Adding some 'Armour' to my app...
Back in September 2013 I attended the iOSDevUK developer conference at Aberystwyth University. This was my first big conference and certainty one i’ll remember for a very long time to come.
Mixing with other iOS dev’s for the first time was awesome to say the least, just the general chatter down the pub was itself invaluable.
But one talk in particular that I’ll always remember and which caused me to make subtle yet effective changes to my (at the time) in development app was by a guy called Mic Pringle (@micpringle).
Mic’s ‘Design Armoury’ talk pointed out some very interesting yet comforting points, that allowed you to say to yourself ‘it’s okay to do this’.
Below are a few points from Mic’s talk (in bold) that I applied to my DubCNN app during it’s final stages of development.
Consider other apps with similar functionality.
This was one of the ‘comfort moments’ I took from the talk, it’s something we all do but don’t like to take about. But as long as you do as the title states and look only at the ‘functionality’ rather than than the design, you'll find yourself not feeling as bad about it.
With my app I compared it to the Costa Coffee app and one thing I noticed was that the top navigation bar was always present throughout the app as it relied heavily on segues and tabs for navigation. As DubCNN ad a similar approach with segues, I adopted this pattern as originally I had opted for the home screen to omit any top navigation in order to give it more of a welcome/landing page feel.
I can honestly say as soon as I made the change it immediately transformed the app - giving it a real stable structure that was suddenly much more user friendly and gave a real sense of Familiarity to the app.
Another thing that became a real slap in the face was poor font choices & tiny tap spaces.
You would think things like this would go without saying, but after spending about half an hour flicking through fonts and testing tap spaces (with a pair of iTouch gloves on) the app once again takes another major leap forward.
Mic’s talk was full of many more valuable snippets - too many for me to go on about now, but with some quick changes from the above my app went from ‘yeah, I think it’s ready’ to ‘it’s ready'
My DubCNN app won’t by any means receive the same amount of interest as the previously mentioned Costa Coffee app, but with a healthy amount of followers and a steady amount of downloads - I've yet to receive any negative feedback regarding the app and/or it’s functionality.