Getting Started with iTunes Connect

Apple’s iTunes Connect is not an easy service to master. The following video will take you through the steps you need to follow to ensure that your apps are correctly submitted to Apple for sale on the iTunes App Store.

Posted in Uncategorized

[VIDEO] How to use Google’s Developer Console to Publish Android Apps

Google’s Developer Console is the tool you will use to publish your apps to the Google Play Android App Store. The following video will help you get started:

Here are the image files I mention in the video:

Google Play 7-inch 600x1024 Preview Image for the Developer Console

Google Play 7-inch 600×1024 Preview Image for the Developer Console

Google Play 10-inch 1280x800 Preview Image for the developer console

Google Play 10-inch 1280×800 Preview Image for the developer console

1024x500 Feature Image

1024×500 Feature Image

512x512 High Resolution Image

512×512 High Resolution Image

480x800 Phone Preview Image

480×800 Phone Preview Image

180x120 Promotion Image

180×120 Promotion Image

Posted in Uncategorized

Are you ready for Behavior Driven Design?

Behavior Drives When We Use Devices
Behavior Drives When We Use Devices

Behavior Drives When We Use Devices

Should behavior change how we develop the digital tools we use everyday. Consider the following, my typical day:

This morning my phone woke me up. I reached over and turned off the alarm (it plays the Mission Impossible Theme song – setting the alarm seems so funny each night, but not so much in the morning). I glanced at the notifications. Lots. Shit. My brain is now thinking and I better get up. Twenty minutes later I am in the car. My phone is playing my favorite radio station from London (I’m a Brit living in the USA, but I got to have my UK radio stations). I get to work, power up my laptop and tackle Excel and PowerPoint – Xcode I have my eyes on you, too! Noon comes. Meet some friends to grab a bite to eat and watch highlights from the World Cup on James’ tablet sized phone (seriously, you make calls with that thing??). Back to work, to my number crunching and off home. That evening I sit in from of the TV. My wife is sitting next to me with her tablet. I go to bed and set Mission Impossible for my alarm – that will be hilarious in the morning!

Sound like a familiar routine? Maybe you do not have the Mission Impossible ring tone waking you up, but you do use multiple devices throughout the day. The cost of a phone and tablet is now so low that the key barrier to entry– namely, PRICE – is effectively gone. The PC maybe not so much, so we let the company buy it. Problem solved. What we have, today, is a collection of different devices – phones, phablets, tablets, laptops – that we juggle our email and work around.

To this end, I believe we need to determine behavior before a single line of code or your draw a wire frame. Behavior is now King.

The above chart shows how we typically use different devices. Form factor, portability and screen size all play parts into why we choose to use different devices at different times.

Today, we have three main devices – phone, tablet, PC – but the signs are clear that we will have many more devices. Add to the list: smart car, smart TV, smart watches, smart house, smart health devices, smart…. You get the picture. One app will NOT work successfully across all devices.

Behavior is now the key metric. Think about the apps you use today. How will they change as the tools you use each day adapt to your behavior? Take my daily routine, these are the changes I expect to see:

  • My Android watch alarm wakes me up
  • My iCar has an app for my favorite radio station
  • My Laptop crunches Excel
  • A phablet sized phone to watch video with friends
  • I use my phone during the day to catch up on email and news
  • My watch tells me when to get to the next meeting
  • At home, my TV is linked to my wife’s tablet to send extra information about the show we are watching

We are surrounding ourselves with different screens that have different tasks. All are computers. All will be cheap. Get ready for behavior driven design.

Posted in Developer, Mobile, Strategy Tagged with: , ,

Three Stages of App Development

Three Stages of App Development

“You know, I have this great idea for an app.”

I get told this, a lot (particularly when it is late at night and a couple of beers may have been consumed). Like writing the next Great American Novel, I think we all have ideas for apps. The concept of touch technology is now central to how we use computers. We get what apps are all about.

So, yeah, you have an idea. And that is brilliant. But taking the idea and making the app requires you step through three stages. Each stage is:

  1. Communicating what your App Idea is
  2. Developing your App
  3. Marketing your App

Can you make it through these three stages? Then your idea will be real.

