Birth of an App, Part 4

The Brief

After playing with dozens of apps, I had a clear picture of what I thought would work and not work for my app. The brief I wrote ultimately communicated my vision to get the design going and outlined several key things the app needed to deliver. Based on my original thoughts of this being a creative catalyst using my photos and stories, I knew that:

This app needed to be cool without being obnoxious.
The user interface had to add to the experience, not detract from it.
If there was going to be music as part of the app, it would have to enhance the experience and not drive users crazy.
It needed – to the best extent possible given a two-dimensional tablet environment – to deliver a five-senses experience.
The app itself was a journey, taking people through the creative process.That the app needed to tie into a larger community – it needed a “share” function and a way for users to capture their thoughts and ideas and even share those if they wanted to.
The audience for this app was larger than just artists and writers; that this app needed to speak to many audiences.

These were the key tenants of the app and the brief given to the programmers.

Brief in hand (including the first example of the photo/story idea), the programmers started designing wireframes and coding ideas. As this was now a collaborative effort – I wasn’t writing the code myself – I had to be open and flexible to how my vision was realized. I had seen animations or sequences or bells and whistles that I liked and felt they would work here, but the programmers had different ideas that a) wouldn’t copy existing ideas and b) still give me the experience I was looking for. This back and forth discussion was part of the creative process and resulted in some cool ideas that ultimately delivered the experience originally envisioned.

There were some ideas that didn’t work – my vision for the opening menu wasn’t doable and their idea for some cool animations were going to drive users nuts. So we compromised and worked to find solutions that preserved the vision while working for everyone.

And there was a lot more work yet to do…