Month / February, 2016

App of the Month 2: Journal 5

Remember that time where I said I had completed an app of the month project? That was cool. We all were super excited, there was cheers-ing, high-fiving, and overall merriment was attained.

That hasn’t changed, but I’ve decided what the next step for this app will be — some analytics. Yay! Exciting!

I’m going to start with just local analytics. They will not likely be very in depth. My goal will be to aggregate just how many workouts you have started, how many fully completed, how many cards are completed for each workout. Additionally, what exercises are done, how many reps total, average number per workout completed.

Overall, this will be pretty basic information that right now will be available only to the user. If there is time, I might consider asking permission to upload statistics in a non-identifiable manner so that I can maybe do some analysis of how many users there are, how much they use the app, and what exercises are the most popular (which will require some kind of normalized naming method).

So yeah, that’s my next step. Thoughts? Suggestions? Tools I should consider? Leave a message in the comments here, on Facebook, Twitter, or even open an issue on the Bitbucket repo.

App of the Month 2: Dev Journal 4

And that’s it! I’ve hit feature complete on the app. The user can add exercises, group those into workouts, pick a workout, and swipe through the cards to see the reps of a given exercise. Time to kick back and bask in the glow of meeting a goal!

The code is still available on bitbucket here, so please feel free to peruse it and create pull requests. Or not, that’s cool too.

What’s Next

I think my next step is to just take an evening and spend it with my wife, because she deserves all of my attention. Or, at least spend as much time as she can stand to spend with me. 🙂

After that though, I will probably go in and try to create some simple but inspired artistic direction for this. Right now everything is super barren and plain, but that was the point. I might give Sketch another shot, see if anything inspires me. Likely I’ll try to find some simple icons for a few of the buttons, and spruce up the animation for the collection view a little.

Additionally, I want to add some analytics now that the app is complete. It is super simple, so the data acquisition should be “straight forward”. LOL, data.

App of the Month 2: Dev Journal 3

Short entry today, just a quick recap of what I got done last night. Yesterday I announced that I had open sourced the code and design file for the app, which is my first time doing something like this (I think). I am relatively nervous about how that will go, but after a day and no interest, there will likely be no one else ever to see this code.

Last night wasn’t a super productive night, but I did get around to factoring the persistence layer out. That means I have a consistent interface for getting the saved values the user has created. Additionally I started the work on actually doing a workout. Right now I just have the setup for the user to pick one of their existing workouts or let the app randomly generate the workout.

App of the Month 2: Dev Journal 2

Dang, that was a bit of a long break between entries, sorry about that. That may have caused some of you to think I had fallen off the wagon in this goal, but I assure you that is far from the truth. I am still going to strong and have a solid plan for this month. The intervening time between entries was due to a little travel for work.

What have I accomplished so far? Well, I started on visual designs and development. However, after working on the visuals for a night, I came to the conclusion I have no real inspiration for the appearance of this app. By the end of my time I had some silly swipe based interaction cooked up, but it was pretty crappy. I have since scrapped that, but not updated the designs. I’m just flying by the seat of my pants with design now.

Which leads me to the second part of this — the development I’ve completed. I have some of the “harder” parts completed. Those parts being adding new exercises and creating the workouts from those exercises. Additionally deletion is supported of exercises and workouts. Of note: deleting an exercise that is in use by a workout is fine and has no impact on any workouts, that kind of complexity isn’t worth my time. 🙂

Lastly, I was asked by a coworker if I would open source my project from last month when I completed it. I decided that one I would not because I did not want to. The decision was not based on being “scared” of what others think of the code (I know there are not good parts in there) but more because I just had no interest in it. This month though, I’m going to. In fact, the project is already on Bitbucket! Please feel free and give it a look over. If you have improvements you want to add, go for it! Got an idea for a sweet visual style? Awesome! Do it!

App of the Month 2 : Dev Journal 1

New month, new app! This time, I’m pretty determined to actually succeed. Which isn’t to say I wasn’t determined last month, but in January I just didn’t completely scope out the app as well as I thought. That mistake will not be repeated in February for a couple reasons — it is a shorter month, and because I really want to succeed at least once.

The Big Reveal

What will I be working on this month? Glad you asked! This month’s project is a work out app. Specifically, this is an app for a specific workout. That workout? I don’t actually know what it’s name is, just how to do it: take a deck of cards, assign a movement to each suit, flip over each card one at a time and do that number of reps for that suit/movement.

Like last month there are apps that already do this, but I would argue they are all ugly and not super user friendly. My goal will be to have a super simple UI that is pleasing because of how easy it is to use while also not being ugly. There will be no syncing and probably no statistics, though maybe if there is time at the end, I will add some basic stats.


This month I’ll also try a little different process. I’m going to do a quick design in Sketch, then try and put together a project plan using a simple check list organized by feature/function, and then just work through those. That should keep my more focused and the project well scoped.

Here’s to doing it all over again!