AKA: How I built an app in two weeks
In early 2016, I up-leveled my interest in iOS app development and completed a Udacity Nanodegree certificate in iOS Development. It was a rigorous but fruitful four-month journey. I recommend the program to all product managers (or future developers) who want to understand modern app development better.
Here, I will tell you how I built the Hungry Baby app. It helps busy parents create easy, nutritious, and varied meal plans for their baby.
App demo: http://app.shanrao.org/HungryBaby
This is what it looks like.
Github Repository: https://github.com/qwertyshan/HungryBaby
Now, here are the key resources that I found to be most useful in creating this app. In my own research and creation process, I went down a lot of paths that hit dead ends. In the following list, I am trimming the paths down to the fruitful ones.
Apple’s WWDC video “Prototyping: Fake It Till You Make It” taught me how to prototype quickly and easily.
I learned a lot about common design patterns by studying other apps.
Keynotopia is fantastic and easy to use! I got the $99 pack and will use it to design all of my future apps.
This was the best site for free, high-quality icons. Good icons open up so many design possibilities!
I had to learn about colors.
I created a prototype of my app in Keynote without a single line of code. The results were awesome! All of the screenshots in the following showcase page were made in Keynote. You won’t know it by looking at it.
Google’s Firebase is easy and free (for low utilization).
Valid JSONs can be tricky to create. This site made it easy. Once I had my data in a JSON, I could upload it to Firebase and my backend application was ready!
I used Firebase to host my static image files.
I learned how to use CocoaPods to install the Firebase plugin. It was tremendously useful (and fairly easy).
Of course, this was the most time-consuming part: actually writing the code. The following sites helped the most.
- Stack Overflow:
- Stanford – Developing iOS 8 Apps with Swift:
- Apple’s WWDC videos:
- iOS Developer Library:
Overall, it took about 80 hours of work (spread over a month) to design and develop the app. It was fun and brought me up to speed with modern mobile design and development techniques.