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The App Project Begins

For a few years now, I had been wanting to create iPhone apps. That’s part of the reason why I got my first Mac two and a half years ago. But with me starting a new job at Zynga a few months later, I had not had time to do any real personal projects.

Then recently, I realized that of course I cannot create an app from scratch in a timely manner (a month or two) when I have a full-time job. So, I decided to give myself a full year to work on it.

I’ve made a rough outline for the next 12 months to get myself organized, and I’m documenting my progress here to make sure I do what I promised. (Encouragement along the way is appreciated.)

I’ve given myself a pretty easy start this month, where I just have to figure out what app I want to make. And since I’ve never seriously coded in Objective-C before, I’m giving myself a lot more time (about six months) to code and about a month to do the visual designs.

Here’s the “12-Month Plan” as of today:

January

  • Outline basic timeline (which I just completed. Huzzah!)
  • Finalize Project idea
    • Weigh pros and cons for each idea
    • Consider usefulness of app and potential demographic
    • Consider difficulty to create app within time frame

February

  • Define Goals of App
    • Address Problems
    • Suggest Solutions
  • Look into offerings and limitations of iOS

March

  • Define Featureset
  • Begin Sketches
    • Flows
    • Wireframes
    • UX/Interactions
  • Refine Sketches to usable assets
  • Update flows and mocks with hi-fi assets
  • Outline coding timeline
    • Split up work into subtasks

April

  • Begin coding
  • Start with functional elements before incorporating designs
  • Set up stats tracking, feedback, and crash reporting functionalities
  • Use placeholders to create overall flow

May

  • Progress Report
    • Address obstacles
    • Determine if features need to be expanded or scaled back
  • Continue coding
  • Update schedule outline

June

  • Continue coding
  • Start testing on device
  • Replace/update placeholder elements with hi-fi assets

July

  • Progress Report
    • Determine if features need to be introduced, expanded, or scaled back
  • Update mocks based on any changes to flow and features
  • Overall app flow should be almost complete.

August

  • Begin user testing
    • Collect feedback and stats
    • Reevaluate app quality
  • Update flows and designs to address valid feedback
  • Update schedule outline

September

  • Continue user testing and collecting feedback
  • Fine tune design and code

October

  • Final user test
  • Continue fine tuning design and code

November

  • Begin app packaging (marketing)
  • Begin App Store approval process
  • Continue fine tuning design and code

December

  • Launch app
  • Post-release bug fixes

Flush.

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