Should there really be an ‘app for that’?

Years later, mobile apps are still trending. And its amazing that you can still hear the echo from Apple’s 2009 ad coining the phrase  – ‘There’s an app for that.’ We know, Apple is really convincing.

Take a moment to review:

Even now, business owners harbor FOMO and can often be convinced that a mobile app will be the golden ticket to solving their business’ most difficult issues. Investing in a worthwhile, delightful mobile app is a major expense. And I say ‘investing’ because the design and development is going to cost you. And don’t forget about the cash that you will need for marketing to outshine the competition. And then there is the money you’ll need to actually take care of it, maintain it, and fix all those bugs/send updates and even address user complaints. Who knows if the results and feedback what you paid for?

Yes, it was a beautiful idea – providing just the right tool or information for decision making on the go… But the decision to build a mobile app should not be taking lightly.

**A mobile app is a tool offering to solve one problem. “Checking weather conditions,” “finding … nearby”, etc.

So, do you really need an app for that? Actually: should it really be an app?

Here are some considerations to make your decision easier:

A. Do users care about the info you provide when they are ‘on the go’?

B. Is it for communication? – ok.

C. Is it relevant to the user’s location?  – weather, nearby stuff, reservations…

D. Is it for tracking something?  – When you are on the go, sometimes there is no where else to write it down but on your phone.

E. Scheduling – sure.

F. Decision making – It needs to simply and quickly answer the question users have at that moment. Can I get a better deal somewhere else? (Amazon prime) How do I get there from here? (Maps) Do you think that we can get a table? (

F. Simple information – They just want to find what they are asking quickly. Yes its amazing that amount of information that our mobile devices have  within our reach at all times. But Apple also knew that it was  going to be a pain for users sort through and make sense of it on a tiny screen. So they bookmarked a few tools  to get us started.

So if your business has a tool that solves a problem/answers a question that supports users on the go – and promise to show them the answer really easily… Then ok, you have my permission to spend a ton. But don’t forget to make it look really awesome.

Otherwise, just make sure that your site looks great on a wide range of devices.

Mobile users still want hand holding.

We can’t keep saying that the future of web is mobile. Because it is really the ‘present’ and it even has a past. But it is also the area that we can’t stop talking about, and dreaming about, and working on because there is so much room for improvement and standardization (of course!)

The importance and focus of mobile web and app interaction design will not be fading anytime soon, as the number of ‘new’ users and devices log on.

What you really need to know about designing for mobile, is that consumers still want a lot of hand holding (pun intended.)

– They want instant gratification
– They want to be heard, and know that you are listening
– They want you to lead them through

All these needs can be addressed by providing micro-interactions in your design.

Users want feedback throughout the experience, it gives them reassurance. They want to visually see the result of every action taken.

Users want to know that they are making progress – they want to engage with a micro-interactions in a way that clearly creates a next step. These micro-actions provide users the confidence to keep going.

Yes, users are needy. But you are a designer. And you like all those details anyway.

For inspiration, here are some related articles about successful micro-interactions on mobile:






Git back on.

I just wanted to take a moment…while I have managed to get my chin above these waves…just before I take on more water … to say- I love it. And I am so happy that I jumped in. This has been a wild ride but clearly I am still a tough little rider. (No really, I am a horseback rider too.)

Last week we were assigned one last assignment using jquery & AJAX to create an app utilizing an API as well as a CRUD server. One last chance to bring it all together before we RUN IT ALL OVER with angular.js!

I will make it brief and say that it was a success. And I was incredibly proud to be able to demo my app with my team on Monday morning in front of Calvin and our entire class— and for it to work & do all the things that we planned 🙂

Because it just feels so DAMN GOOD when it works!

I’m not one for drama- but I will say that I have been putting in the work… And I REALLY needed that.

You could say that I am typically ready and willing with commentary and questions in person (both in and out of lecture)… but I am also smart enough to know that when things are put in writing they become real. (For those who question that —> see my creeperApp that I made last week which scrapes a ton of public databases for records of YOU!)

For me- when I actually publish something it goes from being an idea into a real commitment.  And that means that everyone will know whether I have failed or succeeded. And even more- that means that I will know. And its scary because I know that I am in control of my life and that it is my own fault if I loose sight of the goal and don’t follow through.

So this is me just putting it out there—— that I am going to finish strong. Like the tough little rider I know I am.

    Star'bucks' special blend.
    Star’bucks’ special blend.

    Star. My favorite games pony. This guy def taught me about getting back on.
    Star. My favorite games pony. This guy def taught me about getting back on.

Your coordinates are…

INTRODUCING: “The Explorer App”

Here are some snapshots from our most recent team project utilizing:

  • Google Maps Javascript API v3
  • Google GeoLocation
  • Google Places Library
  • CRUD server
Result: index
Result: index
Result: index in action
Result: index in action
Result: Inner
Result: Inner in action

Dreaming in Code

There is something happening in my brain. Something is changing. While still in bed, much before 4am, my brain started dreaming… IN CODE!

dreaming-in-codeThere is no place that is safe now. Code has creeped into all my activities. Jokes about naming functions with my husband (that he will never fully ‘git). When my mother asks how I am doing I quickly leap into conversations regarding my ‘todo’ app and how it does this or that now- but than it just won’t ‘complete my PUT ajax request’.

Its kinda cool though too.

Taking the hint, I got out of bed early again this morning- say 4:25am to see if there was anything really happening up there… I wonder if there are any new answers really coming together. Time to ‘git on with it.

‘git’ing with the program