Pen and paper approach to app design

When considering rewriting the Backpacker Checklist there was a bit of freedom.  It occurred to me that I could fully start fresh.  So I started with a pen and paper to make some notes about how I wanted to redo things.

It may seem quite old school to start out on paper, but there is a bit of freedom that comes with paper.  For me, I know that if I’m using any application to try to create some user interface then I’m going to be spending too much time trying to figure out the application itself.  That’s not where I want to spend my time.

Initial thoughts on how to organize some screens for the Backpacker Checklist Redux

Initial thoughts on how to organize some screens for the Backpacker Checklist Redux

In order to support the new design and functionality I realized that the underlying data model needed to change.  I find it’s nice to start on paper, but I usually get frustrated with being unable to make changes (sure I could try pencil, but erasing ain’t so much better than pen).  I’m quick to make the leap into Xcode.  Nonetheless I do continue to start with paper probably because it just feel comfortable.

High level thoughts on what the data model for the Backpacker Checklist Redux

High level thoughts on what the data model for the Backpacker Checklist Redux

Even with such a loose sketch I feel like I develop an understanding of what I intend to do.  That understanding is enough to start with a more “real” design.  Just when I get frustrated that I can’t insert or move something then I switch to an electronic application.  I often go from a simple sketch directly into Xcode using Interface Builder and Model Editor.  Having developed a high level understanding on paper I can go ahead and start working through the deeper details in the electronic tools.  To use a baseball analogy, I’m just trying to hit a little single using pen and paper…I use Xcode when I’m ready to swing for the fences.

 

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