My roleDesigner, developer
I am a regular knitter, and often use online tools and apps to support me. However, I’ve never been able to find an app that provides good content and a good user experience. The Knitting social media site Ravelry.com provides an excellent desktop service, however they have a limited mobile offering, and although the other apps available for it are successful, they are often frustrating to use. I decided to design and develop my own Knitting app that would help answer my own and other knitters challenges.
Separating the design from the designer
I was careful to separate what my desires were from what features would appeal to other knitters. To understand my target user I crafted a survey to gather quantitative data on how other knitters use apps and online services, and what they feel is potentially missing. I asked for responses on online knitting forums. This gave me very rich data on other knitters’ requirements, and allowed me to create mini pen portraits and user journeys to help guide the features that I would develop.
Features leading design
I sketched out the process flows and subsequent screens, along with some initial look and feel visuals, but wanted to quickly create the app through design and development iterations. I separated the functionality, and created specific screen visuals in combination with learning Objective-C to develop the functionality of the app with the iOS development package, Xcode.
Coding within a framework
I discovered there needed to be a balance between the content I ideally wanted to display, against what the code and Ravelry API could do simply and easily. I used standard navigation patterns and structures provided within Xcode where possible to create a light and user friendly app.
This is still currently in development.