App Idea and Sketches

This is the first post of the 30 Day App Challenge series.

What will I be building?

Treasure Hunt App
treasuremapI have two young boys and they LOVE to play treasure hunt and they LOVE to play on my phone. So why not combine the two together? Using this app I want to easily be able to create a treasure hunt for them. In order to get to each checkpoint on the treasure hunt map they will get some clues; a picture, riddle or GPS hot and cold compass. The app would provide visual clues to say how close they are to the checkpoint. Once they have completed all the checkpoints, they will receive the treasure. … Bribing them to do their chores will be so easy now.

Sketches

treasure_firtTime

treasure_Clue

treasure_editmap

treasure_huntScreen

treasure_list

treasure_editClue

What I learnt

Choosing an idea
There are always a ton of app ideas out there. How do you choose an idea? Seth Godin said that we should treat it like choosing lunch. We do it every day because we have to. We do not delay the decision, because otherwise we will go hungry. I like the fact that this 30-day challenge is forcing me to choose an idea… any idea and then to go ahead with it.

Sketch out ALL screens
I find it easiest to use a tool like balsamiq to flesh out what each individual screen should look like. I do like the fact that right from the get go I am forced to think about what goes on each screen and not to overcomplicate the whole thing. It’s also a great way to get instant feedback. For example, I showed these screens to my wife and she was confused about a few items. After a few more iterations these confusions got ironed out. Because it is in Balsamiq this is quick to do and to change. This exercise is also very helpful when building an app for someone else. They might have a general idea about what to build, but putting it down on paper/mockup tool, in detail screen by screen, always reveals questions that have yet to be answered.

Constraints is a good thing
Having less time and not a lot of screen estate to put lots of different buttons on can be a good thing. It forced me to think about the most essential features. I am nervous that this app is too big for 30 days, but let’s see.

Next Task:
1) Get my dev environment setup for Ionic