Translating The Initial Idea Into User Stories, Wireframes & Design
Since we were working with an external iOS developer we made sure to spec everything out clearly. We first drew wireframes with correct proportions using Omnigraffle and the very useful iPhone Stencils, discussed the flows within our team and finally had a call with the developer. The wireframes with annotated bulletpoints (we simply pasted those in a Google Doc) gave the developer enough insight to make us a proposal.
After agreeing on scope and price we then went on to design the screens in Photoshop. Even though flat design was not a buzzword at the time we wanted to make the app as simple as possible with the least visible design.
The focus of our mobile apps is on easy entry, fast accessibility through search and good readability. Not on fancy graphics, gradients and the likes.
Hit Milestones & Don’t Overcomplicate
The first milestone consisted in a proof of concept: making sure the communication between thinkery’s sync API and the iOS app works, and, the list of things was visible.
The second milestone was all about the different userflows, views and action elements of the app. Also we implemented the final look of the app including typography, graphics and icons.
The third milestone took about as long as the first two and focused solely on polishing the user interface (margins, font sizes, performance optimisations), making sure all bugs were ironed out, and, producing all needed materials for the app store release.
We uploaded the app to the app store on June 11th, 2013. A week later, on June 18th, we got a notification that Apple is currently reviewing the app (we also included a demo account for Apple to check out the app with a proper user), and, a couple of hours later the status was “Ready for Sale“. Yeah, it takes approximately a week, if everything goes well with the review.
After The Launch Is Before The Launch
The next day after the app was officially available we already saw people downloading it, and, giving us valuable reviews on the app store which is kind of awesome. Thanks! It is actually pretty surprising if you consider that we hadn’t done any marketing (no blog, tweet or facebook post, …).
Now that the app is live we are already thinking about improvements for the next version.
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