Recently the makers of the infamous Instagram app spoke at the 500Startups event. They spoke to eager developers wanting to know how they created such a fluid user experience and what went into their overall design. Here is what they had to say:
Understand what you are making
Don't just come up with an idea then start coding it without really thinking it through. You should be able to visualize exactly what you app will do, and the audience that will use it.
What is going to make you different
Sure there might be other apps in the market that are similar to yours but how will you set yourself apart from those apps, or how will your app stand on its own.
Measure twice, cut once
Don't just hit the coding immediately after your idea. Think about it, draw it all out. Use storyboard type software that can help you to walk through the experience you are trying to create (even Powerpoint works!). Before you sweat it out at the keyboard over your idea - draw!
Build what you can in a week then release on a Friday
Focus on the big issues first, then drill down into other things as you go along.
Be careful what you share with the world
Don't blog too much about up-coming features, focus on what the app does now and highlight everything. Control the news in short bursts to keep your audience interested.
The elevator speech
Keep your app descriptions to people short but flattering. If you can tell someone all about your app in the time it takes for the elevator doors to close then open again - you've done it! Use that as a rule :)
Know when to launch the next feature
Making apps is a bit like a card game, know when to hold em :) If you put too much in the first edition you'll have nothing to put in revised versions for existing audiences and new users.
Watch your users
Be aware of Internet chatter, analytics, and such so you know what your audience is thinking and iterate.
You can watch the entire presentation here.
Read more: http://www.slideshare.net/500startups/mike-krieger...
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