I have been wanting to build an actual app for such a long time. But, I wanted to build something that was not out there yet. Everything I thought of there was at least 2 of in every app store. I just needed to find that one thing that didn't exist yet. Then I finally figured it out.
My family is very active in Taekwondo. My son will be a black belt soon and he is only 7. We were at a tournament a while ago and I noticed that people always wrote down scores on paper. This is because the judges give a score and write it down on their official paperwork but it is not displayed anywhere. It is up to the spectators to keep track of scores as they deem fit. After watching people fumble around doing this I knew there had to be a better way.
I did some investigation and discovered there was no app to do this. This is when I knew I found the app to build.
I then spent about 3 months building a prototype. I showed it a few people and they were very excited about it. I showed it the school owner and he said he had never seen anything like it. I knew at that point that I was on the right track.
With a working (mostly) prototype I went to a tournament to test it out. I ran into a ton of usability issues that made me rethink how the app should work. I also showed it to a few people and the basic reaction was "Where do I get that?".
The next 2 months were spent rebuilding the app from scratch. I started completely over and redesigned about 90% of it. I needed to make the app faster and cleaner to use. After some more feedback and user testing, the app was complete.
Then, I gave it to my 7yr old son. He played with the app for about 10 minutes and found a very critical bug in the app. I managed to use the app in a way that I never intended or foresaw happening. I made the necessary adjustments to the app and then finalized the rest of it.
My initial intent was to just build it for Android. However, my wife convinced me that I really needed to create it for iOS as well. This process was something I was not looking forward to. But I did it anyways. The process was made much easer as I was using PhoneGap and PhoneGap Build to create the app.
I had to make a few changes to the app so it would work correctly and look right on iOS but it was all minor. If I recall it only took a day to make the adjustments. In the end I was glad that the wife pushed me to do it.
Ultimately I have my first comercial app on the app stores. I think my son is more excited then I am.
You can check it out here...
iOS: Tournament Scorecard
Google Play: Tournament Scorecard
Amazon: Tournament Scorecard
Till next time,