Birth of an App, Part 7

Birth Of An App

Pictures chosen and edited – check.
Stories written and edited – check.
Categories (finally) decided and named – check.
Music composed and optimized for the iPad – check.
App optimizing and troubleshooting completed – check. (Although there were some pesky crashes on the iPad 1 that needed some serious analysis and work. All stable now, thankfully.) (more…)

Birth of an App, Part 5

The Shaping Of Creatalyst

The app was starting to take shape – ideas for sequences, transitions, animations, colors, formats were shared and discussed and played with. Screen shots gave us a sense for how the app would look and initial animations were looked at first on the pc and then an iPad. An entire wall was covered in the architecture of the app, with navigation through the various sections. Where would this action take the user? How would they get back to where they had been? Was it intuitive? Would they get lost? Where there some surprises? Some interesting reveals? Did the experience serve to stimulate creativity? Was it an enjoyable experience? How true was it to the original vision? (more…)

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. (more…)

The power of a single image

Our sense of vision often delivers us the first impression of a person or place; it helps us communicate as we “look for clues”; it helps direct our actions and movement.

The summer when I was 11 years old I signed up for a “summer strings” program, designed to introduce aspiring musicians to orchestral instruments. My sister was already playing the cello and given my relatively large hands it was suggested that the violin would be too small so I was steered to the viola. I spent the next couple of months squeaking out scales and the basics of this lovely instrument.

My dad was a lover of music and a musician himself, having played piano and French horn in addition to singing. Music filled our home daily from the hi-fi in the living room, with stacks of LPs playing everything from Wagner to West Side Story.

I don’t remember when Dad brought home “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, but one look at the image on the cover and my viola-playing days were over. I think a mix of pre-teen hormones and the jazzy beat of the music conspired and that fall I entered the band program at school with trumpet in hand.

There have been many iconic photographs through the years that have stayed with us because of their portrayal of a historical situation; their captivating perspective and content. This is one image that has stayed with me since I was a young lad. While I haven’t played a trumpet in decades, I still smile when I see the image of the lady wearing nothing but whipped cream and the influence that image had on me.


Page 1 of 11