Three Stages of App Development

Three Stages of App Development

Communicating what your App idea is

You have your App idea. Now you need to get it down on paper and communicate what it does. To be clear, you don’t have to spend weeks drawing up amazing concept art, sometimes a napkin and a permanent marker are all you need. I spent one lunch time with a client drawing out what his app would look like, how it would function and where the data would go with napkins on the table.

There are also tools you can use to sketch out your app. Here are tools I use to rapidly sketch up my ideas:

  • Google Docs (drive.google.com) – it is free, easily shared and available at any Internet connection
  • Sketchy (iPad App) – very cheap and very easy to use on your iPad
  • SwordSoft Layout (Mac App) – cheap app to layout the flow of an app
  • OmniGraffle – really expensive, but, heck, full of cool features

The goal for using any of these tools is to communicate your idea. This is the first stage of a Minimal Viable Product (check out Eric Ries’ book Lean Startup), the fastest way of getting your idea in front of people.

Next, line up who you want on your team. A small, cross functional team is the best way to get a product up fast.

When you have your team lined up, you then need to go and get funding. Funding can come from many areas: a VC, a relative, a loan from the bank. What is very likely to happen, however, is that you are getting funding for an app you are developing for the company you already work for. The leaders of your company need to understand the value of the investment in building your solution. Develop a high level business plan illustrating proposed costs, returns and benefits.

Developing Your App

Every day there is a new way of developing solutions. Should your app run on a phone? Is it better to view on a Tablet? Do you get into the Wearable market early? All of these decisions are important to make and come with Pros & Cons.

The next step is to define what type of technology platform or platforms you will target. You have a choice:

  • Responsive Web
  • Mobile App for Apple’s iOS
  • Mobile App for Android
  • Windows Desktop App

There are also an increasing number of additional platforms that are gaining popularity. My experience has shown that you start with one platform, such as Android or iOS, and port your solution to other platforms when you have seen how successful you are.

Choosing the development tools is also not easy. The choices you have include:

  • Native Web/HTML5
  • Hybrid – Using Web Technologies to build native app experiences
  • Native Development

There are plusses and minuses for each approach. I have used all three and what I have found is that you need to really understand who is going to use your app to determine which programming language to go with:

  • Web/HTML5 App – this type of app needs to reach a broad audience (such as an app to check your bank account)
  • Hybrid Apps – your app needs to target multiple platforms such as simple game or eBook
  • Native Development – your app requires complex integration with hardware on the phone/tablet such as access to contacts, camera, native APIs

When you have chosen your platform start the work. I have found that short, iterative internal releases every two weeks really works. The sponsor sees progress, the team sees progress and problems can be caught very quickly. Think about a public release every 8-12 weeks.

Marketing Your App

You had the idea, your team built the app and now it is ready to publish your work. This will be your biggest challenge. Success stories such as Flappy Birds are rare. There are more than a million apps in the iTunes App Store and Google’s Play app store. When it comes to promoting your app you want to consider the following:

  • Make sure you app has a snappy name
  • You need a good icon and not all icons are created equally – I have used apps to generate icons (check Google.com for a search on icon generators)
  • Spend time on the description for your app
  • Create awesome images your app working – in many ways this is the most important feature as we all do “judge a book by it’s cover”
  • Create a short video outlining what your app does

The next step is to choose which app stores you are going to publish to. They include:

  • Apple’s iTunes App Store
  • Google Play
  • Amazon App Store
  • Barnes and Noble Nook App Store
  • Microsoft App Store
  • Your Own Private Enterprise App Store

Each store comes with its own set of guidelines. Remember that this is not the open web. Many of the app stores will review your app before publishing. Amazon, I have found, is very hard to get apps approved. Apple is no walk in the park, either. Google Play is still very easy to publish too.

When your app is published (anywhere from 2hrs up to several weeks) you need to get the word our on your blogs, social media accounts and even good old fashioned email. It is Marketing 101 time, folks. Promote, promote, promote.

These three stages represent a lifecycle every app goes through. They are not always sequential and, you will find, when you have your app completed for Version 1.0 that you will start to run all three stages at once (while version 3 is being ideated, version 2 is being developed and version 1 is being promoted – repeat with version 4, 3 and 2).

Let me know how your app ideas have come to life in the comments below.

