Oh, the web!
There are so many resources, so much information, raw data, infographics and whatnot. When it comes to finding Tools for Developers, we usually drown in the huge list of things available. Worry not, Padawan. We’re here to help.
Starting with Naming orientations and tools (don’t forget to secure that domain name), Mockup and Prototyping, MVP building, Design, Deployment and App Analytics, we got you covered.
Regardless of market movements and new releases, there are always the good ol’ players you can rely on. You know, the ones everyone expects you to be using (or at least have a good reason not to).
Areas of Interest
- Naming and Domain Names
- Project Management
- Minimum Viable Product
- Mockup & Wireframing
Naming and Domain Names
For some, this comes naturally. For others, naming is one of the biggest challenges E-V-E-R. (Variable naming, I meant). One way or the other, you’re going to need to face this: your project, your product, your app, your service… needs a name.
Ever wondered how to go about the process of naming your startup? Well, look no further! Jason Calacanis got you covered in this video about “how to name your startup”. Remember this might also save you a lot of trouble (legal issues I mean).
There are many different approaches to this task and this isn’t really a developer’s job. Naming is actually a service offered by different Branding and Marketing Agencies. But one thing you definitely want is a domain name that matches your app’s name.
And you can find that using Panabee! It’s interesting, try it out for yourself.
Paul Graham, a YC Partner and Founder, goes as far as insisting that your company should have the “yourname”.com domain name or else you would be better off chosing another name.
I have a different take on that. As the Internet gets older, new things are coming around. New gTLDs and new options. There are so many nice things to choose from right now: why not take the “fruit.ninja” domain? Or maybe the “get.social”?
I even go as far as saying that, eventually, .com domains will be seen as “old school”. Sometimes with positive associations, sometimes with negative associations. Either way, you better find a nice cool name for your project and secure a meaningful and related domain name.
So many cool options… From personal to do lists to Agile Project Management there are many interesting apps to help us keep things organized and running smoothly. Don’t believe us? Take a look at it yourself!
If you haven’t seen UX Archive yet, stop everything you’re doing and head there right away. They are an iPhone specific website with a huge collection of screenshots and animated images displaying the different UX processes (onboarding, login, sign-up) for many (many) different iOS apps.
An interesting alternative is the almost as famous Pttrns website. Interestingly enough, their website doesn’t have a User Interface as good as the UX Archive but that doesn’t mean that the resource itself it not really valuable.
Those two resources will give you a lot of inspiration and also a good feeling for Best Practices. Whenever the time to actually design something really arrives, the first option any app developer considers is Sketch. It doesn’t have nearly as much power as the industry standard Adobe Illustrator, but that can actually be a really good thing: it is easier to focus and get things done. It also has a much softer learning curve.
In order to get a good sense of how your prototype will work, besides using the aforementioned UXPin, Invision is also a great option.
Minimum Viable Product
According to the Lean Startup Movement and the Agile Movement, the MVP is the central piece of concept around which the whole Start-up (or lifestyle business) revolver around. The core concept is quite simple: Build, Measure, Learn (Repeat).
Build as little functionality as possible, Measure the degree of interested of your users (User Testing) and Learn with that process in order to prepare the next, evolved version.
Whenever building an MVP, you’re bound to need to setup a website for your project. The WordPress platform is unbeatable at that topic. It is fast, it is easy and you can get your website online within a few hours (considering a little bit of customization to get things going). Obviously enough, the Google Analytics service is the de-facto industry standard when it comes to website analytics (hey, you need to know how people behave in your website!).
You’re also going to need some free stock photos to use in your website and communications.
Now that we’ve taken care of basic Marketing and Digital Presence and you have Mocking Up, Wireframing and Designing resources, it’s time to talk about Team Management and internal communications.
If you’re not a “One man show” (or woman for that matter), you’re going to need to talk to your co-founders and/or employees or freelancers. The best option, by far and wide, is Slack. If you haven’t tried it, do it. Seriously, try it right now 🙂 There’s an amazing integration ecosystem that allows Slack to be extremely useful for developers.
Mobile App Analytics
We would love to write about all the different options around mobile apps analytics. But the Startup Stash has already made a great and complete work, so you might as well head there.
Mockups and Wireframing
We hope you know that you shouldn’t seat down and start writing code before thinking things through. Understanding System requirements and developing a nice User Experience is really important and should be a part of any serious developer workflow. By the way, Agile Design is here to stay.
But the tool that I enjoyed the most using was (and is) UXPin. Not only the tool is amazing but they also have a lot of resources to teach us about Design Best Practices, Design Trends and how to avoid common mistakes.