(This article is part of the ongoing series [we’re making an app!])

For our first milestone, the team decided on the core functionality of the app. This turned out to be a short list of items defining features and behaviors necessary to produce the app that was in our minds.

On the design front we did a lot of drawing with a marker on whiteboard, as well as with iPad and Pencil. That turned out to be a lot of fun and helped us to express some of the ideas floating in our heads and give them better-defined shapes.

One very positive side effect was that it suddenly became rather easy to envision some of the differences that would separate our app from its competitors. My advice for anyone struggling with a muddy vision of their future product: grab a pen and start doodling. Something that you like is sure to turn up, and at the very least you can expect to find your way, a direction for the project to go in will present itself.

Of course those experiments also led to some discovery of differing opinions about how to handle certain layout problems. Lively discussions that led to a good blend of multiple visions. Working on layouts, including how they look on various devices, orientations, locales etc. is usually a task I’m not super comfortable with. I’m giving this project my best effort, working for the first time with Apple’s user interface constraints and Auto Layout. People do amazing things with that stuff and I hope to improve my own skills with it.

It’s good to see things take shape, even if it’s not entirely clear yet what the final result will be.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this, maybe you’ll find the other articles in the series interesting too:

Categories: Development

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