ViewLDN — A Chance to Get Away from My MacBook
Recently I started working on my final year project, ViewLDN. It’s an iOS app, inspired by myself. The reason to choose this as a final year project is simple: I loving spending time standing on rooftops, starring at the city that I live in.
Initially the idea was too simple to become suitable for the final year project but soon I realized there are so many possibilities that I can add into it, the process is just like.. Cooking. For example sometimes I wanna make fried rice with egg, then I start to add beef, broccoli, spring onion, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, cheese, etc. etc. At the end I’ll forget to put eggs in.
But developing software is not that similar to cooking, especially when you have to write five thousands reports for it. You have to start with some words called feasibility, analysis, use cases, UML, etc., literally just making an app more professionally, more computer science, ish. Well, I’m throwing back to the scene when telling my mom I’m a “scientist”.
“Mom, u know wut, I’m actually a scientist…”
While I am planning for ViewLDN, I can get a lot of ideas. For example, as I will continue putting effort in it after the whole final year ends, I could work with some of the famous viewpoints in London in the future such as The Shard or Tower Bridge to bring a ticketing system to the app. But the most basic idea is about how to get as many places as possible. Well, that’s easy, I can just message somebody who knows London well. Or not. To message a famous person on Instagram is simple but you’ll never know when you’re getting a reply and how the reply will be. So I tend to choose my second solution: pushing myself to explore more.
To explore more doesn’t mean to do the same thing over and over. It shouldn’t be like me going to Apple Store “exploring” Apple products every day…
That means, I’ll make use of most of my leisure time to travel around the city, looking for as many viewpoints as possible. I just feel that if you want to develop an app, you have to love the idea, and you have to become more active and more social. In my opinion, a developer not only should be starring at the screen and be coding all the time, but also should go outside and find out what are actually happening in other people’s lives. For example, if you plan to make an app about fashion, then you can go to high streets, visit several high-end stores and learn about trends and styles. Sitting in front of your computer and watching Big Bang Theory marathon just can’t help with it.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs
Traveling around can also give you some inspirations on design, they might come from a flyer, a city’s skyline, or the way a guy touches on his phone, etc. I think mobile application developers should be responsible for their code and user experience too. In order to wow your customers and make them love your app, you have to reach out to people who are not computer scientists or software engineers, to figure out how they would like to use apps every day.
With so many things to deal with, I finally get the chance to get away from my MacBook and have some actual “social life”.
Did someone just say “social life”?? (Don’t kill me for using this pic..)