everyone will. You should be able to set a password if you want to, but the app shouldn’t force you into it.
- Another app incorporated surprisingly nice design elements. The developers had obviously worked with a designer to make sure that the app didn’t look like a 4th grade science project. But the designer allowed the graphic elements to take over the app, to the point that part of the screen was always obscured by the pretty design. We like pretty, but we also want to be able to see the whole screen. The iPhone ain’t huge and there isn’t any room for wasted space when you’re displaying the detailed information that FAM requires.
- The charts were TERRIBLE! The whole point of charting is to create a CHART. The design of the charts wasn’t pleasing and the icons didn’t make sense. None of the charts were interactive, so if you wanted to edit data for a particular day you had to go all the way back to the data entry screen. We wanted to be able to tap on a day on FAMnerd’s chart, pull up all the information entered on that day and edit it, if necessary. Plus we wanted the chart to be pretty. The chart is what you’re going to use to assess your fertility, so we wanted it to look nice and make sense.
So after looking through all the existing iPhone apps for the Fertility Awareness Method, we decided we’d just have to make our own. We hope you’ll enjoy using FAMnerd.