I demoed the current version of TouchCase to an attorney this week and received valuable feedback. While looking at how the tool would fit into his current workflow, we compared it to the software that he was currently using, a web-based application. He showed many of the functions that he could perform using his current tool of choice. The session was eye-opening to say the least. Watching him work, I realized the beta missed the mark in a major way. As a result of the session, I came away with the following assessment for TouchCase:
- It was missing essential data
- It was missing key workflow elements
- The TouchCase feature set was smaller
In light of this, my options included: logging the feedback as stories in the icebox and continuing as planned or moving the suggested changes into the current sprint, pushing week 3 sprint work into week 4. Choosing the former would go a long way towards making TouchCase relevant to more users, even in beta, while choosing the latter would keep things moving along my previous plans. Questioning my choices in the context of agile development allowed me to make what I believed to be the best decision. The true goal of the App Challenge is not just to create 3 apps, but to deliver first versions that are viable. It was clear from my observations that my app wasn’t even minimally viable. I spent the week adding the missing data and updating the UX to more improve the workflow. I stopped short of updating the feature set. A product doesn’t necessarily have to do everything a competing product does.
I also made progress in improving the UI, thanks to some wonderful resources. Using elements from templates at App Design Vault and the UIAppearance protocol, I added some polish to the interface and support for easier subsequent changes. I should also apologize for my prior comments about homemade soap being ugly. Homemade soap looks much better now than what I remember from my grandma’s house.
Current Status (Week 3)
Sprint 3 work for PomoTracker/Haggler will commence this week (now Sprint 4). I haven’t abandoned hope of getting an MVP for all three apps yet (it’s the halfway point), but it looks like Haggler will most likely not get the UI love in its first beta.
After attending Rob Napier’s CoreText and Practical Security sessions at CocoaConf DC, I picked up a copy of iOS 6: Pushing the Limits. It has been a great resource for implementing the Rich Text features of UIKit and augmenting the information from each session.
On the BDD front, I found a great video of Sandi Metz talking about the design of tests. It has helped guide me in creating more effective tests (i.e. fewer and in the right places).
I’ll be back at Greenville Cocoaheads for the monthly meetup. Looking forward to @emperioreric’s talk on the UIAppearance proxy (timely). Afterwards, it’s on to Atlanta to catch up with friends and attend the iOS Developer’s meetup.