iPhone Native applications, the concept and app design process

Description Steve Jobs at the WWDC 07 - Source Flickr/Wikipedia - June 17th 2007 - Author	Acaben, cropped by Kyro

Designing a native application for the iPhone requires a deep knowledge of the platform and to study it from the user’s perspective: adapting an application from another platform to it is not just about “porting” all features, that won’t work.

The iPhone and iPod Touch are all about giving the user a peculiar experience. Surely you can just create yet another smartphone-savvy touchscreen-optimized application, but in that case you wouldn’t be embracing the platform.

We strive to give every application a “special touch”, making use of the unique features the platform provides — such as the Location Services and the Accelerometer — always keeping the user experience in high consideration — we didn’t just create an iPhone development team getting experienced developers: we also borrow our best engineers, developers and designers to iPhone projects to get the very best out of every iPhone App.

Surgeworks is a global company. We have great talents from all over the world that come together in a distributed team working in harmony, while bringing their complementary skills, expertise, and culture diversity to enrich each project. This is a great strength when it comes to defining an iPhone Native App flow and features.

We are not just developers: we’re also users of several different web, desktop and mobile platforms. When a new project gets to us, we analyze the idea and if present, its current implementation. Then we rethink it based on the iPhone and iPod Touch interface and special features. What the user wants the moment he taps on an App icon, is to get to the core of things. Apple’s take on this is that he doesn’t even need a fancy splash screen: a tap and you should be right into doing what that Native App is there for.

In that, the process of creating Custom iPhone App requires us to take out all unnecessary features, and to organize the interface based on the application scope, putting all the user uses daily no more than a tap away.

When all the core functionality is in, we pass through it once again, because the basic design gets opened to our people for feedback before it gets to the customer. We verify everything, then we get thinking of ways to enrich the user experience. Using an iPhone Native App should not just be useful and convenient, it should be a pleasing experience. Small touches get added here and there to get that special added value every user expects form an Apple product (… running Surgeworks software).

At that point, when the App design is already complete, there is one last question we need to answer. How can we surprise the user?… or, in other words “what would Steve Jobs do?”