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Do-It-Yourself Apps: Where to Start

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Do-It-Yourself Apps: Where to Start

  1. 1. Drew RamseyProduct Manager, MobileSmithApril 18, 2013Do-It-Yourself Mobile Apps: Where toStart?
  2. 2. Who is MobileSmith:• DIY mobile app developmentplatform• Cloud-based app management• Full app lifecycle – from cradle tocradleWho is Drew:• Head of Product Team at MobileSmith• 7 years of experience creating custommobile apps for iOS and Android• Recognized industry expert on bestpractice standards in mobile applicationdevelopment and mobile strategy1
  3. 3. Today We Will Explore:• The step-by-step processfrom Idea to App• Best practices of appstoryboarding andwireframing• Your app looks great;what next?2
  4. 4. Key Steps of App Creation3IdeaRequirementsDumpWireframe Mockup DevelopmentTestingGood planning great app And vice versa!
  5. 5. Step 1: Idea!4• Check in the app stores: are there any appsalready doing it? NO I may have a great app idea! Yes Can I improve the way they’re doing it?• Could my idea be accomplished via amobile website?• Your app could be denied by Apple• Not a good use of resources• Will the app connect to any data sources?• May require involvement of IT dept.Yes!Yes
  6. 6. Step 2: Requirements Dump5• Put down everything you wantin your app, in bullet points• Group similar bullet points; whittlethem down to make sense• Pick out 1-2 key features to bethe centerpiece of your app• Pick 2-3 secondary features• Dump the rest!
  7. 7. Something to consider during Steps 1-2:One or Several Apps?6• What audience am I trying toreach with my app?• Could it be too broad?• Any there too manyfeatures in my app?• Diluted apps are not user-friendly• Do I have any secondary featurestoo good to dump?
  8. 8. Step 3: Storyboarding7• Sketch your requirements as pages (views):• Start with the root view (Home page)• List all the generic views• NO workflow; NO interfaces at this point!• Get a clear view of all the pages:10 or 100 pages? - Too many or too few?HOMEArticleInputList ofArticlesBlogArticleGalleryShareon FBEtc.
  9. 9. Step 4: Wireframing8Tools we use:• Pen & paper• Visio, Pencil,Balsamiq, etc.Draw the screensof your app:• Page layouts• Navigation elements• App flow• Detailed notes
  10. 10. Wireframing: Best Practices9• Lay out each page from yourstoryboard: buttons, nav bar, tabs,maps, images, media…• Write in notes and arrows for pagetransitions• Describe everything in detail!• Use graphic designer and developerto ensure feasibility• Review wireframes with people onyour team least familiar with mobile
  11. 11. Avoid these common UX pitfalls:10• Lengthy tutorials (90% will beforgotten immediately)• Forcing user signup too early,before showing value• Ignoring iOS and AndroidUI conventions• Flashy visual elementswithout context or purpose• Lengthy forms
  12. 12. Ensuring the Best User Experience11• Keep in mind the user goals of your app(see your 1-2 key features)• Tap through your wireframe: Can the user achieve each goal in 4-5 clicks? Do I have all the necessary screens and buttons? Do all screens/elements have a purpose? Can the user navigate home easily? Easy ways to view & input dataUSER EXPERIENCE: FUNCTIONALITY:50% 50%
  13. 13. Step 5: Mockup12• Your designer creates page #1in Photoshop using definedcolor scheme• You approve design: colors,shapes, images, font etc.• Secondary pages are createdand approved• MobileSmith has in-builtdesign best practices for iOSand AndroidSAVES 50% OF TIME!
  14. 14. Step 6: Prototype & Review13• Option 1: review screenshots• Option 2: review prototypeon your device:• “Build for testing” on MobileSmith• Send the prototype OTA to yourcolleagues or clients• Review; change design/layout;rebuild; test again!• Refine the UI/UX at minimum cost• Forge your App!
  15. 15. : Where We Fit12 Pure Custom App Development• The most expensive option• Requires development team• High long-term costs• Slow development• Limited creative input fromstakeholders Template Based App• Low level creativity• Limited functionality• Lowest common denominator• No branding, no security MobileSmith• You own the entire processthrough completion• Rapid prototyping & development• Custom product at much lower cost• Multiple apps instead of just one• Minimal long-term cost
  16. 16. 6 ‘Musts’ of a Truly Useful App16• Custom-developed for yourtarget audience• Works on major platforms• Secure and reliable• Easy to manage• Easy to update or redesign• Fun to use!. .
  17. 17. 17Request a Live Demo TodayAnd Start Building!919.237.4218Questions?

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