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Making a Sex Positive Smartphone App
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Making a Sex Positive Smartphone App


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Keith Van Norman of the University of Oregon Health Center reviews lessons learned while developing a sexpositive smartphone app for university students. Presented at YTH Live 2014 session "Apps for …

Keith Van Norman of the University of Oregon Health Center reviews lessons learned while developing a sexpositive smartphone app for university students. Presented at YTH Live 2014 session "Apps for Sexual Health: Lessons Learned in Development."

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  • 1. Things I learned while making the SexPositive smartphone app Keith Van Norman University of Oregon Health Center April 6-8, 2014 San Francisco, CA Annual Conference on Youth + Tech + Health  
  • 2. Quick Audience Poll Have an app? Want an app? Code apps? Just curious?
  • 3. 4 things you need to know: •  It’s Free •  It’s Awesome •  “SexPositive” is one word •  You should download it now
  • 4. About Me •  Graphic Designer for 18 years •  Primarily for publishing companies •  UO Health Center for 4 years •  Marketing •  Graphic Design •  Website Curation (via CMS) •  Problem Solver for 38 years •  Zoey’s Human for 2.5 years •  Apps Developed before SexPositive: 0
  • 5. My daughter says we need an app! You’re good with the computers, make me one! The one thing I already knew: Bring me a problem, not the answer
  • 6. The Problem: Crickets
  • 7. The Answer: An inclusive, random “Question Generator” for student presentations
  • 8. The Process: What needed to happen? 1.  University Approval 2.  Generate Content 3.  App Development 4.  Marketing Optimally, these things would occur
 in order, one after the other
  • 9. Thing I learned #1: If the app was going to launch in 15 months, 
 all 4 would have to happen at the same time
  • 10. Thing I learned #2: There are thousands of resources on a university campus. These resources are in silos. Look in every silo.
  • 11. Thing I learned #3: Identify Stakeholders. Think outside the chain of command. Customize every pitch.
  • 12. Thing I learned #4: Pick my battles.
  • 13. Thing I learned #5: Clearly define content parameters. Scope Creep is the enemy.
  • 14. Thing I learned #6: Use a 3rd party editor for consistent style/voice
  • 15. Thing I learned #7: Every decision counts: I need to get the most for my audience using the resources I have. Development Decision #1 Native v. HTML5 v. Hybrid v. ?
  • 16. Thing I learned #8: Test usability 
 early and often
  • 17. Thing I learned #9: Make it easy for users to provide feedback and plan for at least 2 short-term revisions… and one long-term revision.
  • 18. Thing I learned #10: Getting approval for sexual health content on an IOS app will make you reconsider your career path.
  • 19. Thing I learned #11: Create videos using screenshots and mockups 
 as early as possible. Update along the way.
  • 20. Thing I learned #12: Own your truth. Know your audience and don’t feed the trolls.
  • 21. Things I learned as a person: •  It’s OK to giggle and laugh (at one’s self or a situation). Although my conversations about sex have become less awkward over time, nothing salvages an awkward meeting like permission to laugh. •  Keep my wife in the loop. It’s one thing to talk about sex positivity at work and quite another to talk about it over dinner at your in-law’s house. •  It isn’t enough to notice my privilege, I have to leverage it.
  • 22. Keith Van Norman Health Promotion Marketing Manager University of Oregon @SexPositiveUO HealthyUO