making apps

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  • BrokenHD

    Surprised there’s not a thread already. If there is, feel free to ding me. Creative by day, embarking on building my first app by night, and I imagine some folks here can relate. Any advice for outsourcing and keeping costs down? Doing this out of pocket, no inve$tors. Horror stories and XD tricks also welcome lol. Thanks in advance :)

  • Beeswax0

    I'm working on a chrome extension right now. I had to hire a coder. Used upwork and found a low cost but a reliable guy. It's taking long partly because he has a full-time job and I keep requesting new features.
    I released an mvp and the feedback and usage statistics are good so far.
    Browse upwork for outsourcing and release an alpha ver. with minimal features first, to see the response.

    • Thank you. Will check out Upwork for sure. Did you go through a few candidates to find your guy and then just hand-off designs and wireframes to get started?BrokenHD
    • yeah. they have reviews, work history etc. You can also chat with them before deciding on one, it's good to see if they can communicate well.Beeswax
  • BrokenHD0

    Hope this thread doesn't sink into oblivion..

    Right now Im strategizing what the "skateboard version" will be, designing XD prototype to pass on to coders, (and showcase in pitch decks, pre-launch marketing, etc).

    Planning to focus on Swift for iOS and HTML for web first, then Java for Android down the road.

    Got a base identity built, an actionable start on user flow, and a few screens "done" (splash, sign in / log in). Just started the main interface. (fyi, app genre: business/product reviews)

  • monNom3

    From the bit that I know about it, (I built a minimally functional app once in android studio, as well as web apps and flex apps in the past), here's bit of advice. Especially since you are footing the bill: there's an easy way to build an app, and a hard way to build an app. If you design the app based off the standard widgets and ui for each platform, without breaking from the established norms for look/feel/function then the app can click together almost like lego blocks. As soon as you try to get clever and come up with your own new concepts for how an interaction could happen, or how the ui could be styled, you are in for a world of hurt. Your coder won't care. They get paid either way. But for you, especially as a designer used to having your vision become high-fidelity reality, you need to really curtail you expectations and rethink ideas to fit into the lowest-common denominator of the existing design system. Otherwise you'll burn up you whole budget just trying to match your design, and maybe for no real gain other than personal preference. You might consider even leaving the aesthetics for the end once you know what you've got to work with. Add a couple of cool icons and some colour within the basic ui. It's often good enough.

    I'd suggest narrowing your focus to start. Either web app OR iOS OR Android. Pick the one that is most important to prove the concept and do the other stuff later/never. You'll spread yourself too thin trying to be everywhere all at once.

    Also. React native and the like all appear to be bullshit. Just build a native app. They aren't that hard (when you keep to the standard components) and they actually have documentation, coders available, and expected features as standard rather than kludgey hacks.

    Lastly: consider finding someone local and committed to work with or even partner with. You can't build a solid foundation with somebody doing things part time and potentially disappearing half-way through. Nobody wants to come into somebody else's rats-nest of code and start fixing things, so any savings from upwork to begin with might disappear if you need a new dev. You need a coder for the long-term.

    Or watch YouTube tutorials and build it yourself. It's honestly not rocket-science. And today, even rocket science is getting manageable with the online courses available. Even if you don't do everything yourself, it's helpful to understand how the thing actually works to keep from getting taken for a ride.

    • lol, what Nom said, also I did custom UI for thousands just to get f up by low level iOS/android devs not caring so u just might build it yourselfgrafician
    • this is great advice, thank you!BrokenHD
  • grafician0

    Comes down to starting up Figma, doing the basic UI then learning Swift in a week and doing it yourself

    The 'net is full of stories of 15's yold and 60's yold learning to do their own apps and getting millions

    • a bit like bitcoin thenhans_glib
    • Why do you like Figma over XD? For collaboration alone? Or does it make its way into swift easier?BrokenHD
  • shapesalad2

    Just go with a no code app builder:


    • adalo is super powerful.shapesalad
    • Have you completed a project on it @shapesalad? Curious...ideaist
    • i'm just trying it now - it's quite limited. no custom actions, so you have to make an app within it's limitations.hans_glib
    • Thank you. Researching both, Adalo is very enticing. Found a wealth of conversation » https://www.producth…BrokenHD
    • I wonder what coders think of exported adalo code, if the app ever outgrows itBrokenHD
    • I'm pretty sure adalo locks you into their platform, particularly the back end, which is just ridiculous for anything you thinks potentialmonNom
    • Your back-end needn't be more than a few php files and a database. YouTube it. You can do it in a weekend, guaranteed.monNom
    • ...anything you think *has potentialmonNom
    • they claim they can provide "workable code" but can't find much conversation on that https://help.adalo.c…BrokenHD
    • @monNom ty will youtube :prayinghands:BrokenHD