iPhone Development: Of Pencil, Paper, and Recycling

Last week I began to move my iPhone development projects into high gear. Having toyed with some half-baked notions about my first app, I finally abandoned stuff that either wouldn’t work or would simply take too much time to do, and do poorly at that.

So back on the right track, I’m having a pretty good time with it now. I’ve been watching the excellent development sessions on Apple’s iOS Developer portal and I bought a pretty good book as a reference and guide. But I think the thing that has really got me excited is the beginning of the design phase. Anyone who has watched Apple over the years already knows how highly they regard design in the development process. In the developer videos, they recommend that the majority of app development time should be in the design phase before even a single line of code is written.

I love design, so spending a lot of time there is no problem. I found some great iPhone design wireframes on the Interactive Logic blog which were perfect for printing on some waste paper I had on hand. All set with wireframes, pencils, and my trusty ancient clipboard, I began to sketch the design for my first app.

So far it’s coming along very well. After my initial sketches, I did a little research on the Apple App Store to see what competing apps look like and user reviews of them. I immediately picked up some more ideas from user suggestions which I added to my sketches. And I could also see that what I wanted to build will be different from what is already in that space.

I could have done more research before I began to draw, but I didn’t want to be influenced too much by what has come before. And having my own design before me gave me a good reference point. Now I’m ready to start a little code work. I bought a copy of Teach Yourself iPhone Application Development in 24 Hours
to help me there. I pick up new programming languages very quickly and I heard pretty good things about the book. So far it looks like it will be very useful to me in learning Objective C and the Xcode development tools.