In the fall of 2015, I was lucky enough to take part in CodePath's iOS (Swift) for Designers course. The obvious - I wanted to develop a new skill, to fill a gap in my knowledge of designing and developing iOS apps, but also to connect with fellow designers, which I certainly did many times at 11PM in the classroom trying to figure out a tricky transition.
The first few weeks of CodePath were spent recreating the interactions and animations in a few popular iOS apps (Dropbox, Carousel, Mailbox - someone clearly had a thing for Dropbox products). You can view these projects on my Github.
For the final few weeks of CodePath, we split into groups to come up with a simple app idea to prototype. My group consisted of two others, Effy and Dan (one from Square, one from Dropbox, myself from Box... thus, Team Squarebox was born).
We landed on a location-based messaging app, an idea that Effy had previously played around with. The app would allow the user to leave a message for a friend at a location and the friend would be notified when there's a message ready for them to pick up. The idea was to share moments between friends within the context of a physical place - clearly not meant for time-sensitive messages!
We decided to call this Piin, with the tagline 'Surprise your friends with messages to open at your favorite locations'.
Since Effy had already done some wireframes for this idea previously, she worked on revamping those as we fleshed out the flow and I worked on the UI:
The goal of the onboarding flow was to tell a story around a fun way to use Piin (i.e, leaving a surprise message for a loved one in a special place), while providing context and justification for the enabling of Location and Notifications.
While the project only required us to design and prototype with dummy data, we wanted to make ours nearly fully-functional. While my groupmate Dan worked on the backend functionality with Parse and authentication with Facebook, I dug into iOS' Mapkit to get the user's location and Foursquare's API to list the names of places around that location (or the user could provide their own name). I also worked on hooking up the camera and photo library for adding or taking a photo for the message.
After a few too many late nights, we were excited to demo our project to the class. Luckily, our demo went off without a hitch and Piin was voted as the top app by the class! This meant that we'd be presenting at Demo Day, with the top 3 from our class and the Android and iOS engineering classes.
Sadly, we didn't win on Demo Day but it was a real pleasure to be a part of CodePath, to learn iOS prototyping and development and to (truly) form lifelong friendships.
Piin, iOS, surprise your friends with messages to open at your favorite locations. pic.twitter.com/puNsDOaMzF— CodePath (@codepath) November 17, 2015