During this unit I have learnt many things including working with Xcode, how to communicate with clients and design.
Before starting the app, the class had Dave (one of the clients) visit to pitch an idea for an app for the Torbay airshow. He talked about what the airshow was about and then went on to add that he would like an app to promote and assist people going to the event. He suggested some ideas and let us design some designs so when him and Torbay airshow came back for a meeting they would be able to see are ideas. Having a client come in and pitch was very beneficial as it helped me learn and gain experience to how they would approach someone within the app developing industry. After he left I started on creating a design I researched other apps that I believed to have a clear, polished look for example the ZARA app.
I went on to ask members of my family and friends what they would like to see in an app and the most common answers where ‘simple’ and ‘easy to navigate’ both of, which are extremely important. After looking at major designs for android and smart phones I realized that they all had something in common for example the home page of both devises uses a basic grid format for the applications where they show icons and display the apps name under the app icon. Once I had discovered this I started to create a design based on this structure this was because everyone is familiar of these devices and will find it easier to navigate if the app looked similar. I created the design and pitched it to Torbay council and Dave, they liked what I had created and wanted to use it for their app. After we had confirmed that they were using my design we set another meet date and where sent requests on changes needed to be done. They requested that there were less buttons and that we should only keep the ones vital to the airshow allowing it not to become too confusing to users.
Ollie Mcdonald gave us graphics to work with and also an identity guide to stick to this would help us to stick to the guidelines and make sure we kept to their design scheme. After being given the extra images for the airshow I created designs for the buttons within Photoshop that would look more interesting for the app to do this I added shadow to the image and smoothed off the edges to give it a polished and clear effect I then created a banner out of different shades of rectangles and placed this underneath.
The second meeting allowed the Torbay airshow to see the tweaking I had done and allow them to make any changes before me and Gareth went on to creating the app in Photoshop. They said that they like the finishing touches done by me on the button this included the shadow effect and the overall polish, but for visual reasons they wanted to discard the banner making it less cluttered and easier for people with bad eye sight. Having this feedback gave, me a good insight into working with a client and meeting their needs I believe this really helped with experience and learning how to communicate with the client especially while working towards a deadline.
After we had gotten to an conclusion about the overall design we started to create the app. We used Xcode due to its software capability and it being one of the top playgrounds for creating applications for iOS devices. To create the main page, I had to create a new project and then import all my images I would be using to the project itself. After importing I was ready to create app, I started with adding a view controller then inserting an image view. Once I had inserted an ‘image view’ I scaled it to fit the background and went to the tab on the right hand side of Xcode and changed the ‘image view’ to my background image.
Once the background was scaled I had to make sure that it would look the same on every device and also stop the image from becoming distorted, to do this I selected the width and height constraints and applied them then I added missing constraints allowing the image to look the same on each device. As soon as the backgrounds where completed I then inserted a logo and positioned it at the top of each view controller this is because the logo should be one of the first thing the user sees.
To insert the buttons on the main view controller I searched for the key word ‘button’ in the search bar in the bottom right hand side of the software Xcode giving me the option to insert an interactive button. After I inserted this I then changed the image of the button to one of the images that I imported I did this within order to the ones deemed most important to the ones deemed lesser for example flying is first within the list of buttons and the game is last as this isn’t a vital aspect but it is an entertaining one. After placing the buttons, I linked them to other view controllers meaning when the user presses a button it will take them, to another page.
The flying page within the app consists of planes that are flying within the Torbay airshow and information about them Gareth taught me how to insert a table view within the flying page and then assign images to the tables giving the page the finishing touch. I learnt how to assign and position text and images while creating this page this will help me in the future especially when creating apps that display a large amount of information. Once the table view was created I then create a link at the bottom of the page that would take the user to a pdf of the flying times both of this content within the flying page is part of the purchasable content.
The purchasable content was created within the software using objective c. Gareth taught me how to write code and connect to specific items within Xcode meaning whenever the user presses it, it would display an option to buy additional content. This is hugely useful not only for creating profit but also understanding how it works within the industry and mainly how this technique is applied.
Once I had the code set up to apply purchasable content I moved on to creating the other pages to the app, I started to create the ‘site map’ this would potentially allow users to view the main ground of the event and also see additional information about safety or emergency key points. I inserted the image and made it capable of zooming so that the user could get a closer look. Gareth showed me a technique that would allow the Traffic feed within the ‘map’ page to be editable through a spread sheet on google this is highly useful when needing to make last minute changes or if in a case where more than one person needs to use the spreadsheet to make changes. After the map page was finished we added a road closure button that would take the user to the Torbay airshow website if they needed further information.
One of the last pages that needed to be created was the games page this was highly interesting as I was fortunate enough to learn not only about displaying information side of the app industry, but also the gaming side. Gareth taught me how to code the top trumps style game for the Torbay airshow the game consisted of a picture of a plane with statistics of that plane underneath it. To create an easier option, we linked the statistics to a google spreadsheet and wrote the stats within it the images where assigned to numbers and the told within code to randomize when a button was pressed.
The last task was to create the splash screen this was essentially a pop up when launching the app, the splash screen consisted of the Torbay airshow logo, sdc uni and Torbay council. When launching first time the splash screen sis not show so I had to remove constraints and add them again after this I ran the app again and it worked.
Me and Gareth finished the app and met Torbay council at their office for are final meeting to create the developers license. We added their financial details to the account so they would be able to obtain money when a user purchased the additional content. Once the license was created and all the details where confirmed we had competed the app and sent it to be assessed by apple this only took up to 2 days’ which is surprisingly quick and now the app is being held for release until the press releases.
Overall the experience of creating this app has been hugely beneficial and I am grateful to have been a part of it, creating this app gave me a huge insight into client based activity and working towards a real life deadline. I have also learnt how to use Xcode to a high standard allowing me to create apps that display information and techniques on creating games within Xcode using Objective c.