I thought I should talk about the word “design” for a bit. It wasn’t until I became an engineer that I realized the word “design” can mean a lot outside of visual design. For example, framework design, overall project design, class design, essentially every aspect of engineering has a good “design” that the developer strives to achieve.
I used to be a web designer, though, so most of the time when I talk about “design,” unless explicitly stated otherwise, I will be talking about visual design. The look and feel and aesthetics of an application. And since I just finished the story for the holiday app, I will be exploring the design next.
In my experience, my child only really likes two kinds of apps. Let’s remember he’s only one and a half. Those two types of apps are:
- Mini games, like the Toca Boca apps. Short little minute or two sessions where the child simply has to tap certain things or drag shapes around the screen.
- Books, like the ones by Sandra Boynton, or the Monster at the End of This Book. Stories where the child can turn the page and tap on various characters to make them spin, move or make noise.
You can also combine these two types of apps to make stories where there’s a type of small game mid-way through the book. This is the type of app that I will create.
I became interested in the children’s book idea because there’s actually a lot involved. I’ll need to write a compelling story. I’ll also need to illustrate that story since this will be a picture book. And no app is complete without music, it can really breathe life to even the most mundane experience. Now, although I spent years of my life as a designer prior to developing, I have not done a single one of these things. And that’s what makes this exciting to me! The challenge!
Now I just came up with the idea to do a storybook the other day, so I haven’t thought out the entire app yet. But I do know certain things.
First, since this app is geared to be released by Christmas, it should have a holiday theme. It also needs to be relatively short since it’s a children’s book. And I want it to be neutral and not exclusive to any specific religion.
So I was thinking of making the protagonist (that’s the hero of the story) a snowman, that’s more of a winter theme and not individual to Christmas or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah. I also have the idea of the story including birds, birds that help the snowman do whatever it is he’ll have to do.
And watching my kid tap furiously at other apps, I was thinking that the mini-game could be a bunch of twinkle lights. Maybe they flash on and off on their own, but by tapping them you can force them on or off. Maybe turning one on turns others off. I’m sure there could be something fun there.
I’ll keep thinking about the story. I’ll need to nail that down soon so that I can start doing some illustration tests. More later!
Welcome to Sinceriously. I am a professional iOS developer and designer. I’ve been a full time iOS engineer for a little over a year and a half, and was a contract developer for years prior.
During all of this time I’ve only ever released one app for myself. Of the eight apps that I developed while a contractor, of which I was responsible for every single line of code, only one of those apps, a game, was developed out of a thought that grew from my own mind.
And now here I am, five years later, with a one and a half year old kid and far less time. Still, I always thought how great it would be for my own child to play an app that I created. After all, I do this for a living and he loves other apps, why wouldn’t he love mine?!
So, that’s what I’m going to do. Design and develop an app, entirely conceived by my own brain, and use this blog as a development journal of sorts. The app currently has no name, but I have an idea, and will go into those details in my next post. I’ll be developing for iOS 7, and so will not be able to divulge every detail due to the NDA (until iOS 7 is released of course), but expect a lot of discussions on code and the design process. I hope this becomes a great reference for newbie developers, so feel free to ask any questions you may have along the way.
I never get anything done without a deadline, so I’m planning for the app to be a holiday release available by Christmas this year. That gives me about five months to do everything. That should be enough time, but I’ll have to manage my time well. I’m going to attempt a lot of things that I’ve never done before, but that’s another reason for taking on this project! The new!
Wish me luck and look forward to my next post!