The biggest hurdle is behind me

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I have one app in the store and one in progress. The first app sells one per day which, fortunately, I find more amusing than disappointing. I only did it to test the waters and the whole app process from A-Z. I firmly believe the first pancake is not the best, especially is you are an amateur.

This next app is the bigger one. Everything I’ve learned is being tested and I’m venturing into the marketing angle in a more formal and robust way.  Learning something new has always been a challenge and a pleasure.

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So much to do, so little time.

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This blog will soon be flooded with posts from my former tumblr blog, and also random thoughts of the App development progress and process.

I have one more eBook in the works and am thinking of writing a followup to Creating Apps. There is much to add and I wouldn’t mind sharing some of my experiences these last two years, especially where I failed to take my own advice.

Working full-time and developing part-time has meant that I don’t have much time for writing, so I let the tumblr blog dry up. So much to do, so little time.

Color harmony in app design – Part II

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In app design, color may be even more important because the ‘screen real estate’ is so small. You have to say a lot in a small space and one of the ways you can speak to your app user is through color, so why not give it importance and choose your colors thoughtfully. At very least, you should make sure that the colors you choose do not conflict with what you are trying to say with your app.

An even greater challenge in app design is the fact that the app attention span is faster than a nanosecond. This means that any visual message, if there is one, should be stamped on your app user’s eye immediately. In your app icon and every screen of the app, the colors you choose will either work with you, or against you – and the response will be immediate.

As well as intuitive responses, we have visual associations with color. Some of these mental links are universal: red is for love and anger, green is for nature and money, yellow is for sunshine and joy and blue is for calm and spirituality.

So what is the meaning of color? The basic colors each have associations and when the basics vary in intensity, they too have subtle associations that can be different from the pure color.

The Vibrants: Red – Yellow – Orange

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Red is a very rich and emotionally intense color. It is the color of fire and blood, of danger and passion. It can be warm, vibrant, adventurous and optimistic.Red is the hottest color in the spectrum, and the one most closely associated with life.

Pink represents romance, love, passion and sensuality. It is fresh and flirtatious and the most feminine color. It denotes feminine qualities and can be very girlish unless paired with a neutral or dark color.

Yellow is vibrant and energetic and is one of the least calm colors. It is happy, spring-like and visually accessible for children. It’s associated with joy, happiness, warmth, and energy. Dull yellow can be associated with sickness and decay. Gold brings feelings of prestige, wealth and quality.

Orange is a color that is spicy and hot or unnerving and bold. It represents energy and is the ancient symbol of strength. It is only slightly less aggressive and vibrant than red and represents domination, aggression, and action. Orange is highly visible and will catch attention, which makes it a good color to highlight the most important elements of your design. It is also very effective for promoting food products and toys. Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall.

The Peaceful: Blue – Green – Purple

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Blue can be cold or serene, spiritual or businesslike. It is one of the most soothing, calming and fresh colors. Because it represents such a broad range of emotions, it is the most versatile and ‘safest’ color to use and actually is associated with stability, which is why it is often used in business. Blue is also often associated with cleanliness, intellect, and expertise.

Green is universally considered the color of nature. It immediately brings the image of growth, well-being and newness. It is also the color of fertility and safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money and suggests growth, hope and safety.

Purple is the most regal and elegant color and connotes magic, creativity, and luxury. It is also the most sensuous color. Light purples are feminine and calm. It is as stable as blue and as energetic as red. It symbolizes power and nobility, and conveys wealth and extravagance. Oddly, bright purple is also a very attractive color to children.

The Neutrals: Grey – Brown – Black – White

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Grey, light or dark, is sophisticated, calm and neutral. It is the color of technology and makes a business-like, no-nonsense statement. Metallic grey is cool, modern and sleek. It generally works well in a two-toned image.

Brown is a very practical, earthy color and can be dull if not used carefully. Like grey, brown is a neutral that shows stability and security. Brown suggests masculine qualities. It is a good accent color that does not give the same sharpness that black does.

Black shows drama, death and fear very well. It is a non-color that can be either sleek and sophisticated or morbid and somber. Black is associated with power and authority and is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious. In contrast, it also symbolises evil, and mystery. Black is a terrific accent color and black backgrounds contrast well with other colors and makes then come alive.

White is cool and classic, and can either be clean and simple or blank and forgettable. It is universally associated with light, innocence and purity, and is also considered to be the color of spirituality, cleanliness, simplicity and safety. White can also be a washout, confusing and can indicate lack of originality, thus, all white images should be avoided.

Zag when the world Zigs

My Best Advice To Entrepreneurs: Fail Fast, Fail Often, And Follow Your Passion

This is a great article. It gives advice that should be taken to heart by anyone who is starting a new project, business, and, yes, developing their first app. Take risks, follow your beliefs. Always have a recovery plan. You have to have a willingness to fail in order to succeed.

My favourite quote: ‘Zag when the world Zigs’.

What’s stopping your Startup?

Dear Entrepreneur: Stop Dreaming and Just Launch That Start-up

Great article.

This is very sound advice. I think many people are afraid to take that big leap into business because they believe their product must be a genius idea that will be an instant big hit. I would love to know how many successful companies started with a failed product that was later improved. I think the first iteration is rarely the best, so it is essential to plan for some real flops also.

A first failure should not prevent you from moving on to plan B. Sometimes the key is just to put yourself out there, learn the ropes and actually launch the brilliant idea when everything else is in place and you feel ready for it.

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Conversation with a programmer

Conversation on game apps

On Planning – a word for non-developers

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In all software development, whether it’s for websites, in banking or any industry, there is what is commonly called a development life cycle. If a company has an idea of how to improve their business by enhancing their computer software systems, they will discuss and document the idea and hand it over to a technical team who will build it, give it back to them for testing and, on approval, release it to the rest of the company.

The development life cycle is just a series of actions performed to develop a software application according to decided objectives and specifications. The application is just one of many related software programs that fulfill a desired function.

For you, this is your app, and if you are not a programmer, you will have to document your idea and hand it over to someone develop. You will do the testing and on approval, they will release it to the App Store for you.

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Sit or Squat

Charmin is the sponsor behind this app and it’s well-done and appropriate to the subject of the app.

Kind of funny, actually.

But I would hate to see the day when the majority of apps are just a vehicle for advertising. The glossy high-end apps already are. Will we one day have to make a conscious choice to support the small developers by buying their apps instead of choosing the free, ad-stuffed apps?

Feature creep

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It is natural that, as a project progresses, new ideas come to mind. One idea spawns another. You will be tempted to add flourishes or entirely rework your original concept. My finished project was nothing like the original design. “Feature creep” in application development refers to uncontrolled changes in a project’s scope. Feature creep happens when the boundaries are not set, that is, if a project is not properly defined, documented or controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence because it can wreck the timeline and the budget and, thus, should be avoided. If feature creep occurs during the development stage, it can keep you from actually finishing your project and it can make your budget spiral out of control. The difficulty is that people are very visually oriented. Seeing a prototype of a product will give you many more ideas than just reading or hearing the concept. Even people who have been doing development for years can be guilty of changing requirements at the last minute.

Why this obsession with app store numbers?

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This is such a moving target, or more like a revolving door given that apps are also pulled from the store. In any case, Apple is so far ahead of the pack that their numbers never mattered much.