Posted in Developer, Mobile Tagged with:

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things

You are now entering a new Age for Technology: The Internet of Things. But what exactly is this mythical phase the press is talking about? It comes down to three areas of focus:

  • Data Collection
  • Context
  • Seamless Availability

Data Collection for The Internet of Things

The core to the Internet of Things is data collection. It’s about you, your work and your lifestyle. You already have some of the Internet of Things doing data collection. Check the phone in your pocket. Today’s Smartphone is loaded with sensors (GPS, elevation, pitch/yaw, etc.). Your car is also collecting diagnostic data vehicle performance. Your cable box is constantly reporting what you have watched.

The Internet of Things is going to up the ante for data collection. A first pass will be wearabledevices. Watches, wrist bands, glasses and dongles for our keys contain data collection technology. The current mix of sensors collect data on fitness activity, GPS location and limited data feedback from phones. Future devices will collect even more data. The key for wearable technology is the massive number of sensors that can be packed into a tiny computer: GPS, temperature, blood pressure, movement, pitch/yaw, elevation, air moisture.

Wearable devices provide an unprecedented view of our world in raw data.

Context Matters for The Internet of Things

How and where you collect or access data matters. Smartphones show us that we do not need a bulky computer to access the information we need as we need it. The Internet of Things looks at how we use information in our world and delivers it to us in a manor that is contextually pertinent. For instance, a Smart Watch will tell us the time, but will also tell us what our blood pressure is. Why? Because a watch is on our wrist, the same place you check your pulse. Where and how we use The Internet of Things is driven by context.

Seamless Availability for the Internet of Things

The Smart Watch is one example but there will be many more. Why not have an augmented helmet for race drivers feeding information about the engine without the driver having to look down? Why not give Firemen a helmet that senses heat and smoke density to see the source of a fire? Why not give a runner footwear that tracks how far you have run, along which roads and in what kind of weather to calculate the exact calories burned?

The vision for the Internet of Things is to give you precise information as you need it driven by data provide around you. The context for sharing information should be intuitive to the situation you are in. You should not even think that you are using technology. The goal for the Internet of Things should be that you forget you are using technology. You are simply doing your job more effectively.

What are your thoughts for the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things

Posted in Enterprise Tagged with:

Is the next mobile platform your car?

Connected Car

You spend a lot of time in your car. A LOT. The average American, according to Anne Lutz Fernandez (author of Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives) we spend more than 18 hours every week in our car. That’s a lot of time behind the wheel. Doesn’t it make sense that the next mobile platform is, well, really mobile, like, has wheels and moves?

There is a lot of chatter in the press regarding connected vehicles. Having smarts in your car is not a new thing. Diagnostic data that measures the health of your vehicle has been around for more than a decade; it has been more than ten years since we started plugging our iPods into cigarette lighters to charge-up and play; and GPS for location services is essential for long trips.

So why is there so much talk now?

It really comes down to three things:

  • Consumer Acceptance
  • Connectivity
  • Technology

With these three pieces in place, we can start to see what the next generation of Smart Car will look like.

Consumer Acceptance for Smart Cars

In many ways, the toughest challenge for any change is culture. Peter Drucker famously quoted that “Culture will each strategy for lunch” and he is right. It does not matter how great a technology solution is if we, as consumers, have no understanding for how that technology will change our lives. Microsoft is almost a poster-child for solutions that came out before their time: Tablets, Smart Watches, Streaming Music and Touch Interfaces. Each technology was a good idea, but when Microsoft launched Windows XP for Tablets, the SPOT Watch, Zune Music Service and the Surface table it was a solution looking for a problem.

The timing is now right for the Smart Car. Think about it. How often do you get in the car and pair or plug your Smartphone into the radio? I am English and live in the USA but I love my London radio shows. Now, when I jump into my car I listen to British radio through my phone.

We have reached a point where is makes sense to have a smart vehicle. Let’s ditch connecting a phone to my car. I want to hear BBC Radio natively from my car.

Connectivity in your Car

This brings me to the second part of the puzzle: connectivity. A big part of the success of Smartphones is that they are always connected to the Internet. You do not think twice about listening to Pandora, checking email or posting to Facebook. The same level of connectivity must be in your smart car.

