There are plenty of (free) apps on the market that can you can do amazing thing with. Some of those apps we use almost every day. However only relatively few users optimise the use of these apps.
This has everything to do with their design. Most of them gathered a large user base through the years with one primary function that people got to like and use. New functions were added gradually, but due to the familiarity of the design and the primary use for the larger part of the users, the new functions had to be stuffed somewhere within the existing design. In many cases the word ‘hidden’ is more appropriate.
And sometimes the users just don’t want to use the enhanced app for anything else than what it was originally designed for. Often because the new functions are not clear, require too many buttons or too much thinking, or because users can be very conservative and stubborn. On the other hand, the marketing department of the software often fails to draw the people into the new features by lack of an interesting tutorial, and try to get the job done with a few blinking arrows and a line of explanation on the screen.
A real multi-functional app is a bit of a gamble to create. It requires a design that is prepared for more functions, or in other words, designers have to project new functions for a number of follow-up versions of the app before they start developing it and prepare the design for them. This may sound very logical, but it isn’t. The main reason is that multi-functionality – interesting as the concept may seem – will look complex if the interface is not done right. We believe at this moment, there are very few multi-functional apps that have an interface that enables the required smooth and intuitive multi-funtional design.
Fact is, that Apple designed a great concept when introducing the first iPhone and the app store. Many people have made good money on designing great apps, but unfortunately, most of these apps don’t communicate with each other. That is why we believe there is a great opportunity in designing a multi-functional application with a great intuitive interface and a design in which no functions are less reachable than any other. And that is exactly what we believe we realised with the HowAbout application that will be released in november. Every upcoming version will introduce new functions, so that users can roll into it step by step.
So far we have projected a 4 year release schedule, which will develop the app from an organiser with even-based photo-sharing to a full fledged… Well, you will find out as it happens.
We sure hope you will be as exited as we are about it’s release.
Update : As so often is the case with apps, we didn’t release in time. We did present a working prototype in November, but the final release is delayed. Follow this blog or our twitter account to stay in touch. It will be out within months.