The start of a new app - any tips?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Tander, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Tander macrumors 6502a

    Tander

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #1
    Hi All,

    So I am starting a new project soon - which will be pretty big by my standards as it involves a lot of new stuff I have yet to learn. But I am up for the challenge and cannot wait to get started. However - I'm looking at a "step-by-step" way of doing things with best practices in mind.

    So far I have started the project with the design phase. Just drawing out screens on paper - what I want the new app to look like and the flow, from screen to screen. :cool:

    However - I want to improve on the very first step to the last step in this project.

    So I have a few questions if anyone doesn't mind helping me with them.

    1. What's the best way to do wireframe designs and mockups?
    2. I want the designs turned into a "prototype" thing - with some graphics - how do I do this?
    3. Before I write one line of code - should I be doing an object diagram of the whole app first from start to finish - or do I just attack it on a per-screen-bases?
    4. When organising project files - would it be wise to keep view controllers separate to class files and images also separate?

    I'll be using Xcode 5 and iOS7 along with storyboards for this project. The app will only support iOS7.

    Lastly - when commenting my code - I am thinking of using Xcode 5's new "self documenting" features for my own classes as well as my own comments in the code.
    Any tips on best practices for this?

    Sorry for the long-ish post - I just want my project to start off the best way possible.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #2
    Write unit tests. Apple has been pushing this a bit harder with each release of Xcode, I think, and with good reason. With well written unit tests, you know when stuff breaks immediately, which in turn means you instantly know what is causing the problem.

    As for mockups, a few years ago I heard the suggestion that for each screen of your app, you should sketch it out ten different ways. It doesn't need to be exactly ten different ways, and the sketches can be of lousy quality, and you shouldn't spend too long making these sketches, but it helps you imagine all the different ways you could design your interface from the start. You might have one vision of how it should look now, and you might like that and run with it, but then later you'll realize a better design you can do that will involve a lot of rework. Just brainstorm now so you don't have to do that later.
     
  3. Tander thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tander

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm not 100% comfortable with unit tests at the moment. So I will spend some time with that when I can. Busy waiting for Ben in the Apple Dev team to allow developers who don't have a Mac Dev license to access Xcode Server. I want to get up to speed with the latest Xcode tests and Unit Testing - I know they have almost dropped Sentest i think it's called? in favour of their new test cases XCtest.

    I need to understand why we have those test cases and how I can use them to my advantage. So I will do some experimenting with them ASAP.

    With regards to sketching - that's exactly what I have done. I draw out a design - then brainstorm it a little - tweak it - then draw out the design I like - then I sit with a few people who are part of the design phase of my project and make any final tweaks to it.

    It is after that stage I want to improve the drawing into a digital format / prototype to get a better feel for it.
     
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #4
    Don't just tweak. You need to draw something from scratch several times, even if it seems dumb. You should end up with several radically different design options - one of them that looks nothing like your original vision may grow on you quite quickly.
     

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