But there is a second challenge: groups of people in your car. How often do you drive your car with yourself and at least one other person? That other person may have a Tablet that they want to use while you are driving (like streaming Dora the Explorer to your 3 year old in the back seat). The car has to double duty for connectivity: it must first be able to connect to a 4G/LTE signal and, second, broadcast that same signal via Wi-Fi to all passengers. Not an easy trick to do when your are driving along at 65 MPH on the Highway.

A third trick you car needs to be able to do is communicate its surroundings to other vehicles. You are already seeing vehicle-2-vehicle communication with tools such as the Waze traffic control app Google now has in Google Maps (vehicles report when the car is stuck in traffic and reports the data back to Google Maps so that you can get alternative directions). The next step is to directly have vehicles communicate with each other. The benefits are huge: vehicles will react to each other to reduce car accidents, vehicles will sense each other in different lanes and we can move closer to the time of a self-driving car.

A smart radio for your car is one step. The next step is to connect to the diagnostics of your vehicle to measure your cars health. Car manufacturers now provide features to effectively give you information to anticipate when a fix needs to be applied to your car. Preventative maintenance is always cheaper than reactive maintenance.

Technology for your Car

In many ways, the third element in the connected vehicle perfect storm is already here and ready for use: Technology.

The interest in putting technology in the car has been around for years. This year alone has seen the launch of Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android-based Open Automotive Alliance technologies.

These technology do have a huge hurdle to cross in that we can not have distractions in the car as we drive. Phone texting is now considered more dangerous that drunk driving. Safety must be the first consideration for all new technology added to the car.

To me it is clear that the next mobile platform will be your car. Either through a new purchase or radio upgrade, we will all soon be driving highly connected computers with wheels. What are your thoughts regarding the Smart Car?

Connected Car

Connected Car

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting Started with jQuery Mobile [VIDEO]

jQuery Mobile

A very popular framework for building HTML5 mobile web apps is jQuery Mobile. The following video steps you through how to get started with a blank page and build your first Web app.

The first step in creating a jQuery Mobile web app is to create a standard HTML page. The following will do:

<html> <head> <meta charset=”UTF-8″> <title>jQuery Mobile Web App</title> </head> <body>

</body> </html>

In the HEAD element section you will want to add the following links to latest release of jQuery Mobile:

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://code.jquery.com/mobile/1.4.2/jquery.mobile-1.4.2.min.css” />

<script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.9.1.min.js"></script><script src="http://code.jquery.com/mobile/1.4.2/jquery.mobile-1.4.2.min.js"></script>

The concept of “pages” in jQuery Mobile is not individual HTML documents but a classified section in between the BODY element on one document. This means you can have many “pages” in one HTML document. For instance, the following will add one page:

&lt;div data-role="page" id="page1"&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="header"&gt;
 &lt;h1&gt;First Screen&lt;/h1&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="content"&gt;
 &lt;p&gt;&lt;CONTENT&lt;/p&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="footer" data-position="fixed"&gt;
 &lt;h4&gt;Page Footer&lt;/h4&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;

You can now add a second, third or fourth screen all in the same HTML document, like this:

&lt;div data-role="page" id="<strong>page2</strong>"&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="header"&gt;
 &lt;h1&gt;Second Screen&lt;/h1&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="content"&gt;
 &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href="#page1"&gt;Page One&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="footer" data-position="fixed"&gt;
 &lt;h4&gt;Page Footer&lt;/h4&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;

The difference is the ID in the first line.

Each page has content you can format in it. This can include HEADER, FOOTER and elements such as BUTTON, FORM FIELDS and many more widget. The jQuery Mobile web site has a complete list of custom features you can add.

When you have completed your HTML editing, your page may look like this:

<DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <meta charset=”UTF-8″> <title>jQuery Mobile Web App</title>

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://code.jquery.com/mobile/1.4.2/jquery.mobile-1.4.2.min.css” />
<script src=”http://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.9.1.min.js”></script>
<script src=”http://code.jquery.com/mobile/1.4.2/jquery.mobile-1.4.2.min.js”></script>

</head>

<body> <div data-role=”page” id=”page1″> <div data-role=”header”> <h1>First Screen</h1> </div> <div data-role=”content”>

