30 Days to App

I’ve set a 30-day goal for creating and releasing my first app. My hope is documenting the process will hold me accountable to my goal. Every week (at least), I’ll post an update on my progress.

Getting ready

I started with a couple app ideas:

First idea: an app for creating signs for your phone screen. This one was inspired by an app created by Made by Many for SXSW in 2011-ish. I had some thoughts for improving on their concept, and thought I could test it with a unique audience, like airport drivers (who hold up handwritten signs). Two strikes against starting with this idea: it’s not something I’d regularly use, and creating the UI with my current knowledge of Swift could be time-consuming.

Second idea: an app for quickly creating temporary notes — think sticky notes or scratch paper — with big, easy to read type and a focus on speed and simplicity. I haven’t found anything similar that combines speed with great typography and design. This one really scratches my own itch, and it has the benefit of being simpler and faster to create (I hope), so it’s the winning idea for my first app.

Sidebar: these ideas were captured in a spark file (currently kept in Evernote), where I keep all of my random ideas. I review it every month to find ideas that have stuck with me or ideas I have more time/resources/knowledge to pursue. I started my spark file back in 2013, after reading this post by @stevenbjohnson.

Getting started

Day 1. I’m starting with a basic working knowledge of Swift; I know my way around JavaScript, so the concepts of variables, strings, constants, aren’t foreign. I hope that knowledge helps me pick up Swift relatively quickly.

To get up and running, I started with a promising Lynda.com tutorial, ‘Building a Note-Taking App for iOS 10 with Swift’. I made it most of the way through the tutorial in one sitting, making notes as questions or new terms arose. Through researching answers to my questions, I found Apple Developer tutorials, which I plan to review in-depth in the next few days.

Sidebar, my local library offers free Lynda.com membership; check your local library for similar perks.

Looking ahead

Moving forward, I plan to complete the Lynda.com tutorial, study the Apple Dev documentations and possibly complete an Apple Dev tutorial. From there, I’ll move on to drafting the UX and initial visual design of my to-be-named temporary note-taking app.

Next up: Week Two

If you enjoyed reading this post and want to follow along to see if I hit my goal, please recommend and share the post to help others find it.




Owner and principal designer at flow14, husband of @LisaForKansas, co-founder of @CreativeCohort, cat person

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Owner and principal designer at flow14, husband of @LisaForKansas, co-founder of @CreativeCohort, cat person

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