This is a continuation from my original post about the creation of the UPA iPhone app.
Part 2: What rapid REALLY means
Setting to work in our war-room of white board space, the walls soon became a canvas which defined the story of a user at the conference and how they would interact with and build their own personalized schedule. Robust tools like maps and directions took shape; the customization of a personalized schedule and availability of conference materials became visible and screen real-estate became a commodity which we happily took for granted.
Making It Fit
The designs needed to be digitized and information laid out in such a way that it actually fit on the screen. Our Visual Design team began mocking up the screens for preview by all the stake-holders, and then the daunting task of development began.
With time pressing closer, a temporary build was rapidly produced early in the morning before our company gathering. It was imperative to put the device in users' hands for initial reactions so I could make changes and continue building the detail level pages.
The collective response was a very positive and users “LOVED” the app. While the warm and fuzzies were nice, I still had to look objectively at the users' reactions and identified the following pain-points:
- The Home icon (a house and a small 30x30 image placed in the upper-right corner) was almost ALWAYS missed.
- The Top-Navigation was glossed over several times with users asking “How do I go back?” (Meaning it needed another visual treatment).
- While the screen colors were a high enough contrast that in natural light, there were still a couple treatments that needed to be changed.
Taking these reactions into account, edits in the design followed and templates were made for the different types of pages. The content building began and the next several days of my life were filled with Ctrl-C / Ctrl-V.
I have to take a moment here to thank my colleague Morgan Campbell
for her support and flexibility with my changing development requests.
Thank you Morgan!
Soon, two weeks had become a blur and my sleep-less nights of button punching culminated in final builds that saw a new set of challenges: I found myself truncating features so this thing actually got delivered! Robust directions and trip-planning features became a list of text. Logistics degraded to title pages with detail text. But key features weren’t forgotten about, such as the interactive floor plan, email feedback and robust sponsor pages.
So what does rapid REALLY mean?
Design, Development and Deployment in approximately two weeks!
Finally, all this pushing to meet the deadline concluded with a late-night submission and long-night of much needed rest.
So what was the deadline?
There wasn’t one.
Confused? I wasn’t. I was nervous!
(…to be continued in my 3rd and final post)