Graeme Addison explains the range of choices and some of pitfalls in do-it-yourself app design. He will be leading a workshop on app creation at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, Johannesburg, on 28-30 July. Contact the IAJ 011 482-4990. email@example.com
Mobile apps – those little programmes to run and have fun with on your smartphone – have become so popular that it’s been suggested our devices should be renamed appphones.
These days everyone uses apps and every business wants at least one. They are not just playthings: they serve us with weather, maps, messaging, games, health advice and much more. The world is going mobile and your organisation needs to get with the trend – just so long as your apps work properly and contain the kind of services people want.
They say that on the web Content is King. The same is absolutely true of apps: fix your sights on communicating with the user and helping the user to communicate with others.
In effect this means you start by drawing up a storyboard of what you want the app to provide in an easy-to-navigate way. Visualise it as a set of interconnected blocks. It must flow. It must look good. It must not try to do too much. And above all it must satisfy a particular need.
Mobile apps promise three handy advantages over desktop and laptop computing: speed, portability and focus. You can access information and complete tasks quickly; do it on the hoof; and know exactly what you are getting because the app was designed to be task-specific.
With conventional computer applications – also termed apps, by the way – you have a wider choice of Continue reading