I’ve released three small Apps in the last year. When you are responsible for everything from design and development to content and UX, it becomes easy to miss things. Development is the easy part – the rest is a lot more difficult and if you increase the number of eyes, you spot the problems sooner.
The first two Apps were game scorers for Yahtzee and Yatzy. With these Apps, my primary focus was the score sheets, the rest of the App was very much secondary. I thought the score sheets worked well but later I realised I messed up the initial user experience. How did I mess up the initial user experience? Easy – my goal was to allow you to start a game and get to the score sheets, everything else was a side task and poorly designed.
When writing Budget (our free open-source budging app), I realised I had messed up the onboarding and thought I had solved it, well improved at least. The initial user experience for Budget is guided and the Apps explains how it works. I even went as far as adding a demo.
Where is the issue? Well, there was a major issue with the demo. Once you create the demo you are locked into it. I incorrectly assumed all users would “adopt” the demo and get on with using the App. I never considered people would do as the text suggests and simple play with the demo to see how my App works.
There is an option to reset the App and return to the initial state, but it is hidden under account management. A user was unlikely to find this option and more likely, drop the App.
The solution? Next to the “adopt” button, I’ve added a “reset” button. This provides inexperienced users two options – adopt the generated budget once they are familiar with how the App works or reset and start again.
I recently started developing Budget Pro and I will not make these same mistakes.
I decided to develop all the Apps in the above order specifically because I wanted the quality to increase with each new App.
Budget Pro is our first commercial offering for the Costs to Expect service, it needs to be the best example of what the service offers.
Four eyes are better than two
I said “I” all the way through this post and for much of the development this was true. Recently, my wife (Twitter) has joined me in this endeavour. In addition to being an excellent editor and content writer she is helping with quality. The plan is that four eyes are going to better at spotting these types of issues than two.
Four eyes must be better than two! I’m not just getting an extra set of eyes to help me – there is a brain as well.