I love Apple products. My daily business life revolves around iOS and OSX. I owned at least 1 or more generations of every product Apple has released since Jobs came back to the company. I’m a UX/UI designer, so Apples aestethic tickles my emotions. A handful of my readers may argue with me, but it’s just a much better computer overall to use.
I feel Apple has really failed when it comes to iTunes, and more specifically the iOS App Store. It’s not built for discovery at all, and don’t even get me started with trying to sift through all the garbage that exists. It’s a trash heap of over 15,000 new apps per week.
I spent about 3 hours one night with a friend bitching and evangalizing all the ideas I had to make the App Store better. Most people would stop there, but my brain doesn’t work that way. The first thing I ask myself is Can I solve this problem? Do I have the skills and/or means to do so?
I broke down the idea to a point in which I could piece together a Minimum Viable Product by taking the most crucial ideas I had and threw everything else on the backburner for the time being.
I knew I wanted an inbox (email/rss) style concept, so I could track keywords and developers I was interested in. I knew I wanted it to be simple and clean.
Step 1: Was there an API where I could import the App Store data? Apple doesn’t make that so easy, but luckily I found a 3rd party API.
Step 2: What platform would I do it on? iOS? Web App? Desktop App? Well, iOS wasn’t an option though it would make the most sense. I have been through the App Store submission process before and I know this would not get approved. I already have the skills to build the idea as a web app, but I really like the idea of a desktop app. I had recently came across Appcelerator Titanium, which would allow me to use my current web technolgy skillset and turn it into a native desktop app.
Step 3: Design iterations. First I wireframed the layout / UI in photoshop, then coded the iteration 1 of the design. Afterward, I sent it so a good friend @maxart in Bangkok who is one of the best designers I know to clean it up and add some cool trickery.
Step 4: After I was happy with the design, I sent it to one of my programmers to get everything working together nicely and integrate the API.
Step 5: I decided the name “Sifter” wasn’t going to work. I had an idea to add a ‘saved’ folder so people could save apps they liked to go view later in iTunes. I changed the folder to a “Crate” and named the app the same. My luck, CrateApp.com was available.
The amount of hours from concept till launch is somewhere under 30 hours total including the time of the other designer, programmer, and icon illustrator, and actual total costs so far is under $500. We will be launching soon, and just by posting some screenshots around, we’re starting to get a little buzz.
The point of this post, is that vetting ideas aren’t that hard and doesn’t cost much money or time.
“Good things come to those who wait; Great things come to those who get off thier ass and do something about it”.
To Be Continued…