Today is a very special day for the both of us here at Simply U+I. We have released our very first App: Putzich.
Please feel free to take a look at our website and download the app. You can find us here : http://putzich.simplyui.de or on the appstore as Putzich (in both English and German).
Putzich: It was always about competition. Take the politically correct brigade and shove it. The idea was simple. I get shouted at when I don’t pull my wait around the house. This was a way for me to make everyones work transparent. The app has squarely resolved that problem – at least for me, and shown a couple of interesting side effects, such as the virtual competition. I now find myself doing another couple of jobs at the end of the day, not better my wife’s score, but to have a bigger score than my brother, who, lives 500 miles away on a different continent. I smile every time I realise i’m being socially pressured into doing something, that has no relevance in my actual family life.
Looking back It has been almost a year since we started development on the putzich app. In fact here is the picture with the original concept – taken from my kitchen wall on 23.10.2016
We have gone through several iterations, the first of which was a simple list like it was shown from the board. This is for me one of the most enjoyable parts of app development, taking a rough idea and quickly developing it into something I could touch and get a feel for. Then constantly pushing it further, integrating the ideas that came from using it into newer working prototypes. Even realising when we’d run down a rabbit hole and have to wind the whole development back.
The backend has been refactored at least three times that I know of. I hated every single one. At that particular moment it always feels like time is lost and you’re standing still. After each rewrite I loved the product even more for what it had become. As you might guess, patience doesn’t come easy to me. So suffering refactoring is a particular type of torture. Then again I am no believer in hanging on to code. Especially when Daniel says its got to go. I really do believe we are all the stronger for it today.
Getting the first feedback from beta testers was the next hurdle. This gave use a far broader picture of what others expect and how they actually use the app. Often completely different than how we’d originally thought it through. One such part was decided after the first round of testing That the app could be better done with pictures instead of the accountant like excel sheet list feeling. Which made us go back to the drawing board again, and again. Refining, polishing and cutting away until the product began to feel right.
It has been an amazing journey. The app development was completed within 4-5 months. What then happened was a long pause while we had to refocus on setting up a company and getting all of the paperwork done. Something of which both of us have had no experience with. This allowed through the next phase to happen and get an idea about the longevity of the product. This is just as important as the first look and feel. If we want to ask money for the app. Which of course we do. Then I want to deliver something that has a value, not just for today, but something that will keep me engaged as a user for the weeks and the months to come. This part I can’t wait to dig further into. After using it regularly since its conception, We have amassed a mass of data from myself. That given a bit of mining will provide valuable insights, not just to me, but by following the same general principles for others aswell.
So what comes next? Well this is the unidentified territory that excites me and makes me the most nervous. How to market the app. How to get broader appeal. I’ve come to realise that App development is about 40% of the job. Now we have to learn marketing, blogs, instagram tweeting what not and running a business. I especially would like to hear from anyone who takes the time to download the app and use it. What do you like, what annoys you and what would you like to see next? I would love to say ratings are unimportant to us, but thats a half truth. If you like what we’ve done, we’d love to have your rating, yes it really helps. If you have an issue, get in touch with me directly. I want to hear your pain and where we can, make it better for everyone for the future.
Whatever happens I can’t thank everyone involved enough. its been a real rollercoaster ride. My first thanks to our long suffering families. Thanks to Daniel for putting up with all my shit, and thanks to all the testers out there, without whom the product would be a far, far poorer experience then what it is now.