&lt;ul data-role="listview" data-filter="true" data-filter-placeholder="Page #" data-inset="true"&gt;
 &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href="#page1"&gt;Page One&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
 &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href="#page2"&gt;Page Two&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
 &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href="#page3"&gt;Page Three&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
 &lt;li&gt;&lt;a href="#page4"&gt;Page Four&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
 &lt;/ul&gt;
&lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="footer" data-position="fixed"&gt;
 &lt;h4&gt;Page Footer&lt;/h4&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;!-- second screen --&gt;
&lt;div data-role="page" id="page2"&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="header"&gt;
 &lt;h1&gt;Second Screen&lt;/h1&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="content"&gt;
 &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href="#page1"&gt;Page One&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="footer" data-position="fixed"&gt;
 &lt;h4&gt;Page Footer&lt;/h4&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;!-- third screen --&gt;
&lt;div data-role="page" id="page3"&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="header"&gt;
 &lt;h1&gt;Third Screen&lt;/h1&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="content"&gt;
 &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href="#page1"&gt;Page One&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="footer" data-position="fixed"&gt;
 &lt;h4&gt;Page Footer&lt;/h4&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;!-- fourth screen --&gt;
&lt;div data-role="page" id="page4"&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="header"&gt;
 &lt;h1&gt;Fourth Screen&lt;/h1&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="content"&gt;
 &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href="#page1"&gt;Page One&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;div data-role="footer" data-position="fixed"&gt;
 &lt;h4&gt;Page Footer&lt;/h4&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
 &lt;/div&gt;
&lt;/body&gt;
 &lt;/html&gt;

jQuery Mobile is easy to use and scales effectively across many device types.

jQuery Mobile

jQuery Mobile

 

Posted in Developer, HTML5, Mobile Tagged with: ,

Getting Started with PhoneGap Developer App

PhoneGap Build on a Nexus 7 Android Device

Adobe is expanding the tools in the PhoneGap line to now include PhoneGap Developer App. The Developer App essentially allows you to run PhoneGap projects you are developing on your computer easily an Android and iOS devices.

The following video steps you through what you need to know to get started with PhoneGap Developer App for Android and iOS:

Here are the steps:

  1. Install PhoneGap Developer App on Android or iOS device
  2. Open Terminal/Command window and install the latest version of PhoneGap: $ sudo npm install -g phonegap
  3. Create a new PhoneGap App or Open an existing app: $ phonegap create myDev
  4. Step into the app: $ cd myDev/
  5. Launch the Developer service: $ phonegap serve

What is now happening is that a Web service is running on your WiFi network. You can connect the PhoneGap Developer App on your device to the IP address that is being broadcast in three steps:

  1. Open the PhoneGap Developer app on your device
  2. Enter your IP address
  3. Select Connect
Connecting the PhoneGap Developer App to your Desktop

Connecting the PhoneGap Developer App on your iPhone

You can now view your app on your device. The following screen shot shows the app running on a Nexus 7:

PhoneGap Developer App  on a Nexus 7 Android Device

PhoneGap Developer App on a Nexus 7 Android Device

This is the first release  of the PhoneGap Developer App and future releases will include support for Windows and Plugins. Not a bad start.

Posted in Developer, HTML5, Mobile Tagged with: , ,

5 Techniques for your Mobile Web Site

Responsive Design for Mobile Web Sites

There are lots of different ways to build mobile web sites. What I have pulled together is a collection of techniques that our teams use to allow your web site to look awesome on mobile devices. This is important due to the rapidly increasing demand for web sites optimized for the growing number of wireless devices.

The Mobile Web is a Many Screen World

The mobile web is not just Smartphones like iPhone and Android phones. The mobile web is anything that can connect to a web site. The term “mobile web” is now a reference term for multi-screen solutions. This means that Tablets, Laptops and even TVs are part of the mobile web. If it has a screen, it is likely it has a Web browser and will view your site.

Your Web site analytics are showing you how many different devices are connecting to your Web site. Google will breakdown PC and Mobile. Dig into the Mobile analytics and you will see all of the different screens (phones, phablets, tablets, etc.).

Responsive Design for Mobile Web Sites

Mobile Web is for Every Device

Mobile Web Templates for Content Management Service

Many of us use CMS (Content Management Service) solutions to deliver content to Web sites. This will likely come as no surprise, but many of the leading Web CMS solutions now have templates that will deploy a mobile web template to ensure that the correct experience is deployed to a device.

WordPress, a tool used by many Web sites, has two ways of managing Mobile content. The first is through Plugins. The popular WordPress Jetpack plugin has a “Mobile Theme” that only requires you to activate the theme and your site will re-structure the content for phones and tablets. The second method is to implement a responsive theme. The goal of a responsive theme is to ensure that your site looks awesome for any screen. Check outwww.visualizetheweb.com as an example of a responsive WordPress template in action.

Responsive Design for Mobile Web

A big trend is the adaption of Responsive Design. The goal of a responsive site is to create one web page that will dynamically resize to the device and screen size viewing the content. Check out www.mashable.com as a good example of responsive design.

The biggest challenge for Responsive Design is a lack of design tools. Adobe, as you might expect, has two tools you can use: EDGE Reflow and Dreamweaver CC. Both tools will give you the capability to create Responsive designs for your Web site without having to write code.

The many screen of the mobile web

The many screen of the mobile web

Leveraging Mobile Web Frameworks

Sometimes you need to go the functions of a template or tool and need to edit the code. Fortunately there are some great frameworks you can leverage to accelerate the deployment of your mobile web site. Here is a selection of frameworks you can use (it is not complete and I encourage you to share any additional frameworks in the comments below):

Working in the details

The goal of a framework is to get you up and running very quickly. But, there are times when you need to get down into the details of a specific mobile web browser (I’m looking at you, Mobile Safari).

One area that receives a lot of focus is creating Retina (high-definition) images. A good library to use to manage retina images in your code is Retina.js ().

A great list of the changes in iOS7 for Mobile Safari is here:http://www.mobilexweb.com/blog/safari-ios7-html5-problems-apis-review

Please add any techniques you use in the comments below.

Posted in Developer, Enterprise, HTML5, Mobile Tagged with: , ,

The Three D’s – Design, Development & Delivery

App Delivery

There has been a significant, and good, change in how we use software. The main push for higher standards in solutions is coming from Apple (and now Google). These companies are encouraging app developers to step up and design solutions that are “amazing”. Typically, the higher standards encourage that Design and Development are given equal emphasis. The ripple effect is that ALL software is now being graded to a higher standard – web sites, in-car systems, smart watches – anything that has a screen and is asking you to do something.

But, I believe there are three Ds to creating the best solutions: Design, Development AND Delivery.

Design

You are living in a Golden Age of industrial design. Each day there is an announcement of a new product or new solution that you need in your life. To this end, both the hardware and software must have an “experience” when you use it – do you go “wow” when you hold the device or use the software? Design drives the experience. Apple, Microsoft and Google all provide Human Interface Guidelines (the cheat sheet for creating apps that look awesome on their software). You can use the guidelines outside of apps in Web and other software.

Development

Your development team needs to be nimble. The days of being really good in one language are gone (not sure they really existed in the first place, but that is a debate for another day). Today’s world requires that you are good in two or more of the following:

  • Mobile Client Native Development on iOS, Android or Windows <– yep, getting more requests for Windows every day
  • Web Development using JavaScript, Frameworks, CSS and Web APIs
  • Server Technologies such as PHP, Rails, JAVA and .NET

You cannot have people who are just good at one thing. Cross train as much as possible.

Delivery

The one area that always gets overlooked: Delivery. In many ways, this is the most important aspect of your work. We all have good ideas. Ideas are easy. Delivering the idea is a lot of work. The approach I like to take is:

  • Get everyone on the same page – before blasting into creating a solution, define who the customer is, what is the customer’s problem and why the problem needs to be fixed
  • Keep the delivery mixed – small teams with cross functional capabilities are successful
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate – start each day with each person defining their goals/roadblocks. End each day with a retrospective. Communicate a daily summary to the project sponsor. No one likes surprises.
  • You want to get your products out to the market so you can get feedback from your customers. Adopt the Lean Startup principle of “minimal viable product.” Release and release often.
  • Celebrate success.

Delivering solutions that work is amazing. The team gets fired up and the sponsor sees progress.

App Delivery

App Delivery

Keep the Pot Boiling

The goal is to keep your team working at high performance levels. Keeping politics out is tough. A good sponsor will do this for the team. The result is that your small, cross-functional team is constantly showing results. Just keep the pot boiling.

Posted in Uncategorized

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