People reading your plan want to know:
Native apps are written specifically for a single mobile operating system, such as iOS or Android. They tend to be more expensive than websites — so why would you build a native app? Sluggish experiences translate into a loss of audience and attention Rich media: Apps can be self-contained Integrate emerging technology: Apps can present an immersive, full-screen experience, without the distractions of web addresses and navigation Multi-screen experiences: Technologies like AirPlay allow apps to present visuals on big screens — great for education and presentation contexts Mobile websites are still sometimes a good alternative when: This might include user stories, screen mockups, design elements, etc.
One great way to narrow the scope and features of an app is to write the app store description first, and sketch out five screenshots that will best convey what your project is about.
Be Prepared Next, assemble your content: The Des Moines public art app is based on the data they manage in their WordPress-based website. This is a long-term investment: Refine Your Plan All three of the projects mentioned above feature geographic data.
Though they seem similar on the surface, working with actual content led to diverse designs. Here in Portland, we chose to use pin colors to highlight the different artistic disciplines of the public art on the map: We added a feature to let the audience zoom in on a particular area of the city: The original designs for the PDX Social History Guide also focused on mapping, but as we listened to the interviews, we found that fewer than half the story clips could be attached to a specific location.
We switched to a thematic index instead as the primary interface: Falling behind on deadlines and sign-offs can be expensive, as mentioned above. Move Fast Once you have your scope and content, move through the design and implementation phases quickly. Unless your project is truly massive, an implementation phase longer than a few months is not advisable.
Building on current features will also help you future-proof your app and extend the value and impact of your investment. Your app needs to be ready for the rigors of mobile, including: Also, ask your developers to share regular beta test versions with you as you get close to launch and provide regular, timely feedback.
If you charge for print publications, conferences, trainings, or other program activities, why not charge for apps? At a minimum, think about giving your audience the opportunity to support your work by making extra features available via in-app purchases.
Either way you go, be aware that the app stores do take a hefty cut of sales: Donations are an option, but there are some limitations: Apple requires that apps with donations must be free, and all donations must be made in the Safari browser or via text message.
Matt Blair Matt Blair is a software developer that creates apps and websites that enrich our connections to culture, place, and each other.
He lives in Portland, Oregon.Application Development Software Find the best Application Development Software for your business. Compare product reviews and features to build your list.
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