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Ranjitha Kumar

What is Rico?

It's is a massive apps database anywhere, with 72,219 user interfaces from 9,772 Android apps across 27 Google Play categories.

How would you explain this to ninth-graders?

It's about delivering the best user experience, being able to compare different ways somebody can provide that experience and measure how well the design of an app works. With other data, you can build models where they generate, for example, a good login screen. But you don't have to make every login screen yourself; you can start tweaking it from other apps.

Why did you choose this project?

This is all about user experience and interaction. I learned a lot from starting an earlier company. We're building a web service where we can understand all the interactions. We can capture all this data without messing with the code of the app itself. Now we can do performance metrics — which design pattern is best for doing a task. Being able to collect this data and connect to user performance, we can measure the user experience.

What is your innovation?

Rico began gathering data last year. First, we downloaded almost 100,000 apps, then set up about 10 Android phones to test the apps. When you have a new project, you look at other apps doing similar things by hand. This is slow and inefficient. We are working on ways to improve the user experience without requiring access to the app's code. Designers are likely to look only at what they know. You have to look beyond your horizon. A developer of, say, a diabetes app, might try to limit her time and expense by looking first — and perhaps only — at other similar medical apps. What if you want to log the meal you just ate? That's found in other apps; a diabetes management app is different from a food-blogging app. Someone may have a better approach you should be using as a reference.

Have you ever made mistakes?

My experience has been littered with mistakes; if you don't make mistakes, you don't learn. My biggest mistake was when I was doing my Ph.D. dissertation. A designer came up to me after a talk and said, "maybe this is something we should turn into a company." My co-founders and I all are all computer scientists, and we had never taken a business class. We tried three business models, but consumers didn't want to pay money for it. Our services were useful, but users expected it to be free. You have to have a business model; it needs to be as viable business.Read more at:mermaid formal dresses | princess formal dresses

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