We built a Mobile Charting App in 73 Days - You can too!
Technician is a free charting application for individual investors. We assembled a new team and decided that the first order of business was to build a new mobile app. Mobile paradigms had changed so much in the 3 years since we first wrote the app that we decided to build from scratch. The team had no experience building mobile apps, much less financial apps. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to roll out our 8 step process and share how we accomplished our goal under 100 days.
Feel free to reach out to any of us directly with questions or feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org
***Spoiler** If you’re the type of person that reads the end of the book first, here’s the stack we ended up with:
-ChartIQ charting library
-Framework7 mobile toolkit
-Cordova native app bridge
Step 1: Philosophy
We decided that we would not build a responsive app. Responsiveness is for web pages, not web applications. In order to provide the ultimate mobile experience we had to build from the ground up using mobile concepts.
We decided that phones and tablets are different. While both touch devices, a tablet has enough screen real-estate that it is closer to a web experience than a phone experience. We also recognized that mobile is often a “one handed” experience while tablets are predominantly “two handed”. Tablets are used at home. Phones are used on the go, so with concern for these factors, we decided to fork the mobile interface from the web/tablet interface.
Step 2: Designing the UI
We brainstormed, deciding what our ideal mobile UI would be, without any preconception about what tools we’d be using. We decided that some modern conventions could be safely relied upon: pulling menus from left and right; tapping on the company logo; long hold.
It is worth noting that our final UI diverged significantly from the initial UI. We’ll talk more about that in Step X ahead, but it’s critical that teams recognize that you will discover things along the way that will influence your design and that it’s okay if some things are fuzzy during the design stage. They will come into clarity simply by living with a project over time. We followed the Lean Startup methodology by Eric Ries and relied on a core component of this project management style, the build-measure-learn feedback loop.
Continue to read Step 3 - "Choosing the right framework"