#PMChallenge : Independent App Volume Control

  1. SamrajAgarwal
    Cupcake Feb 21, 2019

    SamrajAgarwal , Feb 21, 2019 :
    Product Requirements Document

    1. Problem statement and the need

    “With great power comes great responsibility”

    This statement is now relevant to the mobile industry than ever before. With the ever-increasing power of our smartphones and multiple program handling capability at a single moment, a lot of users have been trained to become a multitasker consuming media on various platforms simultaneously. Media consists of broadly two parts namely, visual and audio. With the ability to multitask a user can view more than one application at a time and the visuals are handled with split screen view mode.

    But, the audio can be consumed without any use of screen real estate yet there is a lack of a multi-volume controller. With the increase in multitasking, people prefer some app playing in the background while working on some other application at the moment. Exact use cases are described in the next part of the document.

    2. Target Users

    Anyone who multitasks or switches in between apps frequently. Be it multiple apps in split screen or apps in background and foreground. One huge chunk of such people is Mobile Gamers who are increasing in numbers at a seriously fast rate. A lot of them tend to combine playing with some background apps which may be either for relaxing such as music players or for work such as podcasts and audiobooks.

    Other part of multitaskers are content consumers which may include social media, news, personal messaging, etc. Each of these apps has media available in them but not everyone wants to hinder what’s playing in their ears at a max volume every time they encounter any video on such apps. Maybe some things are less important than others or maybe the user doesn’t want the flow of what’s already being played to be broken in between by some other media.

    So the user base is everyone ranging from gamers to workaholics to content consumers. Basically, everyone who has to deal with multiple audios in apps simultaneously.

    3. Proposed solution

    The solution is to create a native volume controller which can control the volume of each app open at that instance independently with just a press of volume slider. Currently, only a single universal volume slider governs the media volume of all apps. The revamped interface will display all the apps at once and the user can change the volume of each application according to his/her own preference. The settings will be saved and remain unchanged until the user decides otherwise.

    With just a press of the volume button, a volume slider of the app open in the foreground at that instance will be shown and the user can adjust its volume manually. But for accessing apps open in the background, the user can hit the dropdown button to access the list. This does not remove the Ringer and Alarm volume sliders from the menu, just adds to it. In case no app is open in the background, ie. the user is at the home screen or lock screen or in a similar scenario, the volume of the last opened app (whose audio is still playing) will be shown at the top. And in case no app is open, ringer volume slider will be shown at the top.

    4. User Value

    In the modern age of fast living, nobody's got enough time to dwell deep into individual settings of each app and change the settings every time they open the app. People want these features to be made accessible and intuitive so that it can be used easily. This solution will help people in achieving that exactly. It also aligns with the blazing fast performance of the Oneplus phones and compliments it perfectly enabling the multitaskers to get more control on their hands at an instant.

    It happens often when someone is trying to focus on something for an instance and wants to lower the background audio; but due to the existing volume control system, it lowers the volume of the complete phone including the thing the user was trying to focus on. This causes a short-lived irritation in the user’s mind and the only option he/she is left with is to either pause it and then play it again. This process does not seem like an ideal way to handle the multitasking. The proposed design will swiftly take care of these situations with ease hence enhancing the user’s experience.

    5. Existing comparable feature

    There are a few apps which let the users handle this but all those are third-party applications and none of them provides a native inbuilt volume adjuster. For those to work, the user has to install them and open it every time he/she wishes to adjust the volume. That is very counterintuitive and distorts the actual intention of this feature. The user does not want just another app to perform such a simple task and a third party app will never be able to provide just smooth experience to the user.

    A prime example of such failure is screen recording apps. It’s a simple task, screen recording app exists, yet very limited number of people actually install them and go through the hassle of setup cause no one wants to fill up their phone with a bunch of apps and open them every time they need and it cause it just doesn’t feel right. It breaks the flow of the user and provides an incoherent experience.

    Lastly, I would like to thank @Gary C. for giving us this wonderful opportunity.

    Frame.png Frame-1.png Prototype (not final UI).gif
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019

  2. Moin2200
    KitKat Feb 21, 2019

    Moin2200 , Feb 21, 2019 :
    Not sure about the idea, but nice job on the presentation.

    Deepali_Bindal and SamrajAgarwal like this.
  3. SamrajAgarwal
    Cupcake Feb 22, 2019

    SamrajAgarwal , Feb 22, 2019 :
    Thanks, mate.
    I personally face this problem especially while playing games, many of us gamers want to listen to background songs while playing at lower volume.

    Deepali_Bindal